Yoga for Pelvic Floor- 5 Poses You Should Practice
We love yoga, and it is not only because of the peace it brings into our lives but also because of what it does for our health internally. There are various types of yoga practices and if you are a beginner in this space, we understand that this kind of topic can come with a lot of information.
So, we are going to take it step by step!
For starters, there are endless amounts of yoga practices. Some practices focus more on stretching while others focus more heavily on sculpting your foundation – which just happens to be the muscles in your pelvic floor, and many more.
Either way, if you ask just about any yogi, many have spent some time exploring the realm of their pelvic floor.
Why the Pelvic Floor?
We often talk about strengthening the pelvic floor muscles for women that are experiencing things like bladder leakage or re-strengthening post-partum. However, there is so much more to the benefits of a strong pelvic floor. We are going to help explain how yoga for the pelvic floor can help you get closer to living a healthier life.
The pelvic floor muscles are what supports our bladder, uterus, vagina, and rectum. Without a strong foundation, these pelvic organs can’t do their job properly. This plays a factor in why sometimes women can experience bladder leakage, digestive problems, back pain, and even bad posture.
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The pelvic floor is also amazing for maintaining proper form in everyday activities like walking and running etc. When we consider the yoga practice, proper form plays a vital role in performing positions and movement correctly. As an added benefit, when you start practicing yoga you will begin to build stability and flexibility over time.
Let’s get into how yoga can help you build a stronger pelvic floor – the right way!
How Yoga Can Help Strengthen & Stretch Your Pelvic Floor?
One thing we appreciate a lot about yoga is the constant teaching of breath and focus. Here at Gynie, these concepts are extremely important because it can be so easily forgotten. The mind is such a powerful tool and yet, more than often neglected.
When you begin taking yoga for the pelvic floor classes, the instructor will likely take you through the complete process. This includes beginning your yoga practice with opening up the hips and ending with stretching the pelvic floor muscles to increase flexibility.
Whether you feel more comfortable practicing yoga at home alone, or in your local studio, the process should be similar. The teacher will often explain what you should be feeling during the experience and invite you to adjust to what feels good for you.
When doing yoga for your pelvic floor it is very different than doing basic Kegel exercise. You will often hear of terms like these to help you through the entire process.
Find your root lock
Draw your hip bones
Root your tailbone
Breathe deep through your belly
Tuck your pelvis
Engage your core muscles
Flatten the lower back
Focus on your breath
Release the hold with intention
There are many, many more terms that different instructors choose to use. Try not to disregard them. Use the information to help guide you to find your core and foundation, this will help you find your stability during the exercises. If you are participating in a yoga studio class, don’t be afraid to ask your instructor for more guidance. They can help correct your form and give you some tips!
STRENGTH BEGINS WITHIN®
Yoga vs. Kegels: Is There a Clear Winner?
You may be tempted to walk around and do one-hundred Kegels every single day and hope for a stronger pelvic floor. At one point, we did too- until we weren’t ever experiencing any results. We also found ourselves unsure if we were performing them correctly.
It’s very likely that when you think about Kegels you assume it is simple, not much to it. Many of us know them as squeezes you do with your vagina and nothing more. “Kegels”, as many know them, forgets to consider the isolation and the “release” of the squeeze. However, the reversed kegel (stretch) is just as important as the squeeze itself.
If not performed properly, your pelvic floor muscles could be left feeling overworked and strained.
By switching from doing mindless Kegels every day- to practicing yoga for our pelvic floor- we noticed a few things.
- Doing mindless Kegels while waiting in line at the store isn’t helping. In fact, it is kind of a drag.
- Overworking your pelvic floor muscles can leave them clenched and tight, which can actually cause pain to occur. You want your pelvic floor muscles to be stretched and healthy. Not tight and cramped!
- If you want to strengthen any muscle in your body, you need to do so mindfully and with intention.
Say goodbye to multitasking. To get the most benefit out of your pelvic floor exercises you have to connect the mind to the body.
Yoga Poses #1-#5
Now that you are ready to start strengthening your pelvic floor muscles the right way, we have put together 5 yoga poses that will leave you feeling balanced and in control! Try performing these exercises back to back to get a full beginners yoga routine.
Throughout each pose you should think of it as lifting your pelvic floor muscles instead of squeezing them. You want to focus on feeling centered with a strong powerful foundation. In order for you to do this, it is important that your whole body remains relaxed and tense-free. Throughout the poses, be mindful of your jaw, shoulders, posture, and centered feet. Try to refrain from tense-free.
