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Lessons from my pelvis in yoga practice

A female pelvis is structurally more predisposed to instability so it’s super important to know how to take care of them in our practice.

Every body’s body is different and what works for one person may not work for another but I wanted to share what I’ve learned over the years working with some sacro-iliac joint instability in a yoga practice.

Starting with some cues I hear often that don’t necessarily suit the female pelvis:

‘Tuck your tailbone’

‘Square the hips/pelvis’

‘Keep the pelvis still and twist the spine’

‘Keep the pelvis level like a bowl’

‘Imagine you’re in between two panes of glass’

If I am in a class and a teacher uses these cues, I’m not going to be upset or judgy, we all have our passions and interest areas and we can’t know everything! AND we’re often taught this stuff in our teacher training. So please, if I ever say anything that doesn’t work for you in class LET ME KNOW <3 So I can keep learning and growing and being as inclusive as possible.

Keeping the pelvis safe in twists

Twists have been shown to be the main culprit behind SI joint injury because many of us have been taught to hold our pelvis still and move the spine. For example twisted chair and lining up the knees, twisting wide leg forward fold and keeping the pelvis level, seated twists and keeping the pelvis anchored to the floor. What this can do in many is overstretch the ligaments that hold the pelvis to the sacrum as the spine and pelvis move not together as intended but separately.

If you get SI joint pain, try moving the pelvic and the spine together and this can include letting the pelvic roll forwards in a standing side bend.

More info:

Keeping the lower back safe, engaging the glutes and protecting the organs of the pelvis

My Well Woman Yoga Therapy training with Uma Dinsmore-Tuli initiated the exploration of the pelvis and posture for me. She explained that the pelvis is not a bowl and the pelvic floor is less a floor and more a back wall. The pubic bones are that join together at the front of the pelvic and intended to support the pelvic organs rather than tucking the tailbone and dumping all of the weight of the organs onto the pelvis ‘floor’ muscles. Meaning that a slight anterior (forward) tilt of the pelvis is quite natural in many women and tucking the tail bone can reinforce poor posture and pelvic organ health.