The pelvic floor is a multifaceted area of the body consisting of bone, muscles, and fascia which together provide support to pelvic organs, the spine and the pelvic girdle. They're important because they provide structure and assistance in the functioning of many organs in our abdomen and lower pelvic bowl. In Chinese medicine this area is where "chi" or life force energy emanates from. In yoga, this area corresponds to the sacral and root chakras.
I first became interested in the pelvic floor because I learned about its importance in my academic program at Upstate. Unbeknownst to me was the importance of optimal functioning in this area of the body to people's quality of life. I didn't realize that pelvic pain, for example, could emanate from abnormal tone in the muscles of the pelvic floor! Who knew (not me) that the position of one's pelvis could impact their ability to relax the muscles here, and potentially be a cause of one's back pain?
I was really impressed with the sophistication, candor and professionalism of the healthcare professionals I've met in the physical therapy field who provide care to patients of all types. It is one of the reasons I am so proud and excited to begin my new journey as a DPT.
In May of 2017, I took a bus down to NYC to embark on a week-long adventure: learning about the pelvic floor and its relationship to yoga. I later became certified as a Pelvic Floor Yoga Instructor.
Many of us know the relationship between breathing and the diaphragm muscle (deep belly breathing or dirgha pranayama). Some of us also know the relationship between the spine and the breath - in cat/cow, for example, we inhale and curve the back, exhale we round the back. But did you know that the tilt of your pelvis can also impact how you breathe? How the muscles in the chest, spine, hips and trunk work can affect the development of fascia or areas of tension?
We can all tell the difference between when we practice yoga and when we don't: we might feel stiff or sore. Our bodies move better the more that we move! That goes for the pelvis, too. There are small muscles and tiny joints which can heavily impact how we move and how we feel when we stand, sit, sleep, and practice yoga.
Come join me on this journey, I would love to be your guide. See you on the mat!
I will be teaching Pranayama in conjunction with Pelvic Floor Yoga in the Salt Room at Bodymind Float Center July 2, 9, and 16. Hope to see you there! Sign up here to secure your spot!