I want to share with you a little background about why I am fascinated with and teach about “the core.” Basically, kids. I was provoked to study and develop a method of healing and strengthening to rehabilitate myself out of necessity.
Believe me when I say I am not a person who does pregnancy or childbirth especially “well.” Facts are, I gained 50-70lbs each pregnancy, had large babies, and needed 4 c-sections. With each pregnancy, the diastis-recti returned even larger. With each surgery, I lost more feeling and nerve sensation in my low belly. And with each child came the opportunity to give give give from my center. It’s what mommas do, right!? (But what I had to see was that habit started long before I became a mother! Being a mother was just the slap in the face I needed to make changes.)
Creating and practicing core yoga methods was essential to reconnecting with and strengthening not just the abdominal muscles I no longer could even FEEL, but also with my inner strength, wisdom, and determination. If your core is weak or contracted, you cannot do traditional ab crunches. Especially after my 4th cesarean, during which the adhesions from the previous surgeries were so bad my Doctor had to yank and pull for hours to detach my skin from the muscles (I literally thought I died during surgery, it was quite traumatic), even my organs were displaced. I was in pain physically and emotionally and there never seemed to be any support for this!
I noticed that I had also never considered, nor grieved, the “pushing out” my body was meant to do. Which means, I had never released the downward moving energy that had naturally built during pregnancy. No wonder I felt emotionally, creatively, and energetically constipated! No wonder I felt exhausted and drained! No wonder I felt the need to create control in so many (unnecessary) areas of my life. I never got to truly LET GO. And I was left with a big, floppy, dull, unresponsive marsh in the middle of my body, which I shamed. That wasn’t okay with me.
So I got trained in core strength vinyasa flow and went down a now decade-long wormhole of information and education about the psoas and the lizard brain, the chakras, somatics. I learned how important releasing is, how vital fluid movement of the spine is for strength. I discovered the core actually starts in our feet and travels all the way up to the crown of the head! It’s not just about what was around that c-section scar. The combination of both strong and soft,/fluid movements gave me so much freedom. Let me tell you--it feels GOOD to feel your body, to delight in sensation and all the (nonlinear) ways a body can be strong and receptive! The pelvic floor work and chanting allowed me to break the dam of pent up Apana (downward moving energy) and release so much emotion and attachment…including the fact that I was STILL attached to the idea that I didn’t have the right birth experience or the right body! Buh-bye!
And just like stronger muscles, my will, determination, independence, and strength started to return. I began to feel sure of myself again, I floundered less. I stopped looking outside myself for the answers and started to trust my body—even when it felt different or softer or weaker. I let my breath penetrate my entire belly—that is an amazing feeling! I stopped sucking it in, stopped wearing spanx. It’s a relationship of love and respect now rather than control. I know I my center line will hold my spine tall, allow me to hover in plank, propel my legs to move, digest food and emotion, support my organs, cradle my babes. I know it’s my source for the energies behind strength and vulnerability, inspiration and motivation. Whether or not it’s hanging over my jeans, we’re connected, this Core and I.
I share this because if you can relate, I’d love for you to have this information, to give yourself the gift of reconnecting to the core of you. Tools are helpful! You don’t have to have had pregnancies or children to know you’re disconnected from this area—many of us with childhood or sexual trauma, control issues, ptsd, digestive/intestinal issues, surgery, weight issues, etc. will feel exactly the same way. This work is beneficial for everyone, we can all do the deep work. I invite any questions, stories, or comments you have about the Core of you!
*And if you're interested in working with me on the core, check out my Core Restore series coming up mid-September at Fusion Yoga or request a private session.