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  • Simmone Cser

BREATH AND PELVIC FLOOR

Updated: Aug 23




Have you ever stopped to consider your breath? Really consider it? Because our breath is part of the autonomic nervous system we rarely stop to actually have conscious thought to our breath patterns, unless perhaps we are mediating or with mindful breath work in Pilates and even Yoga.

We all know that slow thoughtful deep breath can influence the vagus nerve and bring our body into a parasympathetic state (rest and digest) which also has an outward effect on people around us, think of the whole ‘mirror reflection’ analogy (but that’s another blog).

Have you considered how our breath is connected to the health of our pelvic floor?.

Both women and men have pelvic floors and we can all learn some effective ways to condition our pelvic floor for optimal function, this means also allowing it to relax. If we focus too much on ‘strength’, we can lead the pelvic floor into a hypertonic state which can have just as many adverse effects as a low tone pelvic floor.

It is also worth noting that our feet have a direct relationship with our pelvic floor and therefore our breath, through the fascial lines. So having an awareness of the connection of the feet is also very important.

Take a few minutes to practice some breath for your pelvic floor. These breaths can also be done in quadruped position (all fours)

BREATH NUMBER 1 (5 to 6 gentle breaths)

Laying on your back in a comfortable supported position, legs softly bent at the knees with legs, hips and belly button relaxed, arms long by your side with palms and feet gently connecting to the ground. Bring your attention you sizt bones (the base of your pelvis) It can help to tactile cue your body by gently resting your fingertips lightly on the seat.

Allowing your legs to remain relaxed, focus on gently taking your breath in, between the sitz bones. Notice how the bowl of the pelvic floor domes forward and away from the body as it releases with the inhale.

Begin to gently exhale, and when about 2/3s of the air is out of the lungs continue to exhale as you imagine the sitz bones drawing closer towards one another.

BREATH NUMBER 2 (5 to 6 gentle breaths)

Lower transverse abdominus and upper pelvic floor connection. Laying on your back in a comfortable supported position, legs softly bent at the knees with legs, hips and belly button relaxed feet gently connecting to the ground.

Place your first and second fingers on the hip bones and softly move them in about 1” and without digging the fingers in, see if you can feel that band of muscle under them.

Imagine the space in between your hip bones and take a gentle breath between them, feeling them move away from one another.

Begin to gently exhale, and when about 2/3s of the air is out of the lungs continue to exhale as you gently draw your hip bones closer towards one another.

Start to take notice of the muscle moving under the fingers and become aware if one side is ‘firing up’ before the other, see if you can make them move together.

Remember the legs remain soft and glutes relaxed. Nothing is forced.


BREATH NUMBER 3 (5 to 6 gentle breaths)

Upper transverse abdominus connection. Laying on your back in a comfortable supported position, legs softly bent at the knees with legs, hips and belly button relaxed feet gently connecting to the ground.

Place the hand lower part of the ribs. Take a gentle breath in to the bottom of the ribcage and feel the whole ribcage move outwards.

Begin to gently exhale, and when about 2/3s of the air is out of the lungs continue to exhale as you gently draw the front of the ribcage towards midline and down towards the top of the pelvis. Allow the chest to soften and breastbone shift away from the nose. It can sometimes help to imagine the waist narrowing.

BRINGING IT TOGETHER (5 to 6 gentle breaths)

Laying on your back in a comfortable supported position, legs softly bent at the knees with legs, hips and belly button relaxed feet gently connecting to the ground. Arms long by the side.

Take a gentle breath in to the whole of the rib cage all the way down to pubic bone and in to pelvic floor.

Begin to exhale, and when about 2/3s of the air is out of the lungs continue to exhale as you gently draw sitz bones, hip bones and the lower part of the ribcage towards the midline of the body.

PELVIC TILTS (5 to 6 gentle breaths)

Laying on your back in a comfortable supported position, legs softly bent at the knees with legs, hips and belly button relaxed feet gently connecting to the ground. Arms long by the side.

Take a gentle breath in. Begin to exhale, and when about 2/3s of the air is out of the lungs continue to exhale as you gently draw the tailbone towards the pubic bone and the pubic bone towards the chest.

Use your inhale to release the tailbone back down to its neutral position.

It is important to maintain softness in the legs, glutes, hips and bellybutton.


Disclaimer: Please consult with your GP before beginning any form of exercise. Please use your own judgement with regards to your body's needs as to the suitability of any of our Studio, prerecorded and live virtual classes that you choose to participate in. We strongly recommended that you discuss with your qualified healthcare provider or doctor about your interest in participating in our Studio, prerecorded and live virtual Pilates classes and whether it would be a good healthcare choice for you. The Studio accepts no liability for any injuries sustained by clients due to participating in the above named with a known condition and not having sought advice from their qualified healthcare provider.

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