It is extremely important for everyone to keep their pelvic floor health intact because if the pelvic floor muscles are weak, they can cause issues in the pelvic organs (bladder and bowel, and uterus (womb) in women). Exercise and yoga aid in strengthening the muscles of the pelvic floor. While many people usually ignore exercises, they should know its importance as a strong pelvic floor is linked to precise balance, a healthy bladder, and even supports pre- and post-childbirth vaginal strength.
Yoga poses for pelvic floor strength
1. Tadasana or Mountain pose
Begin by standing with your feet hip-width apart and your arms at your sides. Between your thighs, place a yoga block. Try to lift the block upwards by engaging your inner thighs.
2. Utkatasana or Chair pose
Take a deep breath and straighten your arms and legs. Exhale and bend your knees till your thighs are nearly parallel to the ground. To get into the ultimate posture, arch your back and push your tailbone down and bring your heels to the floor.
3. Virabhadrasana or Warrior pose
Starting from a standing position, take a four-foot step forward with your right foot. Keeping your feet parallel to the mat and toes pointing to the top, bend your knee into a lunge. Pull your shoulder together and downward while lifting your chin to look up at your hands.
4. Ananda Balasana or Happy baby pose
As a warm-up exercise, raise your feet to the ceiling and pull down lightly with your first two fingers around your big toes. Maintain a neutral spine by resting your tailbone on the mat. As you relax, your hips open up, enabling your knees to come closer to your chest.
5. Kegel exercise
This exercise involves contracting and relaxing your pelvic floor muscles and it also plays a key role in toning and strengthening them. This can be done along with the correct breathing techniques.
Nonetheless, every aspect of our body is interconnected. As a result, the greatest strategy to help your pelvic floor is to strengthen your entire body, and yoga is an excellent place to begin.
What is the importance of the pelvic floor?
Between the abdomen and the legs lies the pelvis, and is the bottom part of the human body. It supports the intestines and also houses the bladder and reproductive organs. The pelvic floor muscles protect the pelvic organs (bladder, colon, and uterus) by spanning across the bottom of the pelvis (in women).
Pelvic floor muscles are crucial because:
- They offer assistance to the infant throughout pregnancy.
- They allow us to control the release of urine, feaces, and flatus, as well as delay emptying till it is more convenient.
- They boost sexual performance. Sexual feelings and arousal are provided by voluntary contractions of the pelvic floor.
- The pelvic floor can lose its muscular tone and bladder control for a variety of causes, including pregnancy and childbirth, strenuous sports and exercise regimens, menopause, natural ageing and pelvic and prostate surgery.
Also, read: 3 pelvic-opening yoga asanas to regulate your menstrual cycle
How does yoga help to strengthen the pelvic floor?
Yoga is beneficial to your body since it:
- Massages and relaxes the core and back muscles
- Helps in overall pelvic floor strengthening and toning
- Aids in having a regular bowel movement
- Gets rid of anxiety
- Increases blood flow to the organs and muscles of the abdominal cavity
- Increases the pelvis’s stability. As the pelvis is the base of the spine, its stability ensures that spinal movement is safe and steady
- Gets rid of any energy barriers and allows the pelvic base to expand up
- Aids in the development of pelvic floor muscles
- Overall, it can assist patients in relaxing, which is crucial, especially if they are suffering from painful pelvic floor dysfunction. Stretching your hips, groin, buttocks, and lower back in a safe, guided manner, may help ease pelvic pain as well.
- Pelvic conditions which are improved by yoga
- Yoga for the pelvic floor combines conscious breathing, stretching and strengthening activities. Each time you execute a yoga pose, remember to concentrate on form and function, as well as engaging the muscles.
Some of the problems that may benefit with the combination of yoga and pelvic floor physical treatment are:
- Difficulty in controlling gas
- Pelvic/vaginal discomfort
- Urinary incontinence, which means leakage during sneezing or coughing
- Several trips to the restroom in the middle of the night (nocturia)
- Urinary urgency
- Lower back, groin, abdominal, hips, and legs discomfort
- Intercourse that is excruciating (sometimes after giving birth)
- Having a hard time in bowel movements
- Having trouble urinating