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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

Feb 12, 2019 - 20:00 (EST)
60 minutes

This is a 2-part live webinar with Dr. Ginger Garner. This webinar will take place on Tuesday February 12 and Tuesday February 19 at 8pm EST. By signing up on this page you are signing up to both dates and you will be provided with a confirmation and access details via email.


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.

About the Instructor

Ginger Garner DPT, ATC/LAT, PYT

Dr. Garner is a physical therapist, author, and educator. She has spent her multi-decade career dedicated to treating chronic pain in women’s health, and founded one of the first integrative physical therapy practices in the US. She is the founder of Professional Yoga Therapy Institute® (2000), author of Medical Therapeutic Yoga (Handspring Pub., 2016), now translated in 4 foreign languages.

Ginger teaches internationally and online through multiple universities, educational organizations, and programs. As a vocalist and perpetual student, Ginger has spent the last 15 years studying the effects of the voice and sound on health and well-being. She is an outspoken advocate for policy creation that would improve access to and gender equity in healthcare, especially integrative delivery of physical therapy, impact health literacy and improve medical education, and forward social justice. Her most recent pursuits are researching the global maternal health crisis, the impacts of the voice on health, and running for State Senate in North Carolina.

Ginger lives with her husband, three sons, and their rescue pup Scout, on Emerald Isle, NC. You can visit Ginger at,, and and her Senate website at

The instructors
Dr. Ginger Garner

Dr. Garner is a physical therapist, author, educator and founder of Living Well Institute. She received her master and doctorate degrees from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is also a licensed athletic trainer (ATC, LAT) professional yoga therapist (PYT), and board certified in Lifestyle Medicine (DipACLM). She has specialized in chronic pain & orthopaedics in women’s health since 1995 and opened one of the first integrative yoga-based PT clinics in the US in 1999. She launched Living Well, Inc. in 2000 and Professional Yoga Therapy Institute® in 2001, where she has since trained thousands of therapists and doctors worldwide. Dr. Garner is the author of Medical Therapeutic Yoga, slated for translated in 4 foreign languages. She balances teaching and writing with her clinical practice, EudeMOMia,TM located in Greensboro, NC.

Ginger is active in the American Physical Therapy Association and serves as the North Carolina Legislative Chair. She also serves the US National Committee for UN Women as secretary of the board of directors. Ginger is committed to resolving equality issues in healthcare, which she believes is at the heart of nurturing real healthcare reform. In her spare time, Ginger performs with choral groups around the world and also conducts physical therapy-based vocal performance workshops. Ginger lives with her husband, three sons, and their rescue pup, Scout, in Greensboro, North Carolina, USA. Visit Ginger at
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