So my Love just dug out my old exercise ball to use as a chair and it reminded me of nearly a decade ago when I was in labor with my daughter. I recall the wonderful feeling of laboring while letting my pelvic floor sink onto a similar ball at the hospital. It was so relaxing and wonderful to feel the gentle counter pressure of the ball supporting me. Then I also remembered the birth. Magical and wonderful to bring my daughter into this world, one of the most beautiful experiences of my life! Yet it was filled with anxiety, fear, tension and pain. I pushed like crazy, assuming that my body fitness from being an long time endurance triathlete was helping me out...hey I can finish 140.6 mile races so I should be able to nail this giving birth thing, right? I can "do" this! I had practiced my Kegel clenches, I was strong, so this should be a piece of cake!
Was I ever wrong.
Childbirth is like life. And I was approaching it the way I had approached life for so many years. Be strong, do it myself, don't let anyone else in. Muscle my way through it.
Let me invite you to consider a new way. Letting go, finding a balance of relaxed surrender and purposeful action is such a smoother way to flow with life...and childbirth!
One of the biggest awarenesses I've had in my exploration of sacred sexuality and healing is the power of the PC Muscles. And wow are they a physical manifestation of the analogy for learning to let go!
PC Muscles. Pubococcygeus muscle. The muscles in the pelvic floor that retain the flow of urine for example. Found in both men and women, fitness and fluidity in these muscles can change the way we experience childbirth as well as our sexuality, vibrancy and orgasm.
So my aha moment was when I realized you can do more than what most of us know as "Kegel clenches" with these muscles!
Many of us know about clenching them, pulling upward, retaining. This can help create tone in the muscles, which is really important. And only one half of the balance. The clench pulling upward tends to create and inspire tension. So we are told "clench and release clench and release" and what often happens in my experience and in my research with others is we "clench hold, maybe release a fraction, then clench again". The release and relax portion gets sort of skimmed over. And the next piece gets ignored altogether....
So here's the other piece! And no one tells us about this! You can actually relax them, then push out the other way, so the sensation is a blooming, an opening, downward and outward.
Ahhhh!! Clench, release (really release, not just a little bit) and RELAX (this takes a ton of time and relaxation and practice of "being" not doing... so foreign for most of us who carry chronic tightness in the pelvic floor) and then push downward, outward and bloom open!
I truly believe I went through nearly the entire experience of childbirth clenching and pulling upward, effectively holding on to my daughter, when I thought I was pushing her out! No wonder it took so long and felt so hard!
It's only now, a decade later, after a lot of pelvic awareness and healing that I can notice the difference between a "clenching, retaining" muscle push and a "blooming, releasing" muscle push. The empowerment in my life, my sexuality and my orgasmic repertoire (oh so the topic of an upcoming blog!) has been life changing!
So I implore all women (and men too! just not so much for the childbirth part :)...take notice! Bring awareness to your pelvic floor, breathe deeply into your belly and lower abdomen, soften, relax, start to notice this area of the body that we all tend to hold so tightly. This is not about 6 pack abs, flat bellies or tight asses, think beautiful Buddha belly and let your body soften and open.
No one tells us about this stuff! I am here to change that! :) Feel free to reach out, contact me, and leave a comment!