More times than not, my birthday falls on Mother's Day and this year I am celebrating 31 beautiful years of life, love, and learning! That being said, this newsletter is useful for everyone, but dedicated to all the mothers out there for being amazing! So, what do moms do a lot whether they are staying at home or in the office?
They pick up little people and put them on their hip. The body is designed for this and even has a muscle dedicated to hiking the hip called quadratus lumborum. Most people refer to the abbreviated version, QL which connects the top of the pelvis to the bottom of the lowest rib. So what happens when you offset your pelvis, add weight, and continue to go about your day?
You create a pattern in your body that engages one side more than the other. Say you put your little peanut on your left hip. Over time, that hip will lift higher than the right and stay there, but would not be noticeable to the naked eye. Your body adapts and other muscles jump in to help out and continue to hold the new pattern you have created. Now your whole pelvis and all the muscles that support it have shifted. This is your core and the center of your body which effects what's above and what's below.
How will you feel the effects you ask? The possibilities are endless...low back pain, knee pain, hip discomfort, shoulder pain, neck pain, you name it. Instead of feeling like you should never lift your little bundles of joy again, rest easy in knowing that I am going share some helpful tips to get you back into alignment. :)
1. QL stretch: Lay on the floor on your back and bring your belly button to your spine and your knees into your chest. If you were a left hip hiker like above, bring your right arm around to hold both shins and lay your legs on the floor towards your right side so you are in a twist. People have a tendency to shift their hips when they get here, but resist the urge and stay put. Make sure you move your right arm on top of the left leg and move the left hip forward so that your knees and ankles are stacked directly on top of each other. This will stretch your low back, but if your upper back is tight, you will feel it there first and then it will move lower once it releases. As always, work on your belly breathing to allow the body to let go. If you need a refresher, check out the Just Breathe blog post. Stay here for 90 seconds. To come out, bring your belly button to your spine and your knees into your chest. Hold on with both hands and circle your knees together to the right and the left and then straighten your legs. If you carry on both sides evenly, repeat on the right. If you only carry on one, just do that side and follow up with the next restorative exercise.
2. Supported Bridge: Lay on your back on the floor with your knees bent, pointing towards the ceiling and your feet on the floor. Take a yoga block and lay it horizontally underneath your sacrum (the flat bone at the base of your spine that you can feel). Stay here for 5 minutes or more to allow your pelvis to relax and move back into place. Work on your belly breathing and enjoy!
Feel free to send me an email with any questions or specific issues you have having discomfort with and have a Happy Mother's Day!