Breathing, pulsations and pelvic floor health
We all do it and luckily it happens without us thinking about it at all. We breathe.
Unfortunately, many of us are not breathing properly. We have forgotten how to breathe. And we have been conditioned into breathing patterns that are not optimal. Our whole body, our posture and our social habits has created an unfavourable environment.
We can discuss how that affects our general health, mood, stamina, digestion etc. But today I want to highlight how it affects our pelvic floor. And when you breathe correctly and aware of the connecting to your pelvis then you are a step closer to create a happy pelvic floor.
Yes, how we breathe affects your pelvic floor!
If you have a bad posture and can’t breathe properly your pelvic floor suffers – despite how many Kegels or pelvic floor exercises you practise. The positive thing is that when you start to be aware of your posture and your breath your pelvic health will improve too.
Let’s start with your breath:
Inhale and air moves into your lungs. As your lungs expand the muscle beneath called the diaphragm stretches sideways creating a greater circumference around your ribs cage – specifically the lower part. Your lower abdomen will also start to expand. And finally, the pelvic floor will stretch a bit.
With every inhale your pelvic floor will release, let go and stretch ever so slightly. That is if it’s flexible and healthy.
As you exhale and the air is pushed out of the lungs the diaphragm comes back up towards the lungs as the empty. The ribcage comes back to neutral, the abdomen releases back in (no need to pull the navel in – let the breath guide you). And the pelvic floor contract slightly.
When you breathe naturally and spontaneously this happens all on its own. No need to contract, pull or push. Just feel it.
Are you breathing correctly?
Here is a way to feel the breath: Bring your hands to your side ribs and let the inhale expand the ribs in all direction. Stretching the diaphragm. The belly should expand a bit. If you draw in the abdomen on the inhale you need to relearn how to breathe. This is extremely important – especially for the pelvic floor. Learn to relax your beautiful blissful belly!
On the exhale let the rib cage contract again to its neutral position. The abdomen will flatten back to neutral and so will the pelvic floor muscles. All creating stability as the breath is released out of the lungs again.
How does this connect to the pelvic floor?
Think of the respiratory diaphragm and the pelvic diaphragm moving together. Same kind of movement. Same kind of expansion and contraction.
You could rest your hand on your perineum. Then feel that same pulsation. Expansion on the inhale. Contraction on the exhale. Or have a look. Get your mirror out and look at your perineum as you breathe.
And that’s it. That’s how your pelvic floor moves in its naturally relaxed state. Without you having to do any exercise the pelvic floor will expand and engage. That’s your first step to pelvic floor health and healing.
I breathe differently!
What if this is not how you breathe. What if you don’t feel the expansion or you hold the belly in continuously (because many of us have been conditioned to do just that), or you have absolutely no connection to the pelvic floor.
You can learn with intention and awareness. This is one of the things we practise in the Sacred Pelvis online program. Like all muscles, these muscles also need to be reawakened and exercised.
So what can go wrong?
- Holding the belly in when you inhale. The breath has to go somewhere. If you hold the navel in as you inhale there is not space for optimal breathing. Potentially you create compression pushing on the internal organs. You are also shutting off the pelvic floor connection. This could lead to a rigid inflexible pelvic floor.
- Your posture and the pelvis. If you slouch sitting on the sacrum rolling your tailbone in it becomes more challenging to breathe. There just isn’t space as the abdomen is compressed. But additionally this posture contracts the pelvic floor and it can no longer stretch.
With either of these issues, your pelvic floor may become tight, hypertonic and inflexible.
If you need support learning how to create mobility and pelvic health you can join my Sacred Pelvis online course. You could see me in person too. But there are simple things, that may not be easy, that you can do. All on your own. Every single day. Just focus on your breath.