One day, my roommate Laura sent me a Facebook event invite to a Yoga for Pelvic Health Retreat on Facebook. Yoga, pelvic health, and retreat all-in-one?? I was instantly intrigued. It was led by Casie Danenhauer, a Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist in LA, so I wandered over to her website to learn more. After reading her experience and holistic philosophy (including the mental/emotional impact on the pelvic bowl and health), I had a strong feeling she was the perfect fit for me. I wasn’t too familiar with pelvic floor rehab except that I was supposed to go to a program at Mayo Clinic for pelvic floor dysfunction, as diagnosed by my doctors there, likely a result of my colon surgery and contributing to constipation, among other things.
Screw Supposed To
I’m pretty tired of “supposed to do’s” by now and Mayo’s rehab program was one of those. It first took several months to get insurance approval, and even then, after numerous phone calls, no one could tell me how much would be covered (it could even be “covered”, but as out-of-network, which means a steep $$ deductible first) and what my actual cost would be. I didn’t trust it, nor did it feel right (thank goodness for my growing intuition). So I called Casie, had an initial consult, and booked my first appointment. Not many therapies have given me instant results, however this was one exception. Through internal and external manual therapy, breathing exercises, visualization and more, I felt relief in literally 24 hours. We continued to progress and I couldn’t be more grateful for Casie’s help, support and also friendship 🙂 Pelvic Floor PT’s can improve a lot of issues (for both men and women) that we may come to expect as “normal” or something we have to live with, which may not be the case! I highly recommend her or finding someone else with a more holistic treatment plan.
Pay Attention Already
Moving on to the retreat portion, I was lucky to be able to make it work and am so glad it did! It was the perfect weekend for both introspection and connection with 11 incredible women and soon-to-be new friends. Each had their own experiences, insights, struggles and triumphs. It was amazing to bond with these women truly from the heart, as we explored things like femininity, creativity, womb, life force…and found how intricately our thoughts and emotions are tied to our physical bodies and different manifestations (pain, tightness, etc).
It was on this retreat that I finally had time to just sit and think, with nothing else I needed to or even could do. I really tried to zero in on my heart and what I was longing for, that I maybe wasn’t paying attention to, or didn’t believe was valid, or that I could do.
I finally was able to not only listen to, but accept my inner desire. And this was to let go of all the things in my life that were weighing me down, and be free. Free to travel and explore this beautiful world. To get back in touch with nature, with pure human connection, try new things and learn along the way what feels good and right to me, and not anyone else.
So that is what I knew I needed to do. And I wasn’t exactly sure how. I was a little scared too, because it meant giving up so much of what I had built in LA – my home, roommates, friends, church, community, lifestyle, weather, entrepreneurial endeavors, health care providers, support system, etc. But I knew that what is meant to last, will last through my absence.
My beautiful new retreat friends!
From Dreams to Reality
My thoughts starting turning over how to make this dream a reality. In truth, I had been taking steps in this direction over the past year, without even knowing what for at the time…reducing my expenses, belongings, commitments, and building my health, energy, finances. The decision making process was short, but the preparation and prioritizing had been in the works for some time. I realized quickly that in order to afford to travel, I needed to give up my room in Venice Beach. I could get storage, but I didn’t want to have that many things I needed to keep. I decided my home in Minnesota would be the best base for my journey, with my family and their support. I then decided I could bike/Uber when back in LA and it was better to have my car in MN for local travel. And this way I could road trip back and see all (or at least many) of the places and people I’ve wanted to see. I had to be in Chicago for my dear friend’s (😊) wedding in early August, so planned backwards accordingly.
My parents came out to LA for a few days during my last week and it was SO wonderful! Not only did they help me immensely (I couldn’t have done it on my own nearly as well, it was so overwhelming), but I also got to share my life over the past 1.5 years with them…my house, roomies, neighborhood, friends, church, local cafes, etc and show that that LA is MUCH more than the media-focused Hollywood glamour 😉. There are some truly incredible people and places in LA that will always hold a special place in my heart ❤️.
Dinner with parents and roomies!
The Adventure Begins
So that is how my journey came to be. It all started with my pelvis ha. Our root. Our source of creativity. Where all life begins. If you’re into energetic, it’s interesting to note that the region from our pubic bone to navel is also the place of our 2nd chakra (svadhisthana, which means “the dwelling place of the self”…as I was getting back in touch with my self big time). I am not super aversed in chakras, but I do find their correlation increasingly relevant to things I’ve experienced in my life. They say to reignite your creativity and balance out your 2nd chakra, it helps to play like a child. And interestingly, I had felt like I lacked that joy and playfulness in my life.
Well, time to play 🙂
Best ever send off thanks to these two 🙂
Yours jenuinely, xoxo