Women’s pelvic muscles lose strength with mainly 3 factors:
- Child birth, especially with vaginal child birth
If you haven’t read our previous article that talks about ‘How pregnancy affects the pelvic floor muscles’, please click on the below link and read through.
Effect of Pregnancy and Child birth on pelvic floor
The loss of strength in pelvic muscles can lead to a lot of problems in the pelvis region, called the pelvic floor dysfunction that can include prolapse of internal organs and/or incontinence. It is important for every individual (especially women) to workout focusing the muscles in the pelvis region to avoid problems such as:
Here are some simple yet effective yoga positions (aasanas) that strengthen your pelvic muscles and help you overcome the symptoms of the above mentioned conditions.
1. Maalasana – The Garland Position
Steps to do maalasana:
- Stand with two feet together
- Stretch your feet ‘2 feet’ apart
- Fold your hands in ‘Namaskara’ position
- Sit down straight by bending your knees and pushing your chest forward. Note: Your back should be straight; you should not bend your neck forward.
- Breathe for 5 times and then relax. (Stand). Repeat the position for 10 times.
2. Supta Baddha Konaasana
Steps to do Supta Baddha Konasana:
- Lie down flat on your back with your palms facing up
- Spread legs 3 feet apart
- Gently bed the legs by pulling them up towards your buttocks
- Bring your feet into ‘Namaskara’ position as shown in the picture.
- Hold the position for 15 seconds, then relax your legs. Repeat the position for 10 times.
3. Setu Bandhaasana
Setu means bridge. In Setu bandhaasana, you will bend your body like an arch, or bridge built over a river. Steps to do Setu Bandhasana:
- Lie down flat on your back with your palms facing down
- Bend your knees and bring your feet closer to your buttocks
- Lift your back to bend your body like an arch as shown in the picture.
- Hold the position for 30 seconds and then relax. Repeat the position for 10 times.
- A minor variation in this pose is to bring the hands close, holding your palms together under your bent back.
4. Salabhaasana – Locust Pose
This is not an easy position but you will be able to achieve perfection after few days of practice. This aasana/position helps in strengthening your lower back muscles.
Steps to do Salabhaasana:
- Lie on your stomach flat
- Slowly rise your upper part of the body
- Rise your hands parallel to the body with palms facing up
- Rise your legs without bending your knees to bend like a bow.
5. Virbhadraasana II / Veerabhadraasana II / Warrior Position II
There are several Virbhadraasanas and this is one among them that strengthens the mid section of the body.
Steps to do Virbhadraasana II:
- Stand straight with hands on your hip
- Stretch your legs 4 feet apart. (If you are little shorter, you can stretch just 3 ft)
- Turn your right leg clock wise (to the right side) so that your right foot is perpendicular to the left foot.
- Stretch your arms out to your sides, shoulder height
- Now, bend to right so that your right thigh comes parallel to the ground.
Hold the position for 30 seconds and relax. Repeat 10 times.
There are other yoga aasanas/positions that you can practice to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles:
- Shavaasana with legs bent
- Apanaasana – Touching your thighs to chest while lying down
- Prasarita Padottaasana I
- Supta Sukhaasana
If you are a woman and if you have not started working out to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, start from today!!! “A stitch in time saves nine”, heard of it? You will save yourself from several pelvic floor dysfunction issues as you age and also a lot of money that you will end up spending at doctor’s office.