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February 28, 2011

Pelvic Floor Goddess, Leslie Howard Creates Magical Space.

Love your pelvis.
~Leslie Howard

I first came into contact with the work of Leslie Howard in June 2010 when she came to do a workshop at Yogaview in Chicago, and I was quickly transformed into a big fan of her teaching. It was so exciting to have a formal introduction to my pelvic floor!

It was almost as if a pelvic floor goddess had said, “Hi Brooks, here is your pelvis.” because in the time between then and now my pelvis has indeed been making herself heard.

Leslie Howard with her model pelvis in one hand and a model femur bone in the other at Yogaview in Chicago.

My first meeting with Leslie Howard created a magical space for me to meet my pelvis on a neutral background. Before that, my pelvis had been colored by mostly bad memories.

I’m sure that many female pelvises have had it much worse, but my pelvis has suffered, too. She was beaten with a belt, bitten by dogs, touched meanly by boys… As a child she was told to keep her knees together, else flies would go in. Many more horrible (to me) stories, or maybe just ordinary…

Maybe you have a few stories about yourself or other pelvises?

Well, at some point it seems I cut myself off from a relationship with my own pelvis! Only an extremely functional connection was present. So it also seems that we needed an introduction to get things on a healthy and loving track.

In the time since the first workshop, I have been inspired in my yoga practice and teaching to include more points about the pelvis. I even started a research project and blog called mulabloga to honor this budding interest. And it has felt so great to welcome her in—my pelvis!

And I just had the good fortune to experience Leslie Howard again this weekend at Yogaview!

She and her model pelvis, named “Ruby”, introduced workshop participants to the anatomy of the pelvis, including the beautiful bones, organs, and musculature “down there”. We also did exercises and partner work to get a better sense of how to work and relax this important part of the body.

"Ruby" the female pelvis is handled by loving hands.

It is a place to be loved and honored.

My pelvis has always seemed to be a vulnerable site for attack.

Sometimes when I’m practicing yoga, including awareness of my pelvic floor, I feel just horrible—almost sick. I think it’s just the old feelings bubbling off. And other times I feel simply great and more whole than I did when I was unconsciously avoiding the truth of my pelvis, which contains both beauty and horror.

So the truth for me seems to be that I love my pelvis, and now perhaps I also have the maturity and courage to be there for her sorrows, too.

I know that my pelvis needs honoring, and that this honoring starts with me.

Dearest pelvis, my one and only, I will treat you with love and care…

* See Leslie Howard’s website here. *

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