Diastasis Rectified

My journey to heal postpartum diastasis recti

My 4 favorite sitting postures and how they’re getting in my way of healing this diastasis

8 Comments

Certification Pre-Req Pack

Whole Body Alignment Pre-Req Pack

I got my pre-requisite pack from The Restorative Exercise Institute! Giddy excitement mixed with overwhelm, that. I was up reading Alignment Matters last night and couldn’t go to sleep because of all the things to learn. You should get all this information as soon as you have a body to take care of!

There are so many new things I’m learning: my feet are like sonar for your body, my tight shoulder girdle is contributing to poochy stomach, I shouldn’t have to make noise while passing gas, menstrual cramps can be mollified, tight calves are imperative to address, poking your pelvis forward is not the same as good posture, and on and on. So many things to discuss!

Today, however, I want to talk about sitting because I sure do a lot of it. Have you ever read Dear Zoo 20 times in a row? Built 105 towers of blocks to be knocked over 105 times? Fallen asleep in childs’ pose while someone crawled onto your skull? No? Well, these are a daily occurrence for me. I no longer have to spend eight hours a day at a desk, hallelujah, but there are other challenges associated with repeated activities.

Repeated body postures tell us something, and for me I tend toward these four almost exclusively:

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Did I do a good job distracting you from my nursing pads on the chair?

Anyway, these are my four sitting postures. Everything else hurts almost immediately in my upper back or hips or hamstrings or somewhere. Ouch. So it’s not that these are terrible ways to posture your body but that my body is tight and loose and misaligned in certain ways that these four are the path to least resistance. For me. Yours will be different.

The “Hello Incontinence”

I think I developed that foot sitting habit during pregnancy and picked it right back up after perineal healing – because leaking. It’s always my right foot. My pelvis is tilted as a result and so my spine has to accommodate (as you can see, since my torso looks like a backwards “C”). 

The Pelvis Tucker Sacrum Crusher

Why, oh why, do I love this one so much? Clearly I’m taking any stretch out of my hamstring by tucking my pelvis and drawing up my knees. I also don’t have to activate my abdominals because my arms are holding me in a ball and I’m leaning up against the wall or couch. I tend to get numbness in butt-town on this one, but that does not stop me.

The Go-To

Always right leg over left, usually with bent over spine and shoulders. If I sit on the floor, this is always my first posture. Again, pelvis tucked or in the process of slowly tucking. I’ve been trying to cross left over right more and keep sway in my low back while not thrusting my ribs and that does not usually last long. 

The Tight Hammy

Wow, are those legs popped up or what?! I think, “oh, I’ll stretch out my legs in front of me!” and then I end up bending one because of those tight hamstrings. Instead of sitting with my pelvis in a more neutral position and using my abs to hold me up, I have to curve over and pop my legs up for it to work.

Plan of Action

  • Stretch the hamstrings the right way
  • Open up the shoulders on a bolster
  • Ribs down
  • MIX IT UP WITH DIFFERENT POSTURES. I have to be really aware of trying new positions, even if they feel weird. These four are like perfectly well-worn shoes that feel so soft and familiar.
  • Psoas release and stretch (will post more about this later)

What are your favorite go-to sitting postures and what do they tell you about your body? 

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Author: diastasisrectified

I am charting my progress as I recover from a diastasis recti and get back to an active lifestyle.

8 thoughts on “My 4 favorite sitting postures and how they’re getting in my way of healing this diastasis

  1. Yay!! Lots of potential in that box, for SURE!! Congratulations on taking the plunge. Have fun sifting through it all, and I can’t wait for you to get to the lectures!

    • Debbie! You are the best. Thank you, thank you for the encouragement. I am charging through the first book and am already boring everyone in my known universe with the minutae of biomechanical function. It is blowing my mind.

      I’m going to Katy’s seminar this Saturday here in SF about baby carrying and child biomechanics, so I’m sure I’ll have lots to report back about that.

      Lastly, look out for your cameo soon. 😉 I got the flu last week, so I’m a little behind.

      • I know, RIGHT? You figure out really fast why her blog is called KatySays. I hear myself say that (well, Katy says…) a bajillion times a day, it seems. I’m so jealous that you get to go to her workshop! I would love to be there- even though my kiddos are beyond that stage… You will have a blast. Say hi to everyone there for me, and I’m so glad you’ll be hooked up with Nancy, too. She’s a wealth of information and an awesome person. Enjoy! And keep writing! You are going to help so many people!!

  2. Found your blog while searching for info about diastasis recti. Don’t know if I found it through Katy B’s blog-I can’t remember, but just wanted you to know that I am diligently reading everything you post as I am 12 weeks postpartum, have DR and have been seeing a physical therapist who specializes in pelvic issues and such and also doing a DR program something like Mutu I’m guessing. Anyhow, would love to hear anything and everything you learn at Katy’s seminar-I just got her book a few weeks ago and have been getting in as much reading as I can while taking care of a newborn and a 2.5 year old. : ) Feeling just as frustrated as I have been limited to walking/stationary bike and no resistance training/lifting, and doing pelvic floor and SI joint exercises every day is not helping this extra pregnancy weight go away at all. Excited to follow along with your journey and also please know that there are probably many of us out there reading along, happy to find others out there with frustrating DR(and alignment-thanks Katy!) issues that there isn’t a lot of information out about (my midwives had no idea about DR, as did my Dad who is a MD in internal medicine)! Anyways, thank you and keep up the fabulous writing! : )

    • Heidi,

      First things first: congrats on your new baby! 🙂 And I’m so sorry you are dealing with these issues, too.

