What is the Pelvic Floor?
The pelvic floor is a web of muscles, connective tissues, and ligaments, which sit at the base of and in the bony pelvis. Despite the centrality of the pelvic floor to the correct functioning of sex organs, for bodily waste disposal, digestion, our posture and skeletal alignment, not to mention our happiness and wellbeing, PELVIC FLOOR HEALTH is something we take for granted. Most people, men and women, begin to notice it only as an absence of what once was, as something we have lost, once it manifests signs of malfunction, weakness, or stress.
How Can Yoga Help?
Yoga can help MAINTAIN AND SUPPORT A HEALTHY PELVIC FLOOR. Directed yoga asana, breathing practice, and meditation increases the flexibility, strength, and awareness in the pelvic floor. It’s never too early: we think nothing of taking steps to increase the longevity of our knee, hip, and shoulder joints. We do so because we want to continue using them! So, too, can we begin to consider both the immediate and also life-long benefits that a flexible and strong pelvic floor provides: preparation for and recovery from pregnancy and childbirth; a defence against prolapse of pelvic or abdominal organs, and a barrier to common conditions of the pelvic floor associated with ageing, stress, and disuse (including incontinence).
Yoga can IMPROVE AND RESTORE PELVIC FLOOR HEALTH. Once pelvic floor health has been compromised, whether through childbirth, disease, age, or other medical conditions, it can be difficult to see (or feel) a way back to health. Yoga asana, meditation, and pranayama offer an excellent pathway to healing. When practiced with awareness and correct modifications, yoga restores health to ligaments and connective tissue. Postures actually offer an internal massage to our organs, thereby increasing blood and lymph circulation. And the coming in and out of postures with control and stability strengthens our muscles and increases their flexibility.
Yoga can help PREVENT AND HEAL THE ENERGETIC LOSS that occurs with pelvic floor dysfunction. For so many reasons, many of us carry shame and guilt around pelvic floor conditions. Clients also experience feelings of failure, a diminished sense of self, and a sense of resignation about their current condition. But yogic philosophy assigns great importance to our pelvic floor as an energetic source, and when we strengthen our connection to the pelvic floor as the root of our wellbeing, and not the source of our illness, we can divest ourselves of the complex feelings of fear, anger and loss that are associated with pelvic floor problems.