The importance of the pelvic floor: an interview with Natalia Tenedor

NATALIA

It was very exciting to run into Natalia recently, at a yoga workshop, of course! During our breaks, Natalia told me all about the low pressure fitness training she’s been studying and teaching and about how it helps with a variety of pelvic floor problems. (What better topic to be discussed over lunch?) Of course, I loved listening to all this new and exciting information and I think you’ll find it quite interesting as well.  

Natalia, tell us about how you went from yoga to low pressure fitness training?

I had been practicing yoga for a while and I decided to take a teacher training course, I loved what yoga had to offer. After my second child, and thanks to my yoga practice, I noticed the consequences of both pregnancies and child-births which still hadn’t fully recovered from. I did some research and learned that some of my symptoms either were pathological or could become pathological. That’s when I discovered the low pressure fitness technique and all the benefits it promised. I decided to train as a facilitator to understand in depth what the technique consisted in and understand what it was based on, I couldn’t just take a class. With only a few practice sessions I started to feel incredible benefits: all my back pain was gone, I stopped having urinary incontinece problems, my abdominal diastasis decreased (a separation of the rectus abdominus muscles) and, with the help of a specialized PT, I stopped passing air from my vagina, which was a horrible thing to experience in a yoga class. 

Which types of problems affect the people attending your classes?

Most of the cases I encounter have to do with urinary incontinence. You’d think it’s something that only affects elderly people, whereas the high percentage of young people suffering from this problem is quite high. It typically affects women who have given birth, high intensity athletes, runners, etc. It is also a problem that affects men, although this is less talked about. The practice of low pressure exercises helps these people reduce or eliminate the problem completely in just over a month and a half.

Another group of people that come to my classes are those with postural problems, like back pain, low mobility, etc.. they usually start to feel better after the fist session. Sometimes it surprises me to se how quickly people improve.  

Others want to simply look better, (you can reduce your waistline by up to 10 centimeters!) but the best thing is that afterwards they start to notice other benefits brought on by the practice.

Finally, the last group are women right after childbirth. I do not know of a more effective technique for postpartum recovery. With just a little bit of practice these women regain their posture and their figure, they also reposition their internal organs in a way that is completely non-invasive.

By what so many pelvic floor dysfunctions?

We could say that pelvic floor disfunction is the price we pay for standing in an upright position. The pelvic floor is a very complex anatomical and functional unit. It was “designed” as a wall when were were still moving about on all fours. When we began to stand it became a floor, and then is when we started to have problems with its function. The weight we bare with our pelvic floor (in pregnancy, when overweight, living a sedentary life, during hormonal changes, when loading excessive weight, practicing certain sports, just to mention a few examples) weakens our abdominal and pelvic floor musculature. This is how we begin to create a disfunction in how we manage the increase of pressure on our abdominal musculature and pelvic floor in everyday life.

 

 

What is the normal role, or the physiological function of the pelvic floor?

The pelvic floor has three basic functions: the containment of the organs in the abdomen, anal and urinary continence and it plays a  very important role in sexuality. It is just a matter of time before a disfunction or irregular function in one of these three areas will lead to a disfunction in any of the others. This is why it is important to take steps towards recovery, whether it is by focusing on prevention or visiting a specialist as soon as we notice any problem or discomfort.

How can we care for our pelvic floor in our every day life?

Avoid sports which create a repetitive force of impact on our pelvic floor, like jumping or running, avoid prolonged coughing, and avoid traditional abdominal exercises. It is also important to adequately recover from childbirth, and above all prepare for pregnancy! We are accustomed to preparing for childbirth, but what about pregnancy? It is an exceptional state that lasts nine months and that undoubtedly produces many physiological changes… It is imperative to do preventive work, low pressure exercise is a tool that anyone can have access to.  Once you’ve learned the basic technique you just need to practice a couple of times a week for about 20 minutes. That’s not too hard is it?


About Natalia Tenedor: Her passion for languages and travel lead her to a degree in translation and interpretation. Later, after becoming a mother and falling deeply in love with the human body, she trained as a Yoga instructor and as a low pressure fitness educator. The combination of her passions has led her to join the training team of Low Pressure Fitness on a national and international level. Natalia currently teaches low pressure fitness classes in her hometown and trains teachers abroad. 

If you want to contact Natalia can do so through Facebook or by emailing her at nataliatenedor@yahoo.es.

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This article was written by
Julia Zatta

Julia is a yoga anatomy teacher and bodyworker based in Barcelona, Spain.

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