Birthlight: Yoga for Optimal Pelvic Floor Tone through Womens’ Lifecycles
Dr Françoise Freedman is the Founder and Director of Birthlight. She is a pioneer, Senior Yoga Teacher, acclaimed writer and lecturer of Social Anthropology at the University of Cambridge. Join Françoise for this mini course: an opportunity for you to update and deepen your understanding of the female pelvic floor.
Françoise Freedman started her interest in yoga therapy for the pelvic floor from personal need after a mismanaged birth in the 1970s and incorporated pelvic floor yoga in her teaching after successfully healing herself.
Offered in collaboration with Birthlight, this mini course is an opportunity for you to update and deepen your understanding of the female pelvic floor. Whether you have already trained with Birthlight or not, joining this event will enrich your yoga teaching or personal practice. We welcome teachers, therapists and yoga practitioners from all traditions.
Using therapeutic yoga, we will translate recent anatomy and neuro-anatomy research into original pelvic micromovements that are effective to both prevent and alleviate pelvic floor dysfunction. Breath and movement, with interoception, take practice to the essence of yoga. Going beyond the mechanics of Kegel exercises, you are invited to experience your pelvic floor in a connected, ever changing, and holistic way, wherever you are in your lifecycle.
What will I learn?
You will learn a new skill set to optimise women’s pelvic floor muscle function through their lifecycle. This may be a totally new area of teaching depending on your background or add substantially to what you are already offering. Therapeutic yoga for the pelvic floor introduces you to a whole new world of teaching that supports women in an area relatively neglected both in yoga and in healthcare. Whether you are already passionate about improving women’s wellbeing with dedicated ‘Well Woman Yoga’ or just starting in this area or simply want to practise for yourself, this day will add to your professional development and personal understanding.
Why this mini-course now?
With yoga for the pelvic floor, all women can increase their wellbeing because:
- the current focus on pelvic floor toning is not working. The two extremes of weak muscles and overtone both cause widespread dysfunctions that cause great (often unspoken) suffering for women. Elasticity implies tone but the reverse is not true. A balanced female pelvic floor needs ‘coordination’, not just strength.
- an overtoned pelvic floor is counterproductive for birth preparation and for supporting good pelvic floor function at any time. Pregnancy and physiological birth have long been considered the main risk factors for development of pelvic floor dysfunction, but statistics show that healthy functioning of pelvic floor muscles can be compromised even when birth has been by C section.
- yoga teachers and therapists need to understand the interactions between the muscles, fascia, ligaments and joints that impact on pelvic floor function. The effects of the nervous system’s state on the ability of the pelvic floor to function well in daily life will also be considered. This course makes this knowledge accessible as a visual shortcut to complex anatomy and physiology.
- therapeutic yoga micromovements are effective to alleviate chronic ailments (stress incontinence, mild prolapses) in a long-term postnatal recovery perspective as symptoms are often aggravated in the Perimenopause and beyond.
- interoception is central to the development of Shakti, the feminine creative power. Pelvic floor awareness is key to the expression of Shakti in both tension and deep relaxation. There is a need for a better understanding of Mula Bandha for female yoga practitioners
- the active engagement and release of pelvic floor muscles can be experienced effectively with yoga both on and off the mat without the use of internal props.
This 6-hour course includes:
Breakout rooms for review and exchange of information, guided practice, and time to ask questions in person and clarify teaching points.
A wealth of experience to share drawing on both personal, professional and collective teaching experience and observation over several decades.
Additional resources accessible online as pre-reading or post-reading materials
Recordings of the online sessions, available for 6 months to support your learning journey and professional development. This mini-course also counts as 6 hours of CPD for Birthlight teaching members.
Preventing pelvic floor dysfunction and restoring optimal function when possible are central to Yoga for promoting women’s wellness and vitality through life.
Who is this course for?
We welcome teachers, therapists and yoga practitioners from all traditions.
Please note this course will be recorded should you be unable to attend the live stream. The recording will be available for 6 months.
This CPD is eligible for catch up via recording if unable to attend live sessions. All will receive a certificate of completion.
A Note about Props
Ideally you may wish to have ready:
- two foam blocks (three if possible)
- two cushions (not too large or fluffy)
- a steady chair- a bolster (if possible)
- a yoga belt or long cotton scarf (rebozo like)
- a small-medium size towel that can be rolled to make about 6 cm diameter (jam jar size)
It is ok if you do not have any props. This is a wish list rather than a prescriptive set.
Meet the Teacher: Francoise Freedman
You’ll be taught by a tutor with a wealth of experience to share drawing on both personal, professional and collective teaching experience. Françoise Freedman started her interest in yoga therapy for the pelvic floor from personal need after a mismanaged birth in the 1970s and incorporated pelvic floor yoga in her teaching after successfully healing herself. Since then Françoise set up Birthlight and she has pioneered pelvic yoga micromovements for fertility, pregnancy, postnatal recovery and well woman yoga . Birthlight continues to evolve these practices informed by new scientific research into female reproductive physiology and yoga.