A bright Friday morning, a soy latte, a sleeping baby and a catch up with the inspirational and spiritual Kristie from Yoga Space Gippsland. Not my usual ‘mummy coffee date’, nor my usual ‘escape from reality coffee date’; this was business! I had intended to crunch a few business numbers and tell Kristie everything I could possibly remember about pelvic floor, pregnancy and what yoga moves we should embrace to prevent bladder problems, but in actuality, I learnt there was far more to the pelvic floor than I had realised, and way more than they tell you about at uni!

 

The intention of this blog is not to educate the masses about Muladhara Chakra- I am certainly no expert, in fact I am not even a beginner. I wanted to share with you what the yogi told me, and open our eyes and our hearts to the possibility that there is so much more to our body, mind and spirit that goes beyond the realms of our physiological understanding. The ideas and principles that I discuss in this blog extend way beyond my work in ‘physio-land’, but they align so well with the Calm & Connection philosophy- To embrace the mind-body connection to achieve better physical and mental outcomes, and ultimately lead a more meaningful and fulfilled life. If we can continue to open our minds and hearts to wide variety of holistic ideas and therapies, imagine what we could achieve! Remember: this is your one beautiful life!

 

What the Yogi told me.

 

In physiotherapy, we call it our pelvic floor: a collective term used to describe the vastly complex network of pelvic organs, ligaments, nerves and muscles (voluntary and automatic) that assist us in maintaining control over our bladder and bowels, support the pelvic organs and provide sexual functions in both men and women. Little did I know, the pelvic floor is also our ‘root chakra’, or ‘Muladhara Chakra’, and it is one of the 7 primary Chakras according to Hindu Tantrism.

 

For anyone who hasn’t come across these terms before, a Chakra (to explain it in very very simple terms) is a centre of spiritual power in the body. Our energy flows through and is generated by them. We also have Chakras in our abdomen, chest, throat and head.

 

Of course I was very intrigued by the Muladhara Chakra. It is located at the base of the spine and is considered the foundation of our body’s energy. It is said to represent our feeling of being grounded and stabilised and is interconnected with our emotions, our sense of security and plays roles in awakening masculinity and feminine energy.

“The Muladhara Chakra must be stabilised and balanced to achieve wellness in a spiritual sense, just in the same way the pelvic floor must be stabilised and balanced to achieve wellness in a physical sense.”

 

Doesn’t that sound familiar?

 

The more I spoke to Kristie, the more I realised that there is a phenomenal amount of crossover in ideas between her teachings in Hindu Tantrism and the physiological basis of how the pelvic complex works. Physiologically, the pelvic complex is our anchor to the ground and provides stability against the ground reaction forces translating through our lower limbs. In an opposing way it stabilises and supports our spine and upper body, again dissipating and translating the forces generated from gravity in a way that will hold us upright and minimise stress on our joints and ligaments. I suppose this is similar to what Kristie spoke about when discussing the Muladhara Chakra. This Chakra balances the energies that ground us to the earth with the energies that allow us to resist the earth and elevate our energy. The Muladhara Chakra is said to be strengthened and energised in Warrior poses, and these poses I love to give to my pregnant ladies to engage pelvic floor and provide an activated hip opening moment for them. I also noticed that most (if not all) of the Chakras seem to converge on a nerve plexus (a branching network of intersecting nerves). In the case of the Muladhara Chakra, it converges and covers the Coccygeal and Sacral plexus, which of course gives us major neural connections to our legs, pelvis, pelvic floor organs and tissues. When you consider such crossovers you can certainly understand why our body and spirit can generate such energy from these sources and also why forming a mind-body connection can greatly enhance and drive change for wellness and stability in these areas.

 

The more I look into this the more complicated it becomes, and totally justifies the study of the Chakra’s and Hindu Tantrism as a field in its own right. I don’t pretend to understand the principles of the Muladhara Chakra, nor do I attempt to practice it independently, but what an exciting world to begin to discover. Certainly, the term ‘Muladhara Chakra Healing’ caught my eye. The best thing we can do in science, medicine, health and well-being is to continue to keep an open mind and heart. Perhaps in years to come we can discover exactly how we can harness the energy of the Muladhara Chakra in ‘physio-land’, and vice versa, to bring the best healing we can to the pelvic floor.

 

Coming up…

I am so excited to announce that Calm & Connection Physiotherapy will be joining forces with Yoga Space Gippsland to bring Mindful Pilates for pregnancy to Sale & Gippsland. Get in touch with Kristie at Yoga Space Gippsland to find out more. Until then…

 

Be kind to yourself,

Julia Berger
Physiotherapist