Correct pelvic floor exercise is extremely good for us. The emphasis on correct can’t be overstated. It is easy to do these exercises in a way that ranges from not serving us to doing harm. If done well they can help with a myriad of issues as well as improve and refine your yoga practice immensely.
In a number of forms of yoga, teachers work with energetic locks called the bandhas. These locks are part of a slightly more esoteric practice but I think they can be connected to correct pelvic floor exercise and this is what can aid your asanas.
The most important thing I am trying to accomplish with my walking program is to provide easy access to complex concepts. The correct placement of the pelvis and thereby the pelvic floor can be very subtle but I try to provide as many simple images as possible when it comes to helping people change their movement patterns and posture.
There are three main images I work with in realigning the pelvis.
- Relax your butt when standing.
- Give your butt a room of its own.
- Tone your pelvic floor correctly.
Toning the pelvic floor correctly should be pretty easy if you follow these basic instructions.
The feeling we are looking for with pelvic floor exercise is to try and move the tail bone that is hinged to the sacrum forward towards the pubic bone. You don’t want to use the gluteal muscles, only the deeper muscles of the pelvic floor
Pelvic Floor Exercise
- Stand up tall and tuck your pelvis under. Doing it too much is fine for the exercise. When you try and gently lift or tone the pelvic floor the pubic bone will likely get in the way and clog up the action.
- Stick your butt out too far and do the same thing, trying to gently tone the pelvic floor. I think that the sacrum is now interrupting the upward lift of the muscle and the clear movement of the tailbone.
- Now split the difference. Move your pelvis into a neutral position and feel if the lift of the pelvic floor is free of congestion and in fact translates easily into tone in the abdomen. That’s the feeling you are looking for.
That feeling of an engagement that translates into the lower belly is mula and uddiyana bandha and an easy cue to check in with the alignment of any of your poses. It doesn’t matter what asana you are in, you should be able to find the easy tone in the pelvic floor that moves up into the belly.
If you feel that you know your pelvis is properly aligned.