Women's health isn't just about serving women. For Catherine, it goes beyond caring for women in various stages of life: the female athlete, women who are child-bearing and child-rearing, menopausal and post-menopausal. It's about taking a stand for half of the population that has been largely ignored in Western Medicine. She enjoys helping women (and underserved populations in general) to become both physically stronger and also strengthen their voices in claiming the right to a higher level of care. The epidemic of incontinence in the elderly and the problem of poor recognition and management of chronic pelvic pain are other examples of people who are typically under- or mis-treated that Catherine feels called to advocate for.
While women, older adults, and those who have suffered childbirth or sexual trauma are known to have a higher risk for Pelvic Floor Dysfunction, anyone can be affected, as we all have a pelvic floor. If we are lucky, it supports multiple systems: core stability, sexual health, gastrointestinal mobility, voiding and continence. Dysfunction can cause problems in any or all of these areas, which means it can really decrease your quality of life.
As the pelvic floor is generally considered a taboo topic, many people are lacking quality information about how to keep theirs healthy. Catherine loves to bring awareness to pelvic floor health, and she is continually humbled by the opportunity to make a positive impact on people’s lives.
Catherine works with female, male, and transgender clients to improve their pelvic health. She is honored to help people integrate this area of the body into their wholeness.
For more on Catherine's thoughts about pelvic floor and women's health, you may want to her interview with Katlin Robinson for Life Transitions radio show.
To explore your own pelvic floor from the comfort of your home, check out out Catherine's blog post on how to do your own functional pelvic floor self-exam.
Catherine is a natural teacher. When I take her yoga class it is as if she is talking to me personally (even when the room is full). She is so in-tune with how the body works – or isn’t working. Catherine tells us to be gentle to our bodies. She eases us into the class with gentle pranayama and then takes us through asanas that always magically warm us up to the climax of the class (modified for different levels always). But this is where her Physical Therapy expertise shines through: Catherine knows the body so well. Her knowledge of the body as well as the anatomy of the pose means that you will experience asana in a new way, every time.
As a 60-year-old, I want to keep my body strong and moving freely for many years to come. The core work I’ve done as a student in Cat’s class has changed my body, made me stronger, increased my body awareness, and reduced my back pain. She brings a sparkly energy and creative approach to every class, and always seems to find a great balance between work hard and feel good. When I needed to do a round of physical therapy, it was great to be able to see Cat, a highly trained and caring physical therapist that already knew my body, and could keep an eye on me in class once my PT was over.
This instructor is great! I will be taking more courses with her. She has the ability to communicate information in an interesting manner. I think this is the best instructor I have ever taken a (continuing education) class with!
– Janet L
Excellent speaker with a nice balance of lecture, lab, and shared case scenarios.
I took a course from you a couple years ago about using pilates/yoga with geriatric patients. You presented the material in a smooth, understandable, and engaging way. I was just getting into yoga at the time, and you helped spur me onward into that wonderful realm. I am currently going over, again, the workbook from that course. Just wanted you to know that you helped to re-energize an old physical therapist’s practice of his profession, and continue to influence in a very positive way the outcomes of all my patient interactions. I offer you my sincere gratitude.
I have taken classes, workshops, and private sessions with Catherine, and find her to be very knowledgable, present, and sincerely interested in helping each student to reach their own potential. Her teaching is clear, based on science as well as experience. She has a strong ‘body sense’ and loves to challenge her own limits and will challenge you to be your own best self!
I worked with Catherine when I broke my collar bone. She treated me for the muscles and movement around the break, but also helped me recover areas of strength that I had neglected because I was protecting the area around my collar bone. She helped me discover that I wasn’t using my back muscles properly to carry my baby. Her method incorporated pilates, yoga asana and strengthening exercises in addition to manual therapy. I was very worried about returning to yoga and never thought I would be able to do down-dog again. She helped me feel confident in my body again.
If you are looking for a solid, intense workout lead by a positive, passionate, and totally well-informed instructor, you need to attend Catherine Lewan’s classes. As a dedicated yoga student of Catherine’s for over 5 years, I can attest she has positively changed my life. She shows you the way to think about your body in a different perspective and provides the instructions on how to make it better. She has variety in each class, gives excellent queues, hands-on adjustments (at your discretion), and insightful thoughts to help you with truly understanding the practice of yoga. Best of all, she loves life and it shows.
Catherine is an energetic, bright, and passionate facilitator. She makes class fun and enjoyable!