A pregnancy, while an incredible experience, puts a lot of pressure on your body. Having four babies, well, that puts a whole lot of stress on your body. When I started yoga and pilates 20 years I didn’t really know how helpful it would be for my (many) pregnancies and my body. In hindsight, I am so grateful that I stumbled upon it (and I literally did stumble upon it as a 20-something mom looking for something “easy” to do in the gym). There are so many benefits of yoga for your pelvic floor can be life changing. 

A tight pelvic can cause discomfort and directly impact your quality of life. While it does not only impact pregnant woman, but the symptoms can also get worse when you are with child. Symptoms can vary from pelvic pain and urinary urgency to sexual dysfunction. There are various treatments available but if you are looking for a more natural relief from the symptoms,  integrating practices like yoga, pilates, and hypopressives into your routine can be very helpful.

Understanding the Tight Pelvic Floor:

The pelvic floor is a group of muscles located at the base of the pelvis, supporting important organs such as the bladder, uterus, and rectum. When these muscles become tight and tense, they can lead to a range of symptoms including pelvic pain, urinary issues, and even bowel dysfunction. Causes of a tight pelvic floor can include stress, muscle imbalances, childbirth, or even habitual patterns of tension. So, you can struggle with this before you fall pregnant, the symptoms may just intensify as you progress in your pregnancy. 

Yoga for Pelvic Floor Health:

Yoga offers a holistic approach to pelvic floor health by incorporating physical postures, breathwork, and mindfulness techniques. Certain yoga poses can help release tension in the pelvic floