Women’s Pelvic Floor Health: Pelvic Floor Balancing

Marla L Sukoff, MD, RYT.

Through my years of teaching, I have come to realize that most women have very little awareness of this important region of their body- even those women with strong movement backgrounds and fitness levels.  This is unfortunate, since the pelvic floor is our “hub” or “center” for movement, coordination and balance.  It is part of our foundation.

Our pelvic floor is not only the “floor of our pelvis”, but also the “floor of our core”, integral to core function!

“BOTTOM-UP” APPROACH

We all want a strong core, but that means we need to start with a strong and supple “floor”.

As the floor of our pelvis, it must support all the downward pressure from both the organs above and the forces of gravity.  What good is a “six-pack” above if the “floor” falls out from below (prolapse, incontinence)?   Our pelvic floor must not only be strong enough to resist these forces, but must also work synergistically with the muscles above to optimize core strength.  It is a “bottom-up” approach, and most women are missing that “bottom” link.

In addition, most of us are stressed in our busy lives and may manifest that tension in the deeper layer of our pelvic floor.  This may result in pelvic pain (or low back pain) and /or leakage.

IT’S ALL IN THE BREATH!

Deep pelvic breathing is key to gaining awareness of this region; visual imagery is a tool that heightens that awareness.  It helps to be able to visualize the pelvic floor structures while doing the breathing techniques (Embodiment).  In my INTRO session, I teach basic pelvic floor anatomy, function & dysfunction. I then guide you through a deep pelvic breathing practice, which relaxes and stretches the pelvic floor.   INTRO session is complementary- my gift to you!  

FINDING THE BALANCE

The next step is toning, which is introduced in my second session. A supple pelvic floor is one which is relaxed and toned, stretched and strengthened.  That combo allows optimal function and leads to a balanced pelvic floor.

MY SERIES

My series is organized thematically, starting with Basic PF Fundamentals ( set of 6 classes), and then tying it all together into a series of PF FLOWS, to have a bit more fun with it (set of 4 classes) – all classes are taught “in & around the chair”.

Pelvic Floor Fundamentals (October 7th – December 23rd)
• Introduction- Basic pelvic anatomy, function & dysfunction, deep pelvic breathing (free class)
• Session #2- Toning, asymmetry
• Session #3- Second layer of PF & its assistive muscles
• Session #4- Deep layer of PF & its assistive muscles
• Session #5- Muscles from above that assist the PF
• Session #6- Connections of our feet with the PF

Pelvic Floor Flow Series

We weave together what we’ve learned into Flow classes , adding various elements to deepen our practice (pranayama, chakras, more yoga…..).

Best to start with BASICS first, but you can join in at any time, and can request temporary 3-day recordings of previous classes as well (same price as classes).

Suggested props for the Fundamental Series:

  • INTRO: chair, 2 yoga blocks (or thick books, or folded blankets/towels, or paper towel rolls, or cushions- to place feet on for better alignment)
  • #2: add 1-2” KOOSH ball, or PORCUPINE ball (or squishy ball, or rolled up end of yoga strap, or bathrobe belt) for sensory feedback, hand towel, and yoga strap
  • #3: add 6” exercise ball
  • #4: add theraband
  • #5: add 2-3” softer balls ( or rolled up socks, or 2 hand towels)
  • #6: add 2 tennis balls

Email Marla directly with any questions at marla@presentwisdom.com

Classes with Gwen

Classes with Nannette Wasserman

Classes with Marla Sukoff

Classes with Barbara Dunn

Classes with Palma Manners

Classes with Anne Taylor

Classes with Alka Kaminer