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How I Healed My Sexual Health Issues with Yoga + How You Can Heal Yours Too

Annabelle Blythe
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A year ago I intimately witnessed the stigma surrounding sexual health issues. After days of uneasiness, I ended up in the hospital, doubled over in pelvic pain and was soon diagnosed with Pelvic Inflammatory Disease.
 
I was shamed by nurses and doctors, criticized for my number of sexual partners and made to feel guilty that I risked infertility. I was vulnerable and terrified, and had never felt more confused or alone.
 
I came to the realization during a conversation with my beautiful, supportive Naturopath that this very physical disease manifested from my continued intimacy with a partner I knew to be toxic and emotionally abusive.
 

The relationship left me completely disconnected from myself, so my body decided to knock me down with a pain so fierce I had no choice but to pay attention.

 
This partner made me feel smaller than small, and I gladly gave my power away to him based on the imaginary throne I had built up underneath his feet. The relationship sucked the life out of me, and as a result, I nearly lost my ability to create life.
 
I am speaking of my experience a year later, because I want every woman or man who has met a diagnosis with guilt to know that they are not alone.
 
We live in a world where these parts of our bodies are not to be spoken of, yet I promise you that you do not have to carry the weight of this shame. It is only the pressure of the unspoken weighing you down.
 
Sharing my experience with Pelvic Inflammatory Disease through writing was my true final step in the emotional healing that took place long after the physical signs and symptoms of the disease dissipated.
 
If you are feeling stuck, or lost, or scared – I promise you that you are okay. You are worthy of love and belonging, and everything you need – all the wisdom and guidance that you seek – is inside if you choose to listen.
 
In the early days of recovery, I was drawn to movements that connected me back with myself. Our bodies are beautiful teachers, so take care and pay attention to what they whisper.
 

Here are five physical yoga-based movements to get you back to feeling your whole, healthy, confident, and nurtured self:

 
1. Cat Cow Exploration
 
Start in tabletop position on your hands and knees. Don’t worry so much about where your hands or knees land – let your stance be wide and natural.
 
Begin by closing your eyes and breathing deep into your belly. As you breathe, begin moving from your middle, your core. Move your ribcage. Move your hips. Move your belly. Roll around through your whole spine, in every direction – up, down, forward and back.
 
Explore all the space around you, and all the space you have inside. Allow your breath to lead and the movement to follow, breathing full and deep the whole way through.
 
 
2. Forward Fold Roll-Ups
 
From your hands and knees, gently find a neutral spine. Tuck your toes and take a big inhale to lift your hips all the way up and back to a gentle Downward Facing Dog.
 
From there, when you’re ready, take a nice easy stroll all the way to the top of your mat. From your forward fold, widen your stance a bit and allow your knees to bend gently. Soften your entire body here. Allow your upper body to hang heavy (including your head and neck) as you gently roll all the way up to standing, one vertebrae at a time.
 
Once you get to the top, take a big breath in and reach your arms up overhead. Take a long easy breath out to roll all the way back down. Keep this going, gently allowing your body to move with your breath. Go slow and enjoy the ride.
 

 
3. Squat Exploration
From a forward fold, widen your stance to about shoulder-distance apart. Soften your knees, gently plant your palms onto the ground and bring some weight into your arms so you can easily sink into the squat, taking the pressure off your knees.
 
Explore and move around in your squat, maybe opening your arms to each side, or gently sway around in your hips. Maybe you can fold forward and let your arms and torso hang heavy to open up even more. Take your time to turn inward here, allowing your hips to open as you continue to breathe deeply.
 
 
4. Seated Heart Opener
 
From a squat, gently come to sitting cross-legged, kneeling, lotus – whatever feels best in your body. When you are comfortable, walk your fingertips back behind you, and take a big inhale to open up your chest towards the sky, maybe lifting your hips up off the mat a bit. Breathe into your whole body as you allow your heart to open.
 
Slowly lower and release back to center. Take a few breaths here and continue with the seated heart opener, flowing with your breath and repeating a few times through.
 
 
5. Seated Breaths
 
Finding a comfortable seat, bring one hand to your heart, and the other hand to your belly. Breathe here for a while. Gently close your eyes. See if you can feel your heart pumping for you. Feel your body. Repeat in your head or out loud: I am safe. I am enough. I am loved.
 
 
The most beneficial way to heal from any trauma or illness is to tune back inward, connecting with ourselves and how we feel. Our bodies are incredibly intelligent teachers and healers and always know what they need, alerting us when we need to slow down and check in.
 

The most beneficial way to heal from any trauma or illness is to tune back inward.

 
Do not ignore the signs that external help may be needed, as I deeply encourage everyone to always have an objective healthcare practitioner that they trust on their team.
 
May this practice of tuning in be a beautiful way of taking care of your whole self.
 

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Annabelle Blythe

Annabelle is a holistic nutritionist, coach, yoga teacher and non-fiction writer. Annabelle’s mission is to empower people to be their own healers, mastering both their physical and emotional well being. She practices what she preaches, living with her heart wide open. You can find her on Instagram and Facebook or visit her on her website annabelleblythe.com.

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