The Power of Permission with Your Pelvic Floor

The first step in restoring the health & function of your pelvic floor is rebalancing your breathing.
pelvic floor exercises

Today I’m thinking about permission and the pelvic floor after a great conversation following my first MarchMatness class, where I am teaching how to adapt the traditional Pilates mat exercises to be both helpful and accessible when you have any kind of pelvic floor challenges.

We talked about how good it felt to give yourself permission — permission to do what is right for you, what feels good, what aligns with your goals, and permission to do the foundations of movements to lay a strong foundation to build on.

It really struck me today as I thought about why it is so important for me to consistently share the message of HOPE for your Pelvic Floor! It reminds me of the moment I gave myself permission to listen to my body and, to be really honest, stop competing with myself, the ideals of the world, and what I thought I should be able to do. That moment when I gave myself permission to adapt Pilates for me and how my body and pelvic floor was then in that moment. I can feel that emotional release again even as I write these words to you now.

Early one morning, I lay on my mat on the floor, in the dark, keeping quiet so I wouldn’t wake anyone else up, and all I did was move my floppy green Pilates ball around different areas of my body as I lay on it, letting myself feel, breathe, and ultimately let go and give myself physically and emotionally to the ball.

It was an emotional release and a release of the past beliefs that weren’t giving me the permission I needed to do something differently for my pelvic floor. I immediately felt a weight lift off my shoulders. I could see a pathway ahead of me that I hadn’t been able to see for a long time, and I knew I had the power to make a change in myself.

That marked the start of my journey looking into the Pilates movements I loved so much and how I could do them by changing the breathing, orientation, or extracting one element at a time and then building up again.

Today I love the traditional 34 in all the extractions I’ve made of them and the fullest versions of them too. I also know that by doing this, I have better control and confidence in my movements and in my body while doing everything else in life. Because ultimately, I don’t need to be good at Pilates. I want to be good at life and all the fun, adventures, and activities of my life.

Coming back to the idea of permission, I went from not realising I could even grant myself permission to do something differently to completely reinventing pelvic floor exercises and taking back control of my life.

Here are a few mantras you can say to yourself to help you give yourself permission.

I know my body

I know what is right for my body

I am not in competition with myself or anyone else

I am building a strong foundation

I can feel good in my body

Finally, ask yourself: What is your goal? What is it you want to be able to do? Go on a five-mile walk without having to have a wild wee, start running again, pick up your child or grandchild, and prevent prolapse in later years. Whatever it is, the clearer you are, the more easily you can give yourself permission to do what YOUR body needs rather than what old beliefs, society, or your competitive side says.

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