Down There Yoga

Like many of you, I have a long history with down there. In the ’90s, I studied gender, sexuality, and health and worked with the Boston Women’s Health Book Collective and the National Women’s Health Network. And more recently, I’ve attended births as a doula and worked with the Women’s Community Clinic, a volunteer-based health clinic for low-income and uninsured women here in San Francisco. Check the links for resources!

Down there… where is that again, exactly? Over a decade of study, and I haven’t attended many yoga classes that directly address our reproductive and sexual health. Have you? The sexual and reproductive organs, and the bones and muscles of the pelvis, are intimately related to overall postural and organic well-being. Sure, we may hear references to the mula (as in mula banda), the root… lots about the core, another vague and misunderstood term… more on the pelvic floor… and maybe some teachers say perineum in class. But… what do we really know, or teach, about the down there anatomy of asana?

How do you experience your pelvic practice? What is the shape of the bulbospongiosus? What’s the difference between kegels and “diamonds”? Okay, here’s your source for stunning statistics, media analysis, and historical context; anatomical models and an overview of medical conditions; and deeply informative yoga poses and exploration. Plus a good dose of humor and woman-positive perspective. This is just some of the abundance of female power I received last weekend at Turtle Island Yoga, during “Demystifying Down There,” an extraordinary workshop on the female pelvic floor with Leslie Howard.

Inspired by Leslie’s class and great homework assignments, I’m coming out as a dedicated down there yogini. With yoga, we cultivate flexibility, balance, and strength. Curiosity, compassion, and embodied awareness. Grab a mirror and your mat, and find some yoga… down there!


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