When my youngest son was born, I had just had 4 babies in 5 years. The last two babies were 9 pounds each. I'm about 5'2" tall. Immediately after giving birth to number four, I experienced heaviness in my pelvic floor. My midwife told me to wait it out, my body was still healing and it was normal. But deep down I knew what I was feeling wasn't normal. I had done this before and not experienced this heaviness. The best way to describe it is that it felt like I was sitting on a tennis ball and that I was falling out. I was totally freaked out. I cried. I felt powerless. My doctor told me that the only options were surgery or to live with it. I didn't feel right about surgery so I didn't pursue that. A line up of all my diagnoses, I had diastasis recti (DR) (which is a separation of the abdominal muscles), pelvic organ prolapse (POP) (which is where your pelvic floor muscles stop doing their job and your insides start falling out), chronic low back (SIJ) pain and neck pain and an umbilical hernia to top it all off. I felt like my body had betrayed me. I felt broken.
I went into research mode a few months after giving birth. I felt deep down there must be something I could do to heal my body. I tried a few different programs. I wrote up a comparison of two here, but I wanted to focus on the one that brought healing and describe it and my experience as best as I could.
When I found Restore Your Core taught by Lauren Ohayon, I had worked through a few other programs and systems - so I was desperate, but skeptical. I was starting to feel like maybe I was just destined to be broken; but, I couldn't give up that tiny bit of hope. So I took the plunge after watching a lot of Lauren's YouTube videos and free resources she has on her Facebook Group. I also saw how involved she was on the page answering questions. Seeing all these women on the page sharing their testimonials I was starting to hope.
Pulling the trigger on a $200 dollar purchase was hard for me. I'm frugal. I buy my kids clothes at second hand stores and adhere to a pretty strict budget, making every extra purchase very intentional. I just had this gut feeling, so I ran it by my husband (we run bigger purchases by each other) and he said, "Go for it!" I think he was getting really sad watching me struggle so hard.
Once I purchased I was surprised at how educational the content in the program was. It's more than a core exercise program - it's a core rehabilitation program. Lauren digs into postural habits, how we breathe, what shoes we wear, how to properly engage the core and pelvic floor, and explains the "why" and "how" succinctly and clearly. I committed. The first week of the program is going through the foundations before you even move into the exercise portion of the program. I'll be honest, I skipped ahead because I was excited, but came back to it as I realized I had skipped some information that was crucial to understanding how to implement these moves and engagements.
There are 4 stages of the exercise program with 3 exercise videos in each. The program is designed to rotate through these 3 videos for 2-3 weeks and then progress onto the next stage. I took longer in the first two stages because I felt in my own body I needed to really focus on not going too fast. I noticed changes in my body and strength almost immediately. My lower back pain was the first thing I saw disappear. I hadn't been without that pain since high school - so that was crazy and exciting. I slowly saw improvements with my DR and POP. I probably took 6 months to complete the 4 stages. At the end of the 6 months my DR and POP were asymptomatic! I was feeling amazing. I chose to go through the program again, and to my surprise it was harder the second time! I had tuned in enough to my body to start catching all the little ways I was compensating, and made adjustments and felt much more challenged. I feel like I learned so much more the second time through.
The program also comes with so many extra tutorials and webinars, from SIJ exercises to webinars and other extra videos the explain specific ideas and concepts. Over 2 years later I still use RYC™ several times a week. My doctors have confirmed my DR and POP are healed and the exact words that came out of their mouths were "Wow!". If I ever do have my SI Joint flare up, I know exactly what to do to reset and strengthen it.
Last year, Lauren opened up a teacher training for her approach and program. Deep down I knew this is what I wanted to be when I grew up. I already had my training from Nutritious Movement™ but wanted to go deeper into understanding the female body and how to help support women through teaching these powerful movement tools. So I went. I traveled to Miami for 8 days of training! It was amazing and these protocols are so well thought out, holistic and just plain smart. I haven't found another program as smart and comprehensive as this one. I now teach these methods to groups of women in person (I'm in Oregon City OR if you're local!) and I get SO much positive feedback. Women getting relief from headaches, back pain, knee pain and more - all while they gain strength in their pelvic floor and core! It's empowering work and so amazing to see small and totally doable shifts make such large changes in these women's lives.
This has been my experience with the program. At the risk of sounding dramatic - it's changed my life. I feel strong and capable, able to run and jump and play with my kids without fear of peeing my pants or hurting my back with a small tweak or mis-step. I've gone from feeling 'too old' to participate in life, to being able to feel carefree and live my best life in my own skin. I've found fulfilling work empowering other women. I'm so very grateful and thankful! If you are a woman experiencing dysfunction - I hope you take the time to look into Restore Your Core and see if it's a good fit for you too!
Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase. The thoughts and opinions are all entirely true and accurate. I would never recommend anything I didn't fully believe in, no matter what the commission was.