The mountain pose is also known as Tadasana. This pose may seem simplistic, but you may find yourself surprised at the complexity it has. It is a great starting point in finding your foundation. We recommend starting with this pose before entering into the others. This way it will help you build the habit of being centered and grounded throughout each movement.
1. Begin with feet shoulder’s width apart. Arms should be down along the side of the core, with your palms facing forward.
2. Spread your toes, and really feel the ground under your feet.
3. Relax your shoulders while maintaining proper posture and remember to rest your jaw. Bring your pelvis to its neutral position. Draw your belly in. Be mindful to keep an aligned spine and body fully relaxed.
4. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths.
A well-known pose in yoga is the tree pose also known as Vrksasana. When done correctly, it can help you feel stronger and more stable for your yoga practice.
1. To begin, start in mountain pose. Find your center and be mindful of your breath, shoulders, spine, and jaw. You should feel balanced, strong, and aligned.
2. Shift your weight onto your right foot. Bend your left knee and place the sole of the left foot on the inner right calf.
3. Lengthen your tailbone toward the floor to stand tall.
Remember, if your knees are bent during this pose – that is okay. Try pedaling your feet continuously for comfort and remember to breathe throughout.
Mula Bandha, also known as the root lock, has many different purposes and benefits. It can help you strengthen and stabilize the pelvic floor and also help you build better posture!
Performing Mula Bandha will help you will feel more grounded and continue to keep the energy flowing throughout your entire body.
1. To start, begin on a yoga mat or alike in a cross-legged seated position. Clear your mind, close your eyes, and bring your full attention to your breath.
2. Squeeze and hold the pelvic floor muscles in and up. Practice keeping the rest of your body completely still and relaxed.
3. Breathe freely. Stretch your chest and relax your shoulders. Tuck your navel to your spine.
4. Try to focus on the squeeze and the hold as well as the release. Release the pelvic floor muscles consciously. Maintain control of the contraction. With practice, you will notice your deep core muscles activate.
This gentle pose is great for stretching the inner hip and pelvic floor muscles. Plus, it is a great way to cool down the body to bring this yoga routine to an end.
1. Begin by sitting down on your yoga mat. Bend both legs and bring your toes to the center. Allow toes to face each other, and legs should be relaxed with your knees facing outward.
2. Slowly lie back onto the mat.
3. Take deep controlled breathes and stay in this position for as long as comfortable. If you want to take it a step further, we enjoy taking this time to practice gratitude. Ask yourself, what are you grateful for today?
4. Remember to keep your shoulders, neck, and arms relaxed and stay conscious of your breath!
More Ways to Increase Pelvic Floor Strength
When we refer to strengthening the pelvic floor that includes a lot of different muscles, ligaments, and connective tissues. All in which, is ideal to be sculpted.
However, you may have a better chance of noticing the benefits you want if you isolate a specific muscle. We recommend exploring your PC (pubococcygeus) muscle. This is the muscle that controls urine flow and contracts during orgasm. A strong PC muscle specifically, plays a huge role in many stages of women’s lives like having an easier birth, having mind-blowing orgasms, and helping put an end to bladder leakage.
If you are still interested in yoga and how it can build your pelvic floor muscles and PC muscle, then you can begin to look deeper into the Mula Bandha practice.
You may also find a PC muscle training system to be helpful to you. Gynie is a product that is designed to target and strengthen the PC muscle using the range of motion your body needs in order to sculpt the muscle.
At Gynie, we believe in yoga and the mind-body connection. Our purpose is to shed light on inner core strength and its positive impact on women’s lives.
The PC muscle is one of the most versatile muscle in the entire body – yet so neglected.
By training a minimum of 3 times a week, for 3 weeks with Gynie, you should start to notice improved core strength, better orgasms, better bladder control, and more sexual confidence. And that is just the start!
Final Thoughts on Yoga for Pelvic Floor
The main goal of yoga for the pelvic floor is to bring awareness to that part of the female body. We want to encourage you to become more mindful of the pelvic floor, the PC muscle, and your inner core. By beginning to do yoga for the pelvic floor, you can learn how to be more centered and fully engage your core.
When performing these exercises – or any exercises at all – you want to make sure to always bring attention to your breath and posture. Take your time, enjoy the journey, and discover what your body is capable of!
If you decide to strengthen your PC muscle further with Gynie you will also receive the added benefit of growing more self-love and courage.
You will quickly notice that your true Strength Begins Within.