Splitting Abs and Taking Names: Let's Talk About Diastasis Recti

pelvic health Jul 18, 2020

"Just because you are soft doesn't mean you are not a force. Honey and wildfire are both the color gold." - Victoria Erickson 


Diastasis Recti.


If you've been through a pregnancy journey in the last decade, I'm sure you have heard this phrase. In fact it is very possible that this phrase has haunted your thoughts and changed your entire perception of your body and the safety of continuing aspects of your asana yoga practice, or any exercise at all.


But WHY?


What is it about this word that causes women to lie awake at night with wide eyes glued to scrolling links disseminated by Dr. Google and WebMD about this topic?


Let's break down everything we know about Diastasis Recti!


What's In A Name?

[Imagine this next sentence in my Papouli's hard Greek accent.] "Diastasis Recti comes from the Greeks! Diastasis comes from the Greek word 'dia' meaning 'apart,' and the Greek word 'stasis' meaning 'standing.' Standing apart. Diastais. There you...

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An Open Letter To You From Your Body

Uncategorized Jul 18, 2020

"Did you ever realize how much your body loves you? I mean its always trying to keep you alive. That’s all your body has to live for. Your body is making sure you breathe while you sleep, stopping cuts from bleeding, fixing broken bones, finding ways to beat the illnesses that might get you. Your body literally loves you so much. It’s time you start loving your body back." - Unknown


Our body speak to us in a vast varieties of ways. Every time we get on our mats and practice the art and science of yoga, we open up the lines of communication with our amazing body to hear what she has to say.


Our body longs to converse with us! She wants us to see her and know her in a deep, intimate way. She desires to feel respected and known and loved. She wants to offer us her intuition and joy, a sense of home and belonging, connection with community, and a conduit to take in every sunset, feel every rain shower, and taste every kiss.


Our body is our sacred life...

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Pregnant Yogi Hacks

pelvic health Jul 18, 2020

"In a child's eyes, a mother is a goddess. She can be glorious or terrible, benevolent or filled with wrath, but she commands love either way. I am convinced that this is the greatest power in the universe." - N.K. Jemisin


Have you ever thought about just how AMAZING pregnancy is?!


Bringing new life into the world is an incredible, awe-inspiring feat in and of itself! BUT when we dive deep into the physiology and the changes that take place in the human body to allow for the growth and development of a new soul who will enter our world, it opens up an even greater reverence and amazement for anyone who is embarking on the pregnancy journey!


Just for fun (and in the event that "pregnancy facts" are one of the categories at your local venue for bar trivia) here are some quick, unbelievable facts about how the body adapts to allow new life to be created:


- During pregnancy, the uterus will expand about 500x its original size (the resting state of the uterus...

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Yoga Flows and Bladder Woes

pelvic health Jul 18, 2020

"It's okay if you fall apart sometimes. Tacos fall apart and we still love them." - A Taco Enthusiast & Spectacular Human (Probably)


You're gearing up for a Power Yoga class at your favorite studio. You lay out your mat, your props, your water bottle, and TWO towels (it's going to be a hot one and you are counting on a meditative, out-of-body ass-kicking; let's face it, you need it after the week you just had).


You settle into sukasana - your easy seat - close your eyes, and prepare to center yourself in the present moment.  A thought strikes you and eyes pops open. "This class is 90 minutes! Maybe I should use the bathroom one more time?! Just in case." So you rush off your mat towards the bathroom line full of fellow yogis who had the same epiphany.


Back on your mat, the class is in full swing. The instructor is doing a fantastic job of encouraging you to find your edge and you decide to answer the call and try some jump backs into chatturanga.


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Kegels: Alright or All Hype?

pelvic health Jul 18, 2020

Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakens. - Carl Jung


If we are going to have a conversation about kegels, then we must, first and foremost, pay our due respect to the Kegel Queen herself, Tatyana Kozhevnikova.


Perhaps not a household name - unless you follow the sport of "Intimate Weightlifting" - Tatyana is the 2003 Guinness World Recorder holder for being able to hold 14 kg (30.8 lbs) with her pelvic floor muscles.


Impressive? Very.


Handy? Well, I bet she never has to make two trips to carry all of her groceries.


As discussed in previous posts, a gentle pulling in and up of the pelvic floor muscles that comprise the floor of the pelvic bowl, is the mechanism for the contraction of the pelvic floor, AKA a kegel. Having a strong pelvic floor is essential for a number of vital functions in the body, such as...


- Making sure your abdominal organs stay where the Good Lord placed them (preventing pelvic organ prolapse)



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Oo La La, Mula Bandha!

