I suspect by now many of us have heard that kegels may exacerbate symptoms for some people, and can have limited benefit for others. Pelvic health, like any health or fitness pursuit, requires a dynamic, whole body and whole person approach to creating a lifestyle that both minimizes symptoms and supports healing and thriving. No ‘correct posture’, ‘best’ exercise, or one cookie cutter approach can possibly meet the varied demands of daily life, our psychoemotional fluctuations, and the ever-evolving needs at different seasons in a woman’s cycle and lifespan. Yoga therapy represents a customized, integrative, and collaborative approach to healthcare and wellbeing that respects the complexity of the individual.
Pelvic yoga therapy, put simply, utilizes this comprehensive, therapeutic approach to yoga to improve someone’s pelvic embodiment and function.
Language is powerful, as is pain. Both can be forceful motivators of behavioural change. Spoken language can be interpreted in many ways. Sometimes we even question whether words mean what we think they mean. Pain can be the same. We wonder whether pain really is intended to “get us to stop or change our behaviour”. We might also wonder “exactly what is it that I am supposed to change? Maybe the change I need to make is to stop responding this way to my pain!”
As a yoga teacher, leading groups in asana requires instructions that will keep your students safe. As such, cognitive contemplations such as the above are not well-suited as part of an asana practice dialogue. We use language that guides our students to be aware of what is happening in the present moment. We guide them to find the right challenge so they can explore preconceived notions, all the while staying present with, and not ignoring what’s happening now. We use language that provides options for change. “What would happen if you changed the way you are breathing right now?” “Or what you are thinking?” “Or if you let go of some of the aversion to the emotions or tension that you are feeling in your body right now?” In other words, we use language that encourages awareness and language that encourages self-regulation – often of body, breath, thoughts and emotions. Note that this language of awareness is not the same as asking a student to be aware “as the first step to change”. This is language that focuses on awareness as important in and of itself. Continue reading →
Shelly is a physiotherapist, yoga therapist, educator and pioneer of PhysioYoga with over 20 years of experience integrating yoga into rehabilitation with a focus on helping people suffering from chronic or persistent pain, pelvic health conditions and professional burnout. She guest lectures at yoga and physiotherapy programs, presents at yoga therapy and medical conferences globally, provides mentorship to health providers, offers onsite and online continuing education courses for yoga and health professionals and is a Pain Care U Yoga Trainer.
She maintains a clinical practice in Sylvan Lake, Canada and believes that cultivating meaningful connections, compassion and joy can be powerful contributors to recovery and well-being. Shelly is co-editor of the bookYoga and Science in Pain Care: Treating the Person in Pain (Singing Dragon, 2019).
In this webinar, Shelly discusses chronic pain and the possibilities that lie in yoga therapy to improve health and manage pain.
Yoga and Science in Pain Care Treating the Person in Pain
Edited by Neil Pearson, Shelly Prosko and Marlysa Sullivan. Foreword by Timothy McCall.
This is an integrated approach to pain rehabilitation that combines pain science, rehabilitation and yoga with evidence-based approaches from respected contributors. The book shows how to integrate the practices of yoga and pain science, and promotes the movement to a patient-valued, partnership-based biopsychosocial-spiritual model of healthcare. Read more