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Trauma Informed Yoga for Women’s Health: The Voice is Queen in the Pelvic Floor Kingdom

Trauma Informed Yoga for Women’s Health: The Voice is Queen in the Pelvic Floor Kingdom

Trauma Informed Yoga for Women’s Health: The Voice is Queen in the Pelvic Floor Kingdom

This course includes
2:17:15 of Course Material (View)
Patient Exercises (View)
Lifetime access after purchase
Certificate of completion


You can tell a great deal about a person’s health by listening. Listening to her voice. Listening to her story. In this course, you will appreciate why the voice is queen in the pelvic floor kingdom through an exploration of the connections between three diaphragms (cervico-thoracic, respiratory, and pelvic) and their intersectional systems-based influence on health. The voice is the tell-tale sign of health in a person – it is a new biomarker for wellness, from sexual health to core strength.

We can often spend a great deal of time approaching pelvic floor health by addressing the pelvic floor directly, but in many cases, a pelvic-floor-centric approach may not be best or even possible. A very common example where an indirect method may be best is in situations of trauma. 1 of every 3 women has experienced some kind of sexual trauma or birth trauma, and with rates like this it is important to develop sensitivity to trauma-informed and indirect methods of nurturing pelvic floor health.

The voice also dictates the success of your livelihood and impacts your effectiveness as a therapist or teacher. This course addresses both ends of the spectrum, from the throat to the pelvic floor, showing you how the oral cavity and laryngeal area have as much to do with your pelvic floor health as the levator ani.

Join Dr. Ginger Garner as she guides you through an indirect if unorthodox approach, of studying the voice in order to reveal and address dysfunction in the pelvic floor. This session will include 2 one-hour sessions and will address not only pelvic floor health but the general use of trauma-informed yoga for women’s health.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe an evolved definition of core strength & pelvic floor health.
  • List the biopsychosocial & neurophysiological implications for optimizing pelvic floor health.
  • Identify key breath work, postures, and mindfulness techniques that support vocal, diaphragmatic, and pelvic health.
  • Interpret how vagal tone impacts self-regulatory mechanisms in order to understand interventions that improve tone.
  • Differentiate between the motor systems that influence vagal tone.

Audience – PT, OT, and fitness professionals, yoga teachers or yoga therapists


What are the three diaphragms?

According to osteopathic theory and neurophysiology, there are three diaphragms which are involved in controlling the fluid pressure and movement of the entire body, while biomechanical theory, neuroscience, and neuroendocrinology supports the three diaphragms’ multi-system influence on human response to communication and basic life functions, including stress response, pain perception, sexual function, and sound production. They include:

  • The Cervical-Thoracic Diaphragm (laryngeal and oral diaphragms) is responsible for neurological optimization of stress response, swallowing, and communication, which controls vagal tone for cardiorespiratory functioning and the respiratory and pelvic diaphragm functioning.
  • The Respiratory Diaphragm is a connecting point between cephalad and caudad diaphragms, and is the main muscle influencing pulmonary function. None of the diaphragms work in isolation, therefore, each exacts an influence on vagal tone and function.
  • The Pelvic Diaphragm is the terminal end of the tri-diaphragmatic (3D) system, and can bear the brunt of trauma and impairment with dysfunction in the superiorly-located diaphragms. The pelvic diaphragm contains the muscles of the pelvic floor, which in turn impacts pressurization of the entire 3D system.

What is trauma-informed yoga? Isn’t all yoga trauma-informed?

Trauma informed yoga is yoga that takes into consideration the background and experience of the individual and makes real time adaptation and modification for the health and well-being benefits of the individual. Not all yoga is trauma informed or sensitive, just like not all yoga is therapeutic. Group classes often happen on a drop-in basis, which doesn’t allow the teacher to have prior knowledge or screen for trauma. It is important, especially when working with high-risk populations for trauma, like expectant women or mothers or military service members, to screen everyone for a history of trauma and to make our classrooms and practices safe spaces for individuals to heal and recover.

Why is the vagus nerve important?

The word vagus means “wandering,” hence it is known as the wandering nerve. The vagus nerve impacts the gut-brain body axis as well as cardiovascular and pulmonary health, which have a ripple effect on the entire mind-body complex. From chewing and swallowing to noise production to breathing, digestion, mood, and sexual health, even giving birth, the vagus nerve plays a critical role in the success of all of these functions.


The instructors
Dr. Ginger Garner

Dr. Garner is a physical therapist, published author, and educator. She received her master and doctorate degrees from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1998 and 2016, respectively. Prior to that Ginger was a practicing licensed athletic trainer. She has spent 20 years in education at the post-professional and graduate level teaching a “whole person” biopsychosocial approach in interdisciplinary rehabilitation through the lens of Lifestyle Medicine, which includes use of Yoga, Pilates, Mindfulness, Music, & Meditation as health promotion and intervention.

Dr. Garner is active in the American Physical Therapy Association and serves as the APTA – North Carolina Chapter Legislative Chair. She also serves on the US National Committee for UN Women as a member of the Board of Directors and as Secretary. Dr. Garner is also a former NC legislative candidate. Her dedication to public service & policy creation fuels her outspoken advocacy for social and healthcare justice and equity. Ginger believes equality is at the heart of resolving issues related to population and public health.

Dr Garner’s has specialized in treating chronic pain & orthopaedic issues in women’s health using an integrative approach since 1995. She founded one of the first integrative yoga-based physical therapy practices in the US in 1999. She is the founder of Professional Yoga Therapy Institute® and author of Medical Therapeutic Yoga, slated for translated in 4 foreign languages. Ginger teaches internationally and domestically and owns and operates a clinical practice in women’s health, EudeMOMiaTM Integrative Physical Therapy & Lifestyle Medicine in Greensboro, NC.  

In her spare time, Ginger performs with choral groups around the world, including performances at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and in Europe, and also conducts vocal performance workshops. Ginger lives with her husband, three sons, and their rescue pup, Scout, in her home state of North Carolina in the United States. Visit Ginger at

Course Material included in this course
  • Part 1
  • Who is at Risk of Trauma?
  • Core Strength
  • Three Diaphragms
  • The Biopsychosocial Approach to Pelvic Floor Health
  • Vagus Anatomy
  • Vector Analysis
  • Why is the Vagus Nerve Important?
  • Neuroanatomy
  • Maps
  • Feedback
  • Part 2
  • Polyvagal Theory
  • Social and Vocal
  • Vagal Dysregulators
  • Cultural Transformation
  • Research
  • Trauma Informed Practice
  • Addressing Safety Biomarkers
  • Vagal 6th Sense
  • Recognizing Warning Signs
  • Breathwork
  • Movement
  • Review
  • Feedback
Patient Exercises included in this course
  • Victorious (Overcoming) Breath
  • Sandbag Breath
  • Three Part Breath
  • Abdominal Breathing (Abdomino-Diaphragmatic Breath)
  • Identifying 4 Abnormal Breath Patterns
  • The Yoga Couch (Three-Tier Approach)