Uncategorized Jul 18, 2020

"Gravitate toward all that feels supportive. Inspiring. Expansive. Warm. Frequent those spaces until it's so habitual you will not want anything less. You are made for this sensation of belonging. Because you belong." - Victoria Erickson


Whenever I mention to a new acquaintance that I am a Pelvic Health Physical Therapist, I am often met with one of two responses:


  1. "Oh yeah, pelvic health! So you teach women to do kegels all day? That's it?!" OR


  1. "Pelvic Health Therapist?! Wait, are you like a Sex Therapist?!"


Neither response is completely accurate, but neither is completely untrue. And one of these responses I get more regularly on Bumble dates. (Shameless Plug: Feel free to share my blog [and contact info!!] with all of your single male friends! YOU can help release me from the harrowing world of online dating! Just kidding...but not really!).


The thing is, the pelvic health movement has only secured its rightful place in the healthcare...

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Let's Get Physical: How to Find and Activate Your Pelvic Floor

pelvic health Jul 18, 2020

"May your coffee, pelvic floor, intuition, and self-appreciation be strong." -Unknown


"Engage your pelvic floor" is a cue that is often offered in yoga classes. But what does that even mean and how do we do that??


First, a quick spark-notes synopsis of the pelvic floor (or if you're a part of the 1% of individuals who didn't use spark-notes to pass high school english class, you can read the full, unabridged account of the pelvic floor in the blog post entitled, "Know Thyself (And Thy Pelvic Floor)!").  For the rest of us slackers, read on!


The pelvic floor forms a hammock of 3 distinct muscle layers that connect the pubic bone in the front of the pelvis to the coccyx (tailbone) at the back of the pelvis, and then splays out to the ischial tuberosities (sitz bones) on the sides. The pelvic floor is responsible for a number of vital functions in the body.


Remember the 5 S's?? It's Quiz Time!


The pelvic floor's resume is as follows:


  1. The...
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The "Core" of the Matter

pelvic health Jul 18, 2020

"The yoga pose you avoid the most is the one you need the most." - The Little Red Book of Yoga Wisdom


I could hear my yoga teacher's voice in my head as I typed out the above quote. But isn't it so true?


If you gravitate towards fast-paced, single-breath-to-single-movement power yoga and avoid the stillness and deep connective tissue mobilization of yin yoga like the plague....there is a good chance yin is what your body is craving.


If you're like me and die a little bit inside every time you sense the class heading into a "core phase" of the practice, then that's a pretty good sign that your core needs some attention and TLC.


Don't get me wrong, I am a HUGE advocate of core work! EVERY movement in the body improves if the core is strong and primed for movement. We need our core! But after years of beating my abdominals into submission with crunches and sit-ups and wondering why my posture and breathing patterns felt restricted and my 6-pack never seemed...

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Know Thyself (& Thy Pelvic Floor!)

pelvic health Jul 18, 2020

"Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom." – Aristotle


Too often than not, it is a lack of knowledge about the pelvic floor that leads to dysfunction. Unlike other parts of our body, we don't typically see or touch our pelvic floor on a regular basis (but if you do, more power to you!). Our pelvic floors are too often "out of sight, out of mind" - the proverbial middle child of the body part family, so to say. (S/O to all of the middle children out there - you are seen and heard here!). Stigmas surrounding what can do wrong "down there" have also led to the pelvic floor being ignored by the general public and the medical world.


Today, that all changes! No one puts YOUR pelvic floor in the corner!


Let's begin by becoming reacquainted with our pelvic floor - its location, structure, and function.


What is the pelvic floor?


The pelvic floor is a hammock structure of 3 layers of individualized muscles that start at your pubic bone (the...

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If You Don't Use It, You Lose It: Connecting w/ Your Pelvic Floor

pelvic health Jul 15, 2020

"To lose our connection with the body is to become spiritually homeless. Without an anchor we float aimlessly, battered by the winds and waves of life." -Eastern Body, Western Mind  


Bring your awareness to your pelvic floor.


....Did you find it? Can you picture it? Activate it?


What do you actually know about this intimate part of your body that, for far too long, as been shrouded in cultural stigmas and religious taboos?


Have we lost touch with our pelvic floors?


The expression, "If you don't use it, you loose it," has large applications to human physiology. Within the frontal cortex of the brain lies a unique structure often referred to as the homunculus. The homunculus is essentially a map of the entire body that is stored within the brain. While it can be argued that there are numerous homunculi, or maps, within the brain, the two most notable include the sensory (your brain's interpretation of what you feel) and motor (your brain's...

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