      Thank you so much for joining me. I, too, have been really frustrated that doctors, midwives, doulas, and other support professionals seem to have no clue. Even physical therapists seem to know how to treat the symptoms (to an extent) but then not fix the cause of the problem in the first place. It is maddening, truly. For example, when I had SI joint problems in pregnancy (to the point of not being able to walk or sit or lay down…which makes for fun sleeping) I wish my physical therapist had said “hmm, this looks like it could be pointing to other issues. And hey, do you happen to wear heels ever?” But no. Okay, rant over.

      I just went to a seminar with Katy last weekend and have so much to share. Stay tuned and please let me know how your healing goes! The more we learn and share, the faster we all get back to health.

      Emily

  3. Hi! I am so incredibly thankful to have found your blog. I am 8 weeks postpartum with my third, a baby girl. I also have 2 year old and 6 year old boys. I’ve always been overweight and def am at my heaviest now. I tend to carry my weight in my middle (that’s why I joke that pregnancy is my best look!) Around 4 week pp I started to notice that my stomach did NOT look right. My husband agreed that it was protruding in a way I hadn’t ever before and was hard at my midline. I asked my midwife about it at my appt last week and she said sort of casually “your insides are pushing out since your so stretched out….do some holds.” She made no mention of DR. I ran home and told my husband we were starting an ab routine asap and I would start doing Tae Bo online! Well thank the Lord I stumbled upon the phrase “diastasis recti” and after googling it realized that I had it for sure (I am somewhere between a 3 and 4 and a VERY soft middle.) Even in the last 3 days of talking about it, my well meaning friends are encouraging me to do some crunches and planks. I know realize in would have only made things worse. I bought the Bounce Back Fast DVD right away (prob because it was the first DR site I found.) Then I came to the Tupler method-feels to overwhelming right now. I homeschool and work part time and the splint was intimidating. A commenter on a Tupler-users blog mention Mutu. I headed over and right away felt so at home. I haven’t bought the package yet. Will prob do today. I should also mention I have a cyctocele and have leakage regularly. After reading some stuff on the Mutu website, I see how they are all connected!

    A few questions for ya:

    Why didn’t you go with Tupler?
    Would you recommend splinting during the exercises in Mutu?
    Did you do the Mutu 12 week or Mutu focus?

    I appreciate you sharing your journey. I felt so alone on Friday night of this week…..cried throughout the weekend….and feel pretty hopeful this morning!

    Blessings,
    Shana Carroll
    Long Island, NY

    • Shana! Congratulations on your new baby girl. I wish you didn’t have to deal with all this other stuff so you could just focus on that precious baby and your other kids. I am so sorry. I have been there with the tears and the feelings of hopelessness.

      In response to your questions:

      1) I didn’t go with Tupler because it seemed very focused on that one section of the body instead of a more holistic approach. I have had pain all over (headaches, upper back pain, etc.) since pregnancy and birth (and even before that) that made me realize that all of this stuff is connected. It seemed to me that Wendy recognizes that and has developed a program to cover as much ground as possible. That being said, I have the suspicion that users of the Tupler method may see faster results but they may not last as long because they are dependent on many repetitive exercises instead of all-over life change. Just a hunch, not sure. Would love input from any readers out there who have done Tupler.

      2) Splinting. Tupler says splinting is like wearing a brace while a broken bone heals whereas non-splinters would say that the splint masks an overall larger problem (poor alignment, high intra-abdominal pressure). It seems to me that splinting would be most helpful if you have a very hard time keeping your body out of positions that make your guts squeeze through your abs and dome up (lovely imagery, isn’t it?). Every time you see that dome, the DR is going in the direction opposite of healing. The splint helps keep the abs together and prevent that. IDEALLY, though, you learn to use your body in ways where you aren’t doming anyway and you are decreasing that abdominal pressure. If you are all-over weak and tight and exhausted and need a little time just to heal and take it easy, then splint! Just don’t consider it a forever-solution.

      3) I am doing the 12 week, although it’s taking me quite a bit longer than 12 weeks because I’m having to go back and fix bigger alignment issues before progressing.

      Whew, I hope that wasn’t too much. THANK YOU for joining me and I hope to do everything I can to give you and others like you information that can help provide hope and a light at the end of the healing journey. I haven’t gotten to the end, but I know it begins with being gentle and grace-filled toward ourselves and our healing bodies that worked so hard for us. And tell those well-meaning friends to stuff a sock in it! 🙂

      Emily

  4. Congratulations for your article. All of them actually.

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