Your Inner Feline

My precious kitty Pearl Jam (PJ) recently needed an x-ray on her broken leg and I was fascinated to see all the little vertebrae inside her tail. I often admire her delicate tail control as she effortlessly swishes it side to side, between her legs, even a gentle curl of the very tip as she lays it over her eyes to sleep. Here’s the amazing news – we have the very same muscles in our pelvic floor that PJ uses to move her tail! It’s would seem impossible to communicate through or move a tail when we don’t have one, right? Read on…….

The tail moving muscles are called the Ilio and Ischiococcygeus muscles (they span from your sitting bones to your coccyx).  Put your hands in under your ‘sitting bones’, grow tall through your crown, and breathe slowly with tummy and rib opening breaths.

Now close your eyes and attach an imaginary ‘tail’ to your coccyx (it sits above your anal sphincter). As you breathe out slowly, softly and gently draw your ‘tail’ up through your legs, hold it there and breathe for 5 to 10 seconds. Relax and release your ‘tail’ back to the start position.

Next step in discovering your feline skills is to rest your ‘tail’ behind on your chair. This time as your breathe out, slowly draw your ‘tail’ from side to side. Rest, relax your pelvic floor and try again. This exercise is difficult but worth trying if you have good mind/body connection skills. If you find it difficult to do sitting up, then try to repeat in the yoga ‘child pose’. This position gives you more of the ‘closing’ sensation of drawing the pelvic floor muscles inwards and upwards then side to side.

After you learn to master (or mistress) these pelvic floor skills, try them in a fast, strong action. Remember to relax in between. This quick action is needed to close the pelvic outlets before sneezing, tripping of suddenly lifting. When you practice these skills regularly, your body learns to automatically use these muscles when you sneeze, cough or move suddenly.

Next time you watch your kitty or a friendly stray on the street, remember to practice your own ‘feline skills’. Having reclaimed your ‘tail control’, use it, don’t lose it.