Pelvic floor yoga - the key to a happy healthy life
Pelvic floor? What’s that?
Before we go any further, let’s align on the definition of the pelvic floor.
Pelvic floor is a group of muscles along the floor of the pelvis that stretches from the pubic bone at the front, to the tailbone at the back and from one sitting bone to the other.
Women's pelvic floor muscles support the bladder, bowel and uterus like a hammock. The openings from these organs pass through the pelvic floor (the urethra from the bladder, the vagina from the uterus and the rectum from the bowel). The pelvic floor muscles wrap tightly around these passages to help keep them closed.
In a healthy pelvis, your muscles know both how to relax (the normal state) and how to tighten. Pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and, well, life in general cause changes in the pelvic floor, which can lead to pelvic floor dysfunction and cause painful or embarrassing symptoms. And, as the topic is still largely a taboo, we often leave the issues unattended which only makes it worse.
Those issues are not uncommon - according to some researchers, 1 in 4 women over the age of 40 and every second (!) woman over 65 suffers from some degree of urinary incontinence. Though while pelvic pains are common, they’re definitely not normal - and I’m dedicating my practice to convince women that we don’t have to bear it!
Dangers of weak pelvic floor muscles
If pelvic floor muscles get weak, women might face various such health issues as:
prolapse of internal organs
The most common causes of weak pelvic muscles are pregnancy and childbirth followed by weight problems, hormonal irregularities (e.g. low estrogen level), and many other reasons that can be summed up as “lifestyle” (unhealthy diet, alcohol over-consumption, inactivity, etc.).
A weakened pelvic floor (stretched or weak muscles) often leads to stress urinary incontinence (SUI). With SUI, almost any physical activity puts pressure on the bladder and can cause the bladder to leak. This disrupts most of the physical activities - workouts, walking, bending, lifting and even sneezing, coughing, and laughing. Imagine a flue when you pee yourself every time you cough? Or carrying your child hoping your underwear won’t get too wet? This changes women’s lives, moods, and self-confidence.
To help to eliminate the problems, we need to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. Pelvic floor yoga training and breathing exercises help tremendously. I know from my own experience. I had incontinence after giving birth to my first child (vaginal birth with an episiotomy) and was considering surgery to fix the issue. Luckily, I gave pelvic floor yoga a try and my symptoms stopped in 2 months! This changed my life completely! Including the professional path - I’m now a certified pelvic floor yoga coach and 100% focused on helping other women to get their health back. I've developed an online course to help women get rid of incontinence - you can check it out here. First class is free.
Dangers of overly tight pelvic floor muscles
Weak pelvic floor muscles isn’t the only cause of pelvic floor dysfunctions. If pelvic floor muscles get too tight, we might be experiencing:
Pelvic tension can lead to an overactive bladder (OAB). With OAB pelvic muscles contract to pass urine before the bladder is full, hence, we have an urge to run to the bathroom way too frequently. Though it’s not the only issue. Healthy routine bowel movements and urination both rely on the pelvic floor's ability to relax. If the pelvic floor is overly and consistently tight, then both elimination habits are disrupted. When we urinate frequently, our muscles tighten to keep it in, though keeping it tight non-stop causes constipation because to pass the other passage, our muscles have to be relaxed. To help to eliminate the problems, we need to learn to relax the pelvic floor muscles. Which sounds easier than it is.
Continuous conscious effort is the key to success
Working with pelvic floor muscles is a constant conscious effort. The success of the training depends on the neuro connection between the brain and pelvic floor muscles. We need to learn to send signals to the pelvic floor for relaxation and contraction. This body-mind connection is the most essential part of pelvic floor training. Pelvic floor issues can be treated naturally using pelvic floor exercises and breathing techniques that help to strengthen your internal organs and relax your mind.
My training system is designed to help women get rid of incontinence and strengthen (and relax) their pelvic floor naturally. I strongly believe pelvic floor health is the key to a happy, healthy life. And I’d love for as many women as possible to have this key to regain their confidence and improve the quality of their lives.