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.
In an old and favorite verse from thousands of years ago, the author of the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad IV.4.5, considers this:
You are what your deep, driving desire is. As your desire is, so is your will. As your will is, so is your deed. As your deed is, so is your destiny.
And yet, as we all wonder about the future now, shall we ask each other this next question, “What is OUR collective desire and what shall OUR collective deeds create now?”
In my experience over decades as a systems change catalyst and leadership coach, I’ve had the privilege of helping many individuals and teams develop new strategies for high level impact. Whether in business, healthcare or communities, one of my initial questions is, “Who are we really, and what is our work?”
These remarks are based on my 17 years as an expert witness in yoga injury cases and yoga safety advocate. This is not legal advice nor counsel because I’m not an attorney, but reflects my understanding from working with attorneys as to what they look for and utilize in either defending or prosecuting a matter. These remarks also reveal my deep biases as a “recovering manual physio” and how yoga differs, at least philosophically, from other practices.
The Hot Topic of Touch and Consent in Yoga
If there ever was a veneer of “purity” around yoga teachers and gurus in yoga’s reemergence in the 20th century, it’s now long gone in the first part of the 21st century… and “good riddance”!
So much so, that touch and consent are now very popular topics in the yoga world. I won’t be covering the sordid details here. You can easily find them online. Rather, I want to spotlight the importance of both students and yoga professionals being clear how important having high standards around touch and consent are to making yoga inclusive.
Let’s briefly look at how they influence yoga inclusivity, some points to consider in developing your own standards/boundaries, and a few take-away action steps to consider. May this fuel many deeper conversations… Continue reading →