Day 5: A Root Awakening Flow
Here’s how to root down to rise up!
Today we dive into the immense—and often neglected—power of your root area.
Your “root” consists of your pelvic floor (outside the base of the pelvis) and pelvic diaphragm, which is like a bowl sitting inside your pelvis.
Think of these muscles as an LA freeway, with roads and ramps flowing all over, sometimes one nearly on top of another.
You need a strong root to hug and protect your pelvis and sacrum from the inside on movements that require more heavy lifting and weight into these areas. Think: Jumping forward, curling your knee into your chest in Plank Pose, or lifting yourself from the ground up into any standing pose.
You want these muscles to also be flexible because they help you eliminate toxins and allow your bones and joints to move as needed. Too tight, and you can experience pelvic pain, joint inflammation, and reproductive/digestive organ issues.
What’s really cool is that when you activate and release these muscles mindfully, you will likely feel vitality rising through your body, and more heat quickly, since this is the location of intersections lot of nerves we call your pelvic and lumbar plexuses. So it actually is a freeway—of strength, mobility, hydration, cleansing and energy.
Today, you’ll notice that I encourage you to activate and LIFT your pelvic floor and diaphragm muscles on exhales through many transitions and places where you need more inner support. This may contradict what other yoga styles ask you to do, but luckily for us all, I’m teaching Anatomy over Yoga Alignment, which is sometimes lacking, so when I can keep you stronger and safer…I will.
Allow your pelvis a relaxation response on your inhales, as if your pelvis could ‘breathe in’ along with your lungs. This is the way you were born breathing: Inhale: relax your belly, pelvis and low back more. Exhale, hug your pelvic muscles in and up, as if trying to lift them up toward your navel.
To ensure that you build real, tangible strength in this area, and learn how to activate it during your transitions, I’m introducing a new way of moving today: The Yoga Shred®, where some moves are a little faster and repetitive for specific time intervals.
The Yoga Shred® timing is 20 seconds activity and 10 seconds rest for 4 or 8 rounds. This will activate fast-twitch muscle fibers (tones and defines you better), and optimizes your cardio capability, which is the foundation of all health.
Enjoy this fun and fierce practice, as well as your slower yoga flow.