The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

Ep 129: Pelvic Floor 101 with Marie-Josée Forget



This episode is on one of Shannon’s favorite topics – pelvic health. It is one of the crucial parts of our body that plays many functions in our daily lives, but gets very little attention, until something goes wrong. Marie-Josée Forget, a Pelvic Health Physiotherapist, is here to give us the basics on everything pelvic floor.


Marie-Josée Forget is a Pelvic Health Physiotherapist with 18 years of clinical experience. She currently teaches courses related to pelvic anatomy and health at Pelvic Health Solutions, and has developed a hand-drawn female and male pelvic floor model that is used as a teaching tool. Apart from her work as an instructor and public speaker on the topic of pelvic health, MJ runs a private physiotherapy practice where she treats men, women and children who have pelvic floor dysfunction.


The pelvic floor is a bit of a mystery to most of us. MJ helps us to understand a bit more about the anatomy of the pelvic floor and crucial role that it plays in various daily functions. Despite the common perception that the pelvic floor is weak and needs to be strengthened, MJ reveals that many people actually suffer from the effects of pelvic floor tension, rather than weakness. She also busts some common misconceptions and myths surrounding the pelvic floor


MJ also has some great suggestions on how yoga instructors and pelvic health physiotherapists can work together to better serve your students. Tune in to learn more about this remarkable part of our body, and how this information can help you and your yoga students. 


P.S. MJ Forget is the October guest expert in the Pelvic Health Professionals membership site!


Key Takeaways:

[7:24] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode – Marie-Josée Forget.

[9:26] What does MJ do and who does she do it for?

[10:14] MJ explains how she created her pelvic floor models.

[13:50] What is the pelvic floor, where is it, and what does it do?

[19:13] Do we guard with the pelvic floor under stress?

[20:16] Despite the importance and role of the pelvic floor in many of our daily activities, it is not a subject area that is often taught or discussed.

[21:30] There may be a perception in society that the pelvic floor is weak, and weakens over time. MJ explains more about the muscle and how weakness or tension may exhibit the same symptoms.

[24:56] MJ shares how yoga instructors can work together with pelvic health physiotherapists.

[28:08] What is it like to have a pelvic health physiotherapist do an internal exam?

[32:30] Shannon shares her experience of her first visit with her pelvic health physiotherapist.

[33:31] Shannon and MJ discuss how times are changing and people are recognizing the importance of pelvic health.

[37:01] What is the anatomy of the pelvic floor?

[43:30] MJ shares an anecdote of a study she was part of that revealed that women presenting with back and hip pain were predominantly tight, rather than weak in their pelvic floor muscles.

[46:03] One of the advantages of a practice like yoga is that it helps increase body awareness.

[49:40] The words and language we use as yoga teachers and pelvic health professionals is so important. There is a need for communication and education.

[51:07] What is the main thing that MJ wants listeners to understand and take away about pelvic health? She also busts some prevalent myths on the topic.

[57:22] Check out the links for ways to connect with MJ.

[58:03] What do you call the pelvic floor if it is holding tension or if it is weak?

[59:47] Shannon shares her biggest takeaway from this interview with MJ, and a little bit about the Pelvic Health Professionals membership site.


Gratitude to our Sponsors Schedulicity and Pelvic Health Professionals


Quotes from this episode:

“People can really appreciate ‘Oh, I have a whole bunch of muscles down there, I had no idea, and they’re actually a lot more significant than I thought them to be.'”

“[The pelvic floor] still a part of the body we kind of ignore, and it’s not until you start actually taking courses in pelvic health or doing yoga courses that we start to talk about it because of its importance.”

“A muscle that’s too weak can cause incontinence, but a muscle that’s too tight also can cause incontinence.”

“How great is it that we are getting now to the point where women are recognizing the importance of having a good evaluation and are seeking the care themselves!”

“We don’t connect with our body very much. We disconnect, if anything.”