Pregnancy is a common cause of a weak pelvic floor in women. The weight of a growing baby combined with the stress of labor on the body can make it a challenge for the pelvic floor to fully recover. But there are ways to slowly strengthen your pelvic floor using gentle exercises like yoga. Check out these 7 yoga postures for a weak pelvic floor.
1. Savasana with Bent Legs
Savasana is corpse pose in yoga. It’s a state of constructive relaxation where you lie flat on your back with your ankles relaxed and open on your yoga mat.
But in this revised version, you’ll bend your legs placing both feet flat on the floor. Avoid forcing your feet to be flat and just relax into the pose.
Closing your eyes, focus on your breathing. Your hands are on your belly to feel the rise and fall with each breath.
Feeling your breathing takes your attention away from the distractions around you and into belly breathing. Belly breathing allows your diaphragm to create and release pressure from your midsection.
Each time this happens it engages your pelvic floor. Keep up this exercise for 5-10 minutes each day to help strengthen a weak pelvic floor.
The next yoga pose for a weak pelvic floor is called Apasana. It helps to both strengthen your pelvic floor and core muscles at the same time using your breath.
To do Apasana, lie flat on your back with your arms stretched above your head and legs relaxed. Take a deep breath, and bring your knees into your chest and wrap your arms around your shins.
On the exhale, stretch your arms above your head and legs out straight on the floor. Move slowly on each inhalation and exhalation.
This yoga stretch takes the pressure off your lower back which has been associated with a weak pelvic floor.
3. Reclined Bound Angle
To do the reclined bound angle pose, lie down with your knees bent. Your feet should be flat on the floor with your knees relaxed.
Allow your knees to fall flat to each side, or as far as each knee will go. Let your arms relax by your sides with palms facing upward.
Hold this pose for one-minute breathing deeply. This pose uses your inner thighs to stabilize your pelvic floor.
4. Legs Up Wall
Lie in front of a wall until your heels resting on the wall. Make sure you leave only a little space between your tailbone and the wall keeping your legs straight.
Relax your arms at your sides with palms facing up. Breathe deeply for one minute taking the pressure off your diaphragm.
In this pose, you also take the pressure off your weak pelvic floor.
Position yourself on your hands and knees. Gently arch your and inhale into cat pose. Your pelvis should be tilted forward with your hands directly underneath your shoulder.
On the exhale, drop your tailbone and belly into a downward arch for cow pose. Look toward the ceiling to deepen the stretch in your spine.
Start each movement on the inhale and exhale from the pelvis.
6. Child’s Pose
Kneel at one end of your yoga mat with knees shoulder-width apart. Both your big toes should touch creating a v-shape with your legs.
Slowly walk your hands forward until your forward touches the mat. Extend your arms over your head pressing each palm into the mat.
Draw your hips toward your heels. Breathe deeply for one minute with your eyes closed. Your lower back will open up with this pose stretching out your pelvic floor along the way.
7. Wide-Legged Forward Fold
Stand horizontal on your yoga mat. Straddle your legs wide then slowly bend at the waist keeping your back long to avoid injury.
Keep bending until you the top of your head is pointed towards the mat opening up your groin area. This stretch is a great option for weak pelvic floors because it takes away built-up tension.
The fold may be too intense for some when starting out. Feel free to use a block or stack of blankets to make the stretch easier for you. Another option is to bend at the knees to take some of the pressure off your hamstrings.
Weak Pelvic Floor Symptoms
Your pelvic floor muscles surround your bladder and rectum. When these muscles get too weak, it can make it difficult to avoid a sneeze or cough without a ‘leak.’ You might also find it harder to control bowel movements.
One of the most common signs of a weak pelvic floor is urinary incontinence. Men often experience symptoms of a weak pelvic floor following prostate surgery.
Fecal or urinary incontinence is possible to treat with pelvic muscle training exercises. You won’t see results overnight but if you can learn to identify which muscles need training you’ll experience better results.
Is Yoga the Best Option for a Weak Pelvic Floor?
A weak pelvic floor may be treated in a variety of ways. Don’t expect only one method to be the perfect solution to strengthen your pelvic floor.
While on vacation, yoga might be the ideal solution while Kegels can serve you best during hectic work weeks. Give yourself time each day to practice poses or muscle training exercises.
Just a few minutes each day is enough to help transform your pelvic floor so you can eliminate or reduce the symptoms associated with having a weak pelvic floor. For more information or to schedule a visit, contact us today.