From Garland Pose to Legs Up the Wall Pose: Yoga Asanas That Help Strengthen Your Pelvic Floor Muscles
Yoga offers a variety of asanas (postures) that can help strengthen muscles and improve overall pelvic health (Image: Shutterstock)
The pelvic floor muscles also play a crucial role in supporting the organs and improving body balance.
Yoga is known to strengthen muscles. This form of exercise can be key to strengthening your pelvic muscles, located between your tailbone and pubic bone. These muscles are essential for improving bladder and bowel control, enhancing sexual function, and providing general support for core stability and posture. The pelvic floor muscles also play a crucial role in supporting the organs and improving body balance.
Yoga offers a variety of asanas (postures) that can help strengthen muscles and improve overall pelvic health. Remember to listen to your body, modify poses as needed, and consult a qualified yoga instructor or health professional if you have any specific concerns or conditions.
Here are five yoga asanas that specifically target and strengthen the pelvic floor muscles:
- Malasana (garland pose)
Malasana is a deep squat pose that engages the pelvic floor muscles. Start by standing with your feet wider than hip-width apart. Lower your hips toward the floor, bringing your palms together on your chest. Keep your spine long and your weight evenly distributed between your feet. Take a deep breath and hold the pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute, gradually increasing the duration over time. This will increase blood flow in the pelvic region and tone the abdominal muscles.
- Bhujangasana (cobra pose)
It’s a gentle backbend that activates the pelvic floor muscle. This yoga asana improves blood circulation and helps the cells in your body to receive adequate oxygen and nutrients. First, start by lying on your stomach, with your legs extended behind you and your hands placed directly under your shoulders. Inhale, press your palms into the mat, and lift your chest off the floor, keeping your pelvis in contact with the floor. Focus on engaging your pelvic floor muscles while holding a steady breath. Hold the pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Utkatasana (chair pose)
Utkatasana, also known as Chair Pose, is an excellent asana to strengthen the entire pelvic floor muscle. Start by standing with your feet together. Inhale deeply and raise your arms above your head, palms facing each other. Exhale and bend your knees, as if you were sitting in an imaginary chair. Engage your pelvic floor muscles by pulling them up. Hold the pose for some time, gradually increasing the duration. This yoga asana will give overall muscle strength to the spine, calf, thigh, ankle, and shoulders.
- Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana)
This is particularly effective for the lower back muscles and also improves digestion. Lie on your back, knees bent and feet hip-width apart. Inhale and lift your hips off the ground, pressing your feet into the mat. Interlock your fingers under your body and hold the pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute, breathing deeply. It is also said to relieve the symptoms of menstrual pain and menopause.
- Viparita Karani (legs up the wall pose)
As the name suggests, it is a restorative pose that gently stretches and strengthens the pelvic floor muscles. This yoga posture favors the relaxation of the pelvic muscles and the relief of menstrual cramps. To try this, sit on your side against a wall and lie on your back, placing your legs against the wall. Relax your arms at your sides and take a deep breath. Allow the weight of your legs to passively stretch the pelvic muscle. Stay in the pose for 5 to 10 minutes and focus on deep, relaxed breathing.