Twists. Sacrums. Motherhood.
Motherhood is a twisty road. Stunning views unfold as you climb the highs of your journey. As you descend, the valleys take you down and in, to the unfamiliar, disorientating, confusing territories of your soul. Untold stories of a well known path, walked by many before, and by no one. Who you are you are yet to discover. Where you’re going you no longer know. There is an instability breathing this role alive. And yet your job is to be a grounding, anchoring, stabilizing force – consistent and committed.
Your spirit undergoes deep transformation. A restructuring is necessary. And sometimes you’re not sure where to begin. Your body too, goes through a reformation. The architecture of the old self must be reconstructed.
Motherhood isn’t always friendly to sacrums. It starts with pregnancy, which makes the sacroiliac joint unstable because of Relaxin hormone (which relaxes the ligaments in the pelvis, and softens and widens the cervix), and all the shifts in the structure and position of the pelvis, as it responds to the growing baby and the expanding belly. It continues with labor and giving birth. Surges. Contractions. Opening. Releasing. Pushing life out into the world. Then trying to figure out its place in the universe, now that you no longer host another within you. And continues even further as you sit for hours with a newborn in your arms, feeding this new love you gave life to, feeling through every possible thing you could ever imaging. And even further as you carry children in your arms, picking them up, putting them down, and holding them while doing millions of other things.
Life took a turn. It twisted your soul, your mind/heart, and your pelvis. Mothers need some stability in their sacrums.
My relationship with twists has changed over the years of my practice. When I learned that anatomically, the vertebrae of the lumbar spine cannot actually twist very much, it changed the way that I approach these poses. Overly twisting in the lower back can create instability in the sacroiliac joint. And now more than ever, as a mama of two, my sacred sacrum doesn’t need any more causes for instability.
I do find that training my body to twist with a strong resistance to the twist can be super stabilizing and healing.
Turning poison into medicine is a turn on.
When I go into a twist, my main focus is:
- To keep the pelvis stable by holding the ASIS (Anterior Superior Iliac Spine) (AKA the front of the hips bones) leveled on both sides.
- Keep them both facing forward as the middle and upper parts of your torso twist.
- Draw both ASIS towards each other.
- Keep both sides at the same height (the side you twist towards will tend to lift, while the side you twist from will tend to drop).
- To strengthen the Transverse Abdominis(the deep abdominal muscles that hold the internal viscera in).
- Imagine you were putting on a corset.
- Pull the ribs towards the canter in the front body.
- On the side you’re twisting towards: Prevent the ribs from turning with your sternum.
- Prevent the twist from happening bellow the navel.
The other thing that is crucial for sacrum stability is activating the gluteal muscles. (in all poses, and all day long, really).
A twist in the plot: You can just do it while you stand and wash dishes, you don’t have to wait for a twisting pose.
- Abduct the hips by pushing the legs out. Make sure to simultaneously squeeze your legs in towards each other, to support the stability of the inner part of your pelvis.
- Rotate the legs and hips isometrically both internally and externally.
- Pull the legs energetically back.
It may feel amazing in a twist (it does for me). It may ruin the joy because it requires so much focus and attention. It will not let you go too deep into the form, and that might mess with your over achieving tendencies. It’ll make you pissed off. Or it’ll make you super tender. But either way, it will strengthen you like a mofo.
A few intentional breathes woven into actions that help to reestablish strength, solidity, and security in my body, can bring a sense of groundedness into the wild ride of my scarily domestic life.
Try it. And let me know how it feels. I’d love to hear from you.