Have you ever checked in with the tension that you may be holding in your pelvic floor muscles?? If you live in a Western culture I would be willing to bet that there is quite a bit of unnecessary tension there (we don’t squat much!), which is coupled with self image and the way we think and feel about ourselves and the world we inhabit.
The pelvis is part of the lower breathing space and pelvic floor muscles directly affect the quality and fullness of our breathing. Here is what Dennis Lewis says about it in Breathe Into Being:
“These muscles include the perineum, located between the anus and sexual organs, and the pelvic diaphragm, which stretches across the floor of the pelvic cavity. In healthy natural breathing, during inhalation the diaphragm in the chest moves downward, the belly expands outward, the abdomen widens in all directions, and the pelvic floor moves slightly downward. During exhalation, the entire process is reversed, with the pelvic diaphragm moving slightly upward. If the pelvic floor is chronically constricted in any way, a spontaneous natural breath is not possible. The free movement through us of the breath of life requires a pelvic floor that is both relaxed and resilient.”
When these muscles are relaxed and open you will also feel more grounded and rooted to the earth and a sense of peacefulness may flow in. Increasing awareness in this area is done by squatting more often, and paying attention to the muscles in the pelvic floor and whether they are guarded and tense, or relaxed and open.
Squatting can be difficult for some, so if this is true for you, then simply put something underneath your heels. You can also place your hands in front of you on the floor for balance. As you squat, notice as you breath the movements in belly, back, pelvis and chest. Also notice if there is a shift in your tension level, emotions, and mind chatter. The belly may soften, relax, and let go. As you practice this it will become easier over time. Muscles will open up that have been chronically tight and holding on for years.
When to do this? Whenever you might choose to sit in a chair – instead squat! Watching T.V., listening to music, talking on the phone….the possibilities are endless. Try it out with the intention of just observing and watching your breath. This practice is not meant to be a work out move or even a yoga technique! It is simply inhabiting your body, grounding to the earth, and making more room for life!
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