One of the topics that I found extremely interesting whilst studying pre and postnatal yoga was the pelvic floor.
It occurred to me that we are taught very little about this group of muscles, and they are so so important!
So what is the pelvic floor?
The pelvic floor is a group of muscles located at the base of the pelvis.
There are 2 layers:
Layer 1 - The superficial layer.
This layer is on the outer edge and has the openings into the body (uretha, vagina and anus).
Layer 2 - The deep layer.
This layer sits like a hammock to support the organs located in the pelvis (bladder, uterus and bowel).
The pelvic floor is important because it helps to control your bowel and bladder, supports your organs by preventing prolapse, and it is also part of your core (yes, your core! I certainly didn’t know this) which helps to support and stabilise your spine.
It is especially important to have a strong pelvic floor during pregnancy as there is more pressure on the organs from the weight of the baby. The pelvic floor muscles stretch during a vaginal birth so we want them to be strong to support your organs and aid the post birth healing process.
Both women and men have a pelvic floor, and I definitely feel that there is a need for more education on how to keep these muscles healthy and strong.
It’s important to note that you can have a tight, weak or combination pelvic floor. If it’s tight you will need to work on relaxing the muscles before strengthening them. Deep diaphragmatic breathing, perineal massage and gentle stretches will all help to relax the pelvic floor.
Find out how to relax the pelvic floor here:
and how to strengthen here: