Creating Pelvic Floor Health

VIDEO REVIEW: Creating Pelvic Floor Health, with Shelly Prosko

Review by Tianna Meriage-Reiter

I’ve experienced pelvic and back pain, along with continence and digestive issues that previously would have left me frustrated and seeking multiple healthcare providers. But now, with a better understanding that my pelvic floor issues are multifactorial (related to mind, body, AND spirit), I feel empowered with tools to ease my suffering. It has also been eye-opening to learn that my stress about these issues may itself be a source of symptoms.

This points to a key reason yoga may be beneficial in reducing the distress caused by pelvic floor issues (painful intercourse, painful sitting, incontinence, and constipation, to name a few). Yogaincluding its philosophy, meditation, breath practices, and posturescan be a powerful method of providing wellness to the whole person. If we were just to treat the physical pelvic floor problems, we could get stuck in our progress. It’s best to have a more integrative approach, which yoga therapy can offer us.

That’s why I appreciate this video series so muchit does a great job making the point I mentioned above: “What we eat, how we respond to and manage stress, and how we relate and connect to ourselves, others and the world around us,” are each important considerations in pelvic wellness.

These videos provide the opportunity for people to work toward pelvic floor health. Ideally, you’d also seek instruction from a pelvic floor–trained yoga therapist or physical therapist regarding some of the terms mentioned in the videos, plus training to locate muscles so you can relax and contract them. The videos could then enhance your home practice.

The series includes three videos, available to stream or download on Vimeo:

  • Pelvic Floor Muscle Relaxation. We often think that strengthening the pelvic floor by doing Kegels is the cure, but learning how to relax these muscles is often a crucial aspect of working through pelvic issues.
  • Pelvic Floor Muscle Engagement. Provided in short, doable segments with creative movements, these challenging yet fun dynamic exercises offer a way to tone and explore the pelvic floor with the breath.
  • Toilet Meditation. Difficulty going to the bathroom is a common challenge. This natural act should be pleasurable, not dreaded. This brief meditation uses imagery and breath to assist with the process.

Tianna Meriage-Reiter, DPT, C-IAYT, WHNC, owns Mind-Body Movement Center Physical Therapy Inc, where she helps women with health challenges that affect body, mind, and spirit.

A version of this review first appeared in Yoga Therapy Today.