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International Yoga Day and The Pelvic Floor

Updated: Jun 21, 2023

Do you know what today is?

It's International Yoga Day (oh and the 1st day of Summer!

Yoga in Sanskrit means "to yoke or unite". It is a mind-body practice that brings awareness and connection to the body through breath (pranayama), movement/postures (flow/asanas), and meditation.

As a Pelvic Floor Therapist, Certified Postnatal Yoga Instructor, yoga enthusiast, and pelvic floor patient, yoga is a practice that has been instrumental in my ability to be more emotionally regulated during challenging experiences, to be present in the moment, appreciate how my body shows up for me on a daily basis, and minimize the severity of my pelvic organ prolapses (rectocele and cystocele).

Because of these and many other health related benefits, yoga is a practice/THERAPEUTIC intervention that I commonly recommend and include in the plan of care for clients that I see for pelvic floor and maternal mental health services in order to support progress toward their health & wellness goals.

So if you're new to yoga, in the postpartum recovery period*, looking for a way to restore and strengthen your core**(diaphragm + abdominals + pelvic floor), wanting to improve your sleep quality, and/or in need of a low impact way to return to fitness...I encourage you to join me on the mat in doing this gentle flow yoga sequence 2-3x/week. Keeping in mind that yoga is a practice *** and that moving through all of the postures are not required. Instead, use only what feels right to your body and ability.


Supplies Needed/Recommended:
Open Heart and Open Mind
Grace for self and your body
Yoga Mat or Yoga Towel
Yoga blocks or two large, thick spine books
Yoga blanket or "stardard" throw blanket
Therapeutic Listening Music (optional)

Yoga Flow Sequence Notes:
Hold each posture (asana) for at least three breaths (inhale for 7 count, exhale for 7 count).
Breathe in through the nose (inhale) and out through the mouth (exhale). When exhaling, make the "hhhhhaaaa" sound to engage those transverse abdominal muscles.

Yoga Flow Sequence:
1. Easy Pose (hand on knee w/ palms facing up (receive energy) or faced down (to ground)
2. Bound Angle
3. Seated Wide Leg Forward Fold
4. Seated Twist
5. Cat/Cow
6. Low Lunge (Step R foot forward)
7. High Lunge
8. Warrior 1
9. Warrior 2
10. Peaceful (or Reverse) Warrior
11. Extended Side Angle
12. Warrior 2
13. Standing Wide-Leg Forward Fold
14. Warrior 2
15. Warrior 1
16. High Lunge (R foot forward)
17. Downward Facing Dog (Step R foot Back)
18. Table Top
19. Low Lunge (Step L foot forward)
20. Repeat steps 7-18
21. Easy Pose
22. Bound Angle
23. Savasana (or Corpse)
24. Knees to Chest
25. Reclined Twist (R and L side)
26. Knees to Chest
27. Alternating "Dead Bug"
28. Savasana (or Corpse)
29. Easy Seat w/ hands to heart center



In closing, it is my hope that through this flow you find "joy with movement", connection through community, calm and peace, and balance in the every day living... as we "deepen" our practice and collectively strengthen, lengthen, relax, heal, and energize the pelvic floor one asana, and breath at a time.

Happy International Yoga Day and Summer Solstice!

I’d love to read your feedback on the above yoga flow. Did you find it challenging, relaxing, energizing, or all three?!

Best in health,

Elle


References:
*(at least 4-6 weeks w/ medical clearance)
**Core = diaphragm, abdominal and pelvic floor
***Practice: Yoga is not about perfection, but about showing up for self on consistent practice. With consistency comes change

Resources:

Book: Pelvic Floor Yoga for Women: Simple Poses for Healing Your Body and Boosting Strength


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