Hi you lovely LS ladies (and any other ladies along for the ride), In yesterday’s Instagram post I posted a short video of me doing some exercises to release the hips, you can check out that video here.
Everyone who knows me knows that I absolutely love yoga and movement, anything to make my body feel better and lighter. Many of us suffering from Lichen Sclerosus, Vulvodynia or Endometriosis, just to mention a few, also suffer from pelvic floor dysfunction. Often it is more than just having tight pelvic floor muscles, it can also include tight low back muscles, thigh muscles (inner and outer), hip muscles, glutes. Which can result in TREMENDOUS pain, leading to more pain during intercourse, more bodily pain overall (yep, it’s all connected if we haven’t figured that out yet), bad posture, and, (you guess it!) harder for us to breathe properly.
Here are three exercises I do to release my hips, my pelvis and to increase some blood flow into these parts of the body:
1. Cow face – Sit on both sit bones with a straight spine with your legs in front of you (use a fold up towel if you find it hard to sit with a straight spine, because this will make it easier for you to create that anterior pelvic tilt). Slide your left foot under the right knee to the outside of your right hip, then cross your right leg over left. Try and stack the right knee on top of the left knee and bring your right foot to the outside of the left hip. You need to sit evenly on both sit bones so if it’s hard for you to do that in this position, bend the right leg into a 90 degree angle, flex your right foot and let the ankle rest on top of the left thigh (the knee can be as high up as you wish, but you want to feel a stretch in the right hip). Or simple just do a bound angle pose to prepare for this pose in the future. Hold the pose for about 30 seconds-1 minute, and then switch sides.
2. Hump movements – I don’t what else to call them? So hump movements it is! Lie on your back on the floor with your feet hip with a part grounded into the floor, close to your bum. On an inhale create a little arch of the the low back, lengthening out the pelvic floor. On an exhale push the low back into the mat, bringing the pelvic floor together. That’s an easy one, eh? Do 12 of them (12 breaths), and breathe deep into the belly!
3. Bridge pose – The hump movements set us up for our bridge pose. Keeping the same position with your fee, take an inhale and peel the hips of the floor one vertebra at a time, lifting the hips up to the ceiling. Focus on activating the core and squeeze the bum slightly, letting the tailbone come to a neutral spine (no arching of the low back) by sending the tailbone in front of you (without overdoing it) – just get a feeling of length through the low back. Find that length through the neck as well so create space between the shoulders and the ears. As you exhale lower the hips one vertebra at a time coming back onto the floor. Through this movement we send energy through the spine, the body, down to the hips. Do 10 of these (10 breaths), and focus on activation of the bum and core, but still relaxing the pelvic floor. We’re always taught to squeeze the pelvic floor when we’re working our core, but for those of us with tight pelvic muscles it’s kind of counterintuitive isn’t it? It is hard, but it is possible to focus on that pelvic floor relaxing as you’re doing an exercise like this. (Go back to previous post to read more about breathing properly)
This lady is doing it with a block. Skip the block.
Get your body moving and let me know how you go! With love and kindness,