A Healthy Pelvic Floor and Pelvic Floor Yoga®
Proper work of strengthening, stabilizing, stretching and softening the pelvic floor helps to create the correct foundation of each movement in the body. It is a basic tool to avoid loss of energy from this important area. A strong pelvic floor helps keep the pelvic and abdominal organs healthy as we age. But “strong” also means flexible. Think of your torso as “a tote bag” for your organs. The pelvic floor is the bottom of the tote bag. Someone with a weak pelvic floor (too loose or too tight) has a tote bag that is about to have the bottom fall out! Prolapsed organs, incontinence and pelvic pain are common to over fifty percent of women. Yet what is most prescribed as a catch all cure is “just do your Kegels.” A healthy pelvic floor is more than doing Kegels. A healthy pelvic floor is more than doing mula bandha. These practices are under taught, misunderstood and can sometimes lead to more problems.
The female pelvis and the pelvic muscles are an under appreciated region of the anatomy. Important not only for sexuality, the pelvic muscles are crucial for optimal functioning of the body. The pelvic muscles begin at perineum and are complex arrangement of muscles that create a “bowl” for the lower organs. Common problems that are related to the health of the pelvic floor are lumbar spinal problems, sacroiliac, hip or sciatic pain, bladder weakness, prolapse of the uterus or the bladder, and digestive, menstrual and sexual difficulties. This area can be too gripped, or too weak and sometimes both. Many women have a lack of tone due to age, lifestyle, bearing children or hereditary tendencies. What is less commonly known is that about 20-25 percent of all women have a chronic holding and tightening of the muscles of the pelvic floor. Sometimes an unhealthy holding pattern can start in early age or perhaps develop as a result of a fall, an accident or sexual abuse.
Workshops and Pelvic Floor Yoga ®
In my workshops you will learn how to distinguish if you are lacking tone or have too much tone in the pelvic muscles and what you can do to start the road to recovery. You will learn how to distinguish the three layers of the pelvic floor and how to soften and strengthen these areas. You will learn that every pelvis has a story and how to start a conversation with yours.
If you are unable to come to one of my workshops, ask your local yoga studio to host me or have a girlfriend house party. A number of students have gotten their friends together and invited me to teach the workshop in their home. And if that is not possible, don’t fret. I have online education and there are a couple of good books on the subject to get you started.
A must have book for all women is The Female Pelvis, by Blandine Calais-Germain, and Pelvic Power, by Eric Franklin; both are great introductions to pelvic floor work with a focus on strengthening. However, if you suspect you might be a person that grips their muscles, or you know you have cystitis, vulvodynia, etc., Ending Female Pain, by Isa Herrera, focuses on how to deal with it, and she has great advice for self-massage. All books are available in from my shop. (A portion of all proceeds are donated to a women’s health clinic in San Francisco.)