Why is it important to be aware of your pelvic floor muscles?

A healthy pelvic floor can help you breath better, improve your posture, help your digestion and make you feel strong and grounded.

Last year I picked up a French book titled Périnée arrêtons le massacre meaning Perineum stop the massacre by Dr Bernadette de Gasquet and this was the start of a long journey of discovery about the pelvic floor.  While reading this book it occurred to me how little I knew about this area of my body and how much strain I was putting these muscles under without realising it.

I thought working on my pelvic floor was about holding in a pee or squeezing my butt cheeks. Little did I know that continuing this practice was actually damaging my pelvic floor and stopping the flow of energy in my body. I was under the impression that a loose pelvic floor would lead to incontinence and prolapses, when in fact it is often the opposite. Many problems such as incontinence, prolapses, painful sexual intercourse, hip pain and constipation can be the result of a pelvic floor that is too tight or misaligned. I also thought that these dysfunctions were only happening to women who went through pregnancy and childbirth. However, I realised practicing any type of strenuous activity can put our pelvic floor under extreme pressure, putting everybody at risk, especially active people.

So I began to research more about these muscles, their functions, how to activate them, but most importantly how to release them. What I first found was fascinating, I realised that these muscles were quite often missed in anatomy texts. There is a major taboo around our pelvic floor. These muscles are responsible for some of the most important functions of our human body – pooing, peeing, having sex and birth – functions that are essential but very often underestimated. There is a sort of shame around these functions and that part of our body quite often referred to as ‘down there’ (said with a frown!). This shame is well illustrated by the name given to the nerve present in this area: the pudendal nerve. Pudendal is Latin for ‘to be ashamed’! This is probably why we don’t talk about our pelvic floor like our arm or leg!

I decided to go beyond the taboo and continued on my quest for knowledge as well as awareness. What I discovered changed the way I move, live and made me feel stronger and more balanced. Once I became more familiar with the muscles forming my pelvic floor, I realised how these were connected to the rest of my body and how beneficial it was to have a healthy functional pelvic floor. It allowed me to breath better, have better posture, increase my core stability, help my digestion, have a healthy sex life and most likely save myself from incontinence and prolapses later down the tract.

If you want to know more about the anatomy and energetics of this amazing part of our being, stay tuned for my next article on this topic. I will also give you tips to save your pelvic floor.

I am also doing a workshop at the Yoga Loft