As a yoga instructor and trainer for over 10 years, I thought I had a good idea of what it meant to have a healthy functioning core. However, after my third pregnancy I discovered that was not the case. During this time, I learned that I had a diastasis.
Below, you will find a full routine I filmed for this ecourse, but before you watch it, there’s a bit more you need to know.
As I started to explore diastasis recti, what causes it, and how to heal one, I began to discover that my yoga practice was one factor that was negatively impacting the healing of my diastasis.
In yoga there are many postures that can lead to flaring of the ribs. A few of those poses are downdog and almost all back bends like upward facing dog, camel and dancer.
It is very important that as you move into these poses you keep the rib cage in alignment with the spine and engage your transverse abdominal muscles (TVA). However, for some people – even with watching the alignment of the spine and engaging the TVA – any back bending poses may need to be avoided if you want to close your diastasis. The length of time in which you should abstain from backbends depends on each person’s unique body.
One of the major reasons why people get a diastasis is due to the flaring of the lower ribs. Flaring of the lower ribs means that during certain movements the lower front ribs thrust forward instead of staying in alignment with the spine. This movement forward causes the rectus abdominal muscles to be pulled apart which starts to lead a person down the path of a diastasis. Notice the markers on the image below…
Try this simple exercise to see if you flare your ribs outward. Standing tall with your side body facing a mirror, lift your arms up over your head and keep the arms raised. Look at your side profile in the mirror. Are your lower ribs vertical of your front hip bones (ASIS)? Or, are your lower ribs forward of your hips bones? If you find your ribs are forward that means you flare your ribs. Idealy, your lower ribs should be vertical of the front hip bones. Check out the picture as a visual reference to where the ribs and hips should be located.
Note from Bethany: While Fit2B typically doesn’t show a lot of skin, it’s important to accurately and scientifically display images of what we’re discussing for purposes of education and awareness.
Click here to read about how proper alignment of the upper body is very important for a functional core and closing off a diastasis.
For some people, a tight psoas might be the cause of the lower ribs moving outward. Click this link to learn how to release your psoas.
If you’re a member of Fit2B, you can access all of their Yoga Routines here.