While the wonder of pregnancy transforms a woman’s body in quite miraculous ways, for some women, pregnancy can feel tiresome and a massive strain on the body.
In any pregnancy class, we tend to see one or two women suffering with some degree of pelvic girdle pain. An understanding of what it is, what to do and what to avoid can mean the difference between needing to use a pregnancy belt or even crutches, and being able to move freely in both pregnancy and labour.
Our birthlight techniques are great pointers for use both on and off the mat! Do let your teacher know if you are suffering with any niggles, or pains around the pelvic area – movements can be easily adapted to help you.
PGP is where the joints in the pelvis can become stiff or unstable during pregnancy. It may cause inflammation in the joints; an aching, clicking or even severe pains in the pelvic region. Common irritants can include:
So what can you do?
Of course, generally, and especially during pregnancy we want to avoid the pharmaceutical short-term relief from medication and look to stretch the muscles of the back, build strength in both back and core and keep the pelvis neutrally aligned.
In our classes, we show you how to move your body consciously and keep the pelvis aligned as much as possible. We show you how to transition from seated to standing, how to sit with the pelvis aligned, how to walk at a slower pace.
These are the small movements of the pelvis when on hands and knees, such as spirals, figure of eight and cat curls. Simple, yet hugely effective at creating space and allowing movement of the pelvis.
FIND ZERO BALANCE
Finding your neutral pelvic position (rock your pelvis backwards and forwards, then somewhere in the middle of those extremes is your Zero Balance) is key in all positions. It’s
easiest to start in standing. From zero balance, draw the thighs back and tailbone down. Now check the knees are soft, and ground down/breathe down into the four corners of your feet, as you take your weight back into the heels a little. Coming back to a well aligned standing position, Tadasana, is great for your body and your pelvis.
Rocking the pelvis/scooping and releasing the pelvis. You might like to start in standing, using a wall for support. Add a lift of the pelvic floor muscles as you breathe in and scoop under. Then release the pelvic floor, release the breathe and release the pelvis back. You could then take this into a walk!
USE GOLDEN TRIANGLE
This is quite simply ensuring that the knees are no wider than the length of the thigh bone. This goes for seated positions and standing. Especially asymmetrical positions like the Warrior postures.
WARRIOR ON THE WALL
Facing the wall, take one leg back (remembering the golden triangle rule) push the hands into the wall as you lift your chest and draw the tailbone down.
PELVIC FLOOR HEALTH
With legs stretched out in front, place a scarf or belt around the feet. Use the double pelvic floor lift – inhale, lift the pelvic floor, exhale lift more, then release at the end of the outbreath. Practice this on the 3 openings of the pelvic floor (anal sphincter, urethra and vaginal walls).
All of this and lots more are practiced regularly at our Birthlight Pregnancy Yoga classes. See our timetable here to find a class that suits.
With a focus on consciously moving the body, both in class and in daily life, PGP and SPD symptoms can be relieved