Birthlight Yoga for the Repair and Prevention of Diastasis Recti

Diastasis Rectus Abdominis (Diastasis Recti) seems to have increased in the last two decades. This midline separation of women’s abdominal wall associated with pregnancy is often left untreated during the postnatal period and in later years. This condition is not prevented by keep fit practices, including some forms of yoga for pregnancy. Yet with a balanced yoga practice, the midline tissue of the Linea Alba can be expected to be flexible and strong enough to withstand most pregnancies. A healthy abdominal wall is essential for a pain-free lower back, urinary continence, sexual health and pelvic organ support.

This CPD day is for Perinatal and Postnatal Yoga Teachers, Baby Nurture and Baby Yoga teachers, Postnatal Doulas, Obstetric Physiotherapists, Health Visitors, Well Woman Yoga Teachers and other interested professionals. The day imparts embodied practices not taught elsewhere, that can make a difference in both the prevention and repair of Diastasis Recti.

In Birthlight yoga, our focus is to promote core muscular elasticity and tone together for the greater ease and wellbeing of women before, during and after childbirth.
The practices taught are simple and can be integrated in women’s busy lives through “yoga both on and off the mat”, irrespective of their level of fitness or their experience of yoga, whether they have recently given birth or they have been affected by this condition for years.

Participants in the CPD will gain awareness of:

  • Different forms of Diastasis Recti, based on illustrated anatomy
  • Sensitive periods in pregnancy and after birth: which asanas to avoid when and which practices de-risk the development of Diastasis Recti
  • Different practices and sequences to repair Diastasis Recti:
    • in the postpartum period
    • during the first two years after childbirth
    • in subsequent pregnancies
    • for repair in cases of long-standing Diastasis Recti
  • Links between tension in ilio-psoas muscles and Diastasis Recti
  • Links between overworked or weak pelvic floor muscles and Diastasis Recti
  • The importance of relaxation and the use of “relaxed stretching”, using the three diaphragms (thoracic, pelvic and uvular) to promote elasticity and resilience.

Practices taught will include:

  • Methods for checking and self-check of Diastasis Recti
  • Discussion of the pros and cons of “binding” with rebozo in light of the latest findings on connective tissue and collagen repair
  • Spinal alignment/support/use of props to facilitate effective use of yoga breathing and micro-movements engaging the transverse abdominis and diaphragm as a foundation for the prevention and repair of Diastasis Recti
  • Micro-movements in supported supine position for new mothers (whether birth has been vaginal or by C-section), and for women affected by Diastasis Recti long after childbirth to co-activate abdominal and pelvic floor muscles
  • Therapeutic micro-movements and Vinyasa flow stretches in Chair Yoga
  • Review of transitions to avoid aggravating Diastasis Recti in yoga and in daily life
  • Adaptations of standing and sitting Asanas for women affected by Diastasis Recti
  • Set progressive sequences for teachers to use over several weeks of practice.

Participants will acquire additional knowledge of:

  • Yoga-based resources to help new mothers, pregnant women and mothers affected by Diastasis Recti to empower themselves with simple tools of therapeutic yoga
  • The convergence of recent A & P research and Ayurveda about women’s core strength throughout their transition(s) to motherhood and over their life-cycle
  • Contributing factors to Diastasis Recti and resources for helping to  prevent Diastasis Recti in subsequent pregnancies
  • The effectiveness of yoga breathing combined with isometric and isotonic practices in relation to the body’s web of fascia: “toning from within”.

The design and provision of yoga-based practices to address discomforts and dysfunctions associated with pregnancy, birth and the postpartum are central to Birthlight’s vision.  This CPD is based on several hundred cases of Diastasis Recti successfully addressed using practices taught and developed by Françoise Freedman over thirty years of researching and teaching. In the last decade, it has been a pleasure to collaborate with Kirsteen Ruffell, Birthlight Training tutor and Cranio-Sacral Therapist, in co-developing therapeutic postnatal yoga micro-movements.

This CPD has a 6 hour credit.

 


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