If you would like a FREE copy of Active Pelvic Practice meditation — be sure to read to the end!
I started out in the fitness industry, like many Fit Pro’s did, running group classes. mishfit mothers™️ was my signature group exercise program. Women could bring their bubs and kids and for many mums, this was their preferred option rather than put them into childcare. Most of the time the babies and toddlers played nice. But there were times it was very chaotic and I would often teach the classess with one baby on my hip!
On joining the program all women were encouraged to visit their local pelvic health physiotherapist and have an assessment. This meant that I was better able to train them, because then we both understood where each client’s pelvic floor was at. mishfit mothers™️ followed a 10 week exercise program that slowly built on both cardiovascular and muscular strength.
Most group exercise classes do this, right? But this program was a little diffferent.
Let me explain why
My clients had common (and some not so common) issues addressed in a supportive environment.
Every woman started with an assessment form that covered:
- their birth — was there any trauma, including epistimolgy
- a physical diastasis check (the splitting of the abdominal muscles),
- questions about incontinence (both fecal and urinary),
- questions about prolapse (and information about this condition if it was an unknown term)
- questions around periods
- questions around physical pain — especially pelvic and lower back
- questions around mental health questions. What support were they getting at home? How was their sleep? How were they feeling about their body right now?
- many open ended questions that allowed them to share as much as they were comfortable with
This gave me the opportunity to provide health promotion, the resources that are available (that aren’t always know about) that support women. I had a band of Allied Health partners (dietitians, physiotherapists, mental health specialists, naturapaths) that I was able to confidently refer them to, because I had personally vetted their services. This important initial conversation also created a safe environment where they could come back for trusted information and non-judgemental support.
Most women formed strong bonds within the group as they navigated motherhood together while working out 2 – 3 times per week. And when the wheels fell off the bus, as inevitably they do for both children and the mumma’s, we were all there to step in with a tissue, listen, laugh and support.
mishfit® Personal Training won many awards because matching physical training with education worked.
Delivering this program week after week, year after year
was how I learnt my craft.
I have put my fingers into the soft belly flesh of literally hundreds of women to check for diastasis. This is an essential post-birth assessment (though usually overlooked), as diastasis can really affect the ability to contract the core muscless effectively and may affect continence, lower back pain and even the look of the postnatal belly.
I have listened to numerous birthing stories, watched these babies turn into toddlers and then go off to school.
Following up with the women’s health phsyiotherapist after each client’s assessment greatly deepened my knowledge of pelvic floor issues and how to accomodate them as part of our exercise programs.
And still to this day I remind women that this is an absolutely essential first step to understand exactly what is happening for them when they experience incontinence, prolapse, painful sex or other pelvic concerns. Pelvic health is a large and complex area and I can never presume to know better than the experts.
I am a teacher, but I have a huge passion for learning. Over time I worked out exactly what the messages women needed to hear to empower them to make wise exercise decisions for their body at that time. I was able to craft them succinctly. And to ensure that all women received all of the knowledge I had to impart, I scheduled the messages into the 10 week program.
Every session was bookended with partner stretching and a pelvic floor meditation. We never skipped this part. I watched the women lie down, visibly relax and take this precious 10 minutes to re-center. for many women it was also the only time they dedicated to strengthening their pelvic floor (in isolation). We all know pelvic floor exercises should be practised daily… but how many days has it been since you last thought about them?
The role of hormones have an enormous influence on our physical body and how it responds to exercise. Exercise raises cortisol and that is not necessarily a bad thing, as that is how we get stronger. However too much cortisol can impact on sleeping habits, weight gain and overall wellness. What I saw on the faces of the women who lay down, closed their eyes and went within, backed the research that including a short meditation in an exercise session was incredibly beneficial.
I wanted to create a resource that women could use on the days that they were not working out with me. And so I partnered with a beautiful meditation teacher — Sara Brooke from The Space in Between to create two meditations:
- A meditation. Just like the one I had honed at the exercise class. But I also wanted to embed powerful messages. Sara knows all the science around the crafting of a meditation, the power of music and the appropriate tempo and tone of voice to allow the mind to accept these messages.
- An active practice. The research makes very clear that pelvic floor exercises in isolation (i.e. when you are not moving, and completely focused just on these muscles) strengthen the pelvic floor and positively impact incontinence and prolapse symptoms. However, we need to condition our pelvic floor to switch on when we are lifting heavy washing, putting our toddler into the car seat, running after said toddler and of course when we work out. This active practice programs the brain to think about switching on your pelvic floor when you lift, move suddenly, cough or sneeze, until it becomes your habit.
Together we physically created the CD’s with barcodes (remember those things!) and also put it up on iTunes. WOW, another professional learning curve! I charged $35 for the double CD and sold plenty.
Here is what others have said about Active Pelvic Practice — the Gift of Inner Strength:
“This CD set is a brilliant tool, not only for better health but for improved wellbeing. A stroke of genius to combine positive affirmations and pelvic floor exercises. Talk about efficient multi-tasking!”
Claire McFee, Author of Organize Your Health and Wellbeing Naturally
“As a Women’s Health Physiotherapist, and mother of two, I believe Active Pelvic Floor is a wonderful tool to help guide and motivate you in your pelvic floor exercises.”
Hillary Schwantzer, Inform Physiotherapy.
“Active Pelvic Practice has turned my life around. With a holistic approach to vitality and fitness this program has worked from the inside out. It has strengthened my pelvic floor and my confidence, in intimacy and in living a vital life.”
Thea Bates, beautiful client
Starting November 9th, my friend Deb Johnstone has put together a free online event with over 7 expert women in midlife (plus me!) to help women in middle life create the life they love.
I had a great time in the interview (pre-recorded), sharing my passion and three effective tricks to exercising safely. Deb asked each of the presenters to provide a free gift. I knew exactly what I would like to gift for women who join us — a copy of the Active Pelvic Practice meditation!
As CD’s are a bit of a relic, and to get it from iTunes will cost $35, I have re-released it as an MP4 file which is easy to access via your phone, plug into your ears and go! Go and reduce your cortisol, take time to relax and strengthen your pelvic floor!
If you would like to join me and Deb and seven other amazing speakers
And you will receive the Active Pelvic Practice Meditation for FREE – as my gift to you!
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