The pelvic floor is literally our foundation, says yoga therapist Leslie Howard in this free download. It forms the bottom of the core musculature, and it plays an important role in our overall postural and functional health. When the pelvic floor is not working properly, our true foundation is not supporting us throughout the day.
Unfortunately, as we get older, the muscles of the pelvic floor get weaker, and as a result, disorders related to the pelvic floor become increasingly common, including incontinence, prolapse, pelvic pain, and much more. Generally, most people think that pelvic floor issues arise when the pelvic floor muscles get too lax. But pelvic floor muscles can also be too tight, causing another, but related set of problems as weak pelvic floor muscles. Leslie talks about why Kegel exercises often are done wrong and, as a result, can be counterproductive.
She discusses common pelvic floor issues resulting from loss of muscle tone or excessive tightness, and the role of yoga in addressing these imbalances. In the general public, incontinence is the most common issue; 38 percent of women and 17 percent of men suffer from different types of incontinence. Leslie further discusses other common pelvic floor issues like pelvic pain and prolapse.
She also shares results from recent research on the benefits of yoga for incontinence based on a protocol of yoga practices she and Judith Hanson Lasater created together, and discusses which types of yoga poses are best suited for different types of pelvic floor problems.
Also check out Leslie’s course on YogaUOnline: Balancing Your Foundational Core: Pelvic Floor Health for Men & Women.