Do you have Pelvic Floor Dysfunction (PFD)?
Often called the “Private Journey,” Incontinence and other types of PFD are things we don’t often share with others. If you are on this “journey,” you are not alone and we are here to help! As Certified Yoga Therapists and Specially-Trained Yoga Teachers, our goal is to educate you, motivate you and help you improve your bladder and pelvic floor function.
What are the Symptoms of Pelvic Floor Dysfunction?
Incontinence and Prolapse are both considered PFD and have varying degrees of symptoms. Some signs of PFD are if you leak urine or feel your pelvic organs push down or out of your body during the following:
- Getting in and out of the car or getting up and down from the floor
- Lifting children or carrying heavy items such as shopping bags or a laundry basket
- Laughing, coughing or sneezing
- Not being able to make it in time to the bathroom
- Walking briskly and exercising
- Painful intercourse
How Does the Pelvic Floor Get Weakened?
Because the Pelvic Floor consists of many muscles and functions, it is important to remember that YOU have the power to improve the functionality of this critical part of your body. It’s important for you to understand how things work “down under”, and why this area often gets weakened and the muscles become lax. Perhaps your posture, your every day activities, or even your current exercise program is weakening this area and you are not aware of the long term consequences!
VIDEO: Learn how your Pelvic Organs are situated in your body and why keeping them toned will keep you continent and free of Prolapses.
Quick Anatomy of the Pelvic Floor
Here’s a quick overview to understand why the muscles in the pelvis can get weakened. From an anatomical perspective, the job of the Pelvic Floor is to support several organs – bladder, uterus, prostate and rectum. If these muscles lose their ability to adapt to different movements and changes in pressure from above, the organs can sag down toward, or through, the openings of the body. This is called Prolapse. There is a higher trend of Prolapse in those who are overweight and in women who have had a hysterectomy.
Stress incontinence – leaking urine while exercising, laughing, coughing, or sneezing – affects almost 25 million women in America (about one in three women). Stress Incontinence occurs when the pelvic muscles and the urinary sphincter weaken. The risk of stress incontinence is higher for women who have given birth, in the elderly, and in men who have had prostate surgery.
Can Pelvic Floor Dysfunction Be Reversed?
There is no magic pill or potion that will restore and strengthen your Pelvic Floor muscles. Surgery and targeted exercises are the two most popular solutions for improving function. As with most surgeries, it is often the last resort and used to repair Organ Prolapses and serious Incontinence issues. If you are not looking at a surgical intervention right now, then give Yoga Therapy a try! This area of your body is within YOUR control and YOU have the power to improve its function with dedication and perseverance. Are you ready to try? If so, we are here to help and guide you!
What is Yoga Therapy for the Pelvic Floor?
Physical Therapy is a common approach to helping Pelvic Floor Dysfunction because of its focus on treating pain and movement disorders to improve body mechanics. However, the body is not separate from the mind and the spirit and thus looking at the whole person has opened the door for Yoga Therapy to be a valued healthcare modality for improving PFD – from Incontinence to Prolapse. (Additional resources)
The Yoga Vista Comprehensive Yoga Therapy Program for the Pelvic Floor was created by Sherry Zak Morris, E-RYT500 and Certified Yoga Therapist, and Viki Boyko, E-RYT500, Franklin Method Educator and Certified FM Pelvic Floor Fascia Trainer. We believe there is a behavioral and spiritual aspect to PFD that is just as important as addressing physical functionality.
Education and mindfulness are KEY to long-lasting results because knowledge of how your body works and self-awareness of your habits and behavior will empower you to make the necessary changes needed. Additionally, we believe that working your whole body in a systematic way can impact the health and function of your Pelvic Floor muscles… because everything is inter-related!
At-Home Yoga Therapy Program for the Pelvic Floor
25 Self-paced Videos
- EXPLORE – Short, Experiential practices to connect you to your Pelvic Floor
- LEARN – Educational lectures to empower you with the knowledge to make necessary changes
- REMEDY – Easy to follow Yoga practices to improve Pelvic Floor functionality
- SUPPORT – Individual and Group sessions to support and encourage your progress
Included in your YogaVista.TV subscription! Or purchase the Program for only $99
Along with Anatomy Education and psychological tools, the Yoga Vista Comprehensive Yoga Therapy Program for the Pelvic Floor offers simple and effective Yoga practices that incorporate both strengthening and stretching of muscles throughout your body.
When your mind, body and spirit are involved in your healing – you have a better chance at long-term success.
How Does Yoga Improve Pelvic Floor Health?
