It’s always nice to attend a continuing education course that involves savanasa (or “lying on the floor resting pose” for you non-yogis). It’s even nicer to be part of a pelvic floor continuing education course which doesn’t involve everyone disrobing from the waist down and practicing on each other. For you pelvic floor therapists out there, I know you know what I mean. For the rest of you, let’s just say our education is experiential! I have to say that it’s refreshing to trade the usual lube and gloves routine for yoga mats and practice breathing!
This past weekend I had the immense pleasure of assisting the lovely and talented Ms. Dustienne Miller, CYT, PT, MS, WSC in her Yoga for Pelvic Pain course. The course was put on by the Herman & Wallace Pelvic Rehabilitation Institute which is where I’ve done the majority of my pelvic floor trainings. Stay Fit Physical Therapy and Core Wellness, just outside of Chicago, IL, was gracious enough to host a group of 31 amazing healthcare professionals. Not only is Dustienne officially my new girl crush, she is a “yoga for pelvic pain” extraordinaire who has paved the way for the likes of me and many other pelvic floor PT/yogis out there. Through Your Pace Yoga and Flourish Physical Therapy (in Boston, MA) she has helped thousands of patients with her yoga for pelvic floor DVDs, online meditation, and one-on-one care. She is truly an expert in the field and she spent the weekend beautifully blending the academics of an accredited continuing education course with the gentle and sweet practice of yoga.
I’m so incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to assist Dustienne and share some of my own “yoga for pelvic floor” knowledge with the highly skilled women who attended the course. There were moments when I sat in the back of the class or walked around the “asana” practice room in awe of how open and eager we as pelvic floor PTs are. We treat a complex group of patients and for many of us traditional methods haven’t fully gotten our patients better. It was beautiful to see a whole new group of practitioners with varying backgrounds come together to learn a new technique in order to facilitate the mind-body connection for their patients’ healing. I I left the weekend feeling inspired and motivated to continue to share these techniques with my patients and keep teaching other PTs and yoga teachers!
A highlight of the weekend included a focus on learning different pranayama (or breath) techniques and a variety of yoga asanas (poses) for varying diagnoses. Dustienne shared sample yoga sequences which could be tailored by each therapist depending on their patient’s presentation. We experienced sequences which could be appropriate for patients with vulvar pain, coccyx pain, general pelvic pain, and even pudendal neuralgia. Stay tuned for future blogs highlighting some of these poses! All of the participants did an excellent job practice teaching in the last few hours of the class and Dustienne and I felt confident that there is now a whole new batch of practitioners ready to share their new “yoga for pelvic pain” knowledge. For you pelvic floor patients out there, insist on seeking care from providers like these who are continually open to addressing your health from multiple perspectives and with creative interventions!
I’ll close with what was most exciting part of the weekend for me! Dustienne and I worked so well together and our treatment styles align so perfectly that we just couldn’t imagine not doing it again! I’m happy to announce that she has decided to join me on my upcoming Yoga for Pelvic Health retreat on June 17th in Ojai, CA! She’ll be an “unofficial” assistant and I can’t wait to see how the weekend unfolds… it’s going to be incredible! If you’re interested in joining us in Ojai check out my RETREATS page. If you can’t make Ojai stay tuned for future event and retreat opportunities!
In love and light,