THE ART-CRAFT OF TEACHING YOGA
Cesarean Sections, Back Pain, Hot Yoga
Cesarean sections (C-sections) cause many problems for females. It seems common that the women develop back pain as early as 2-3 months since the cesarean section was done during delivery.
I did a little research (checked-in with one of my longtime gurus, Paul Check), came up with a theory on the problem, and at the end I will try to come up with a reasonable solution.

When the abdominal muscles have been cut, there are wounds. Then, when the layers of abdominals are sewn back together, there will be scarring remaining, as well as possible adhesion (muscles are sticking to one another rather than sliding over one another).

Because of the scar tissue present and the "stickiness" of the layers of abdominal muscles, the person experiences pain in that area.

As you may already know, pain is the most powerful "reprogramming" stimulus known to humans, right?

Not only does pain inhibit the nervous system and weakens the muscles, but also programs the body to avoid recruiting the hurt parts, and look for other muscle recruitment.
For example, when we need to stabilize the spine for daily activities (as well as yoga asanas), in the case of the cesarean cut, the female Student tends to avoid using abdominals and recruits the back muscles instead which leads to back pain.

In addition, the smaller, lower portion of the gluts (butt muscles) is used 'over-time' in order to stabilize the weak pelvis—which leads to the atrophy of the larger butt muscles—which leads to "saggy bottom" or "heart-bottom syndrome"—which women think is not very cool at all.

If you think the post-cesarean-section trauma is leading you (or your yoga students) to losing your ability to coordinate the abdominal wall to stabilize the spine, and therefore you're experiencing back pain, as a solution I prescribe modified Hot Yoga practice (especially the standing postures) 3-4 days a week, combined with:

  • Attention directed to using the abdominal lift during the Hot Yoga practice (belly button in, or as I call it a mild uddhiyanabandha.)
  • In addition, I would recommend a couple of abdominal-stability exercises to be performed at home, 5 minutes daily.
Both of those points you'd need to discuss with me or with your yoga teacher in person. Hope this helps; your comments and questions are welcome! My email address can be found below.
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