- Encourage a “strong, supple pelvic floor” to minimize the discomforts of pregnancy and to support an efficient delivery.
- It’s common to have both a weak and tight pelvic floor. (See also: Anatomy: Pelvic Floor).
Identify Tightness or Laxity in Pelvic Floor
Those who have a pelvic floor lacking in tone are encouraged to do squats in addition to actively engaging the adductors during poses like warrior 2 or goddess pose. Those who have a pelvic floor with a lot of tone—which includes many advanced practitioners—are better served by practicing internal rotation and forward folds… Too much mula bandha, or tightening of the pelvic floor, can create a hypertonic pelvic floor—if there is too much tone it can make a vaginal birth more challenging. Focusing instead on a pranayama or breath-work practice, especially three-part breath, can help to soften a hypertonic pelvic floor.– Sage Caprice Abowitt,
Address Tightness Before Strengthening
Most women know that pelvic floor strength is important, but many of us are unaware that these muscles (even yogis’) are not only weak but tight. And it’s essential to address the tightness of the muscles before attempting to strengthen them. – Karly Treacy
- Seated Breath Practice: Breathing into the side ribs (Karly Treacy)
- Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)
- Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)
- Side-Lying Bent Leg Lifts and Clam Shells
- Virabhadrasana II (Warrior 2 Pose)
- Goddess Pose
- Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose)
- Malasana (Garland Pose / Yogic Squat)