posture- Kacey Lake
after my postpartum visit for my 4th baby in 5 years, my very sweet doctor gently suggested that i see a physio (london speak for physical therapist) for the muscle separation that remained in my abdomen. aka diastasis recti. and while i was not surprised that this had happened, i was surprised at how much the exercises i had done in the past were actually working to irritate the problem and not solve it. the more i had been working my abs with crunches and classes, the more i was neglecting the deep core that really had been rocked by pregnancy and i continued to work the outer muscles outward. who knew. but this is not a post about diastasis recti. or exercise…
this was about the other issue that came up when i was in that physio office on the kings road in chelsea. the physio took measurements and i smiled at how happy i truly felt with my postpartum body. not in a sense that it was looking a certain way, not at all. but in the sense that maturity seems to bring a comfort in my own skin that i didn’t know was in store. anyhow, she had me pull my shirt up and stand sideways to look in the wall of mirrors next to me. 7 weeks postpartum..
“stand normally.” and i did.
“ok. now stand like this.” she said as her cold hands brought my pelvis down & back and my chest out & up. and it was beautiful. “from carrying your belly and then carrying your babies, you tend to stand in a sway back position.” she explained. hips forward, shoulders slouched, back swayed. and as i went from posture to posture, the difference between the two was so distinct and somehow communicated volumes about what i want to say. who i wanted to be. meek vs bold, insecure vs confident, insignificant vs known & loved.
but what’s more is how much i realized it wasn’t just from babies. the posture that i have grown so accustomed to? i’m pretty sure also has to do with a posture of sucking in my stomach. like we women are supposed to do, right? a habit from long ago that is rife with making myself appear small. catching the affections of others with artificial ease and feigned assurance.
and i couldn’t believe how much this posture had become the norm. years of listening to a seemingly innocent negative voice in my head and a culture that told me to be a certain way, and it had totally taken over my body in a physical way.
anyways, she instructed me to place a hand flat on my chest and a hand flat on my pelvis. “you shouldn’t see your hand on your pelvis.” so i don’t. well, i try not to.
and as i flex the muscles of listening to my gut more, i am releasing the muscles that have been holding in my gut for so long. and as i press my shoulders up and forward, i lean into the using my voice and giving validity to the parts of myself that have been told for whatever reason to be quiet. jumping, kicking, full-belly laughing, singing loud, loving, kissing, being…
this crazy parallel of my postures.