Yoga is a multi-faceted tool to address Pelvic Floor Dysfunction from many angles. It builds whole-body strength and flexibility as well as in the pelvis, core and legs. Rather than solely using Kegels, Yoga coordinates the body in different movement patterns to give a 3D workout. Yoga also focuses on breath which helps to ease anxiety from PFD issues. In addition, it can help coordinate healthy core stabilization to support the muscles and organs of the pelvic floor and beyond.
Though the use of meditation, Yoga Nidra, mantras and mudras, the Mind-Body component of Yoga helps us relax and promotes a healthy mindset to heal the body. Lastly, Yoga creates community. It allows others to share learning and support with those who have the same or similar experiences that you may have.
Recommended Poses to relax tight PF Muscles
- Legs up the Wall
- Reclined Bound Angle Pose
- Legs supported on a bolster
- Child’s Pose
Recommended Poses to strengthen weak PF Muscles
- Warrior Pose
- Goddess Pose
- Chair Pose
- Bridge Pose
- I love this whole series, I’ve watched it a few times to understand more and more. I appreciate it so much. It has helped me to minimize my pee-breaks a lot!!
- I love these pelvic floor exercises they help me with my constipation.
- These videos on bladder control have been so wonderful and sharing some info with my students has been great!! I try to control going to pee so frequently and it really works!!
Intro to “Incontinence and the Pelvic Floor” with Sherry Zak Morris, C-IAYT
In a very candid and light-hearted educational workshop, Sherry discusses the “state of affairs” regarding Incontinence, Bladder Re-Training and Strengthening the Pelvic Floor.
This is the first video in a 4-part lecture series that is included in the Comprehensive Yoga Therapy Program for the Pelvic Floor. Once you understand why things are not working the way they should, you have the power to change!
Note: The videos in this collection are included in various YogaVista.TV subscription plans.
Wellness Practices for Pelvic Floor Conditioning
Educational Workshops and Targeted Yoga Practices for Pelvic Floor Health
(included in the Wellness Practices above)
Workshop: Incontinence & the Pelvic Floor with Sherry
If you have experienced episodes of involuntary urination, leakage or dribbling… this information is for YOU! Learn why this happens, and most importantly, what YOU can do to improve and remedy the situation. This Video series contains a 4-part lecture series on Incontinence and Bladder Re-training. Get ready to learn and be empowered to make a positive change in this area of your life!
Workshop: Pelvic Floor Health in the 50+ Population with Viki
With an increase in pelvic conditions, many people over the age of 50 are likely experiencing some of these “private” challenges. This workshop will take you into the physical workings of this very important part of our anatomy. As Yoga Teachers and Yoga Practitioners, we can learn ways to awaken our awareness to this area and adapt to a more healthy function of our muscles, posture and movement. Once we awaken this knowledge, everything can change for the better!
Chair Yoga for Pelvic Floor Health with Sherry
Ready to get moving and get things working correctly once again? If you experience Incontinence, Organ Prolapse or other Pelvic Floor Dysfunction, then physically working this area can bring about positive changes. These Chair Yoga practices target specific areas and for specific purposes so that your whole body gets involved in your Pelvic Floor healing. With your dedication, these asana practices can help remedy what is not working properly.
Balanced Base – Pelvic Floor Series with Viki
When our Pelvic Floor is balanced, we feel safe, confident and comfortable… our movement is effortless and our key human functions work optimally. Join Viki on this journey of fluid movement, breathing, Yoga poses, visualization, affirmation and ‘moving mudras’ to help you develop optimal tone for your base, as well as train your mental focus.
Safety Guidelines and Precautions
- Keep your movements slow and gentle.
- Consider doing Chair Yoga practices, if your balance or gait is unstable.
- A short practice may be better than none.
Before starting these Wellness Practices:
Ensure you have a release from your healthcare practitioner to do exercise. Also ask your practitioner if you have any movement restrictions resulting from your medical conditions. Above all, be mindful of any movement that creates a sharp, knife-like pain or tingling sensation.
Need Support for your Pelvic Floor Healing?
You are never alone! Choose from our Support options:
Pelvic Floor 1:1 Coaching Program
Assess the situation, form a step-by-step action plan tailored to your concerns and map out goals.
Group Coaching Program
5-Week Group Coaching Program for those suffering from Incontinence, leaking, Pelvic pain, mild to moderate prolapse, sexual discomfort.
Private Coaching & Exercise Program
Online Pelvic Floor Private Movement class Tailored to your specific needs, includes follow up exercise sheet for you to practice.
FREE! Private Facebook Group
Connect with others who are going through similar issues
CREDITS: Authors, Viki Boyko, E-RYT 500 and Sherry Zak Morris, Certified Yoga Therapist
Editor, Maria Perez, Certified Yoga & Group Fitness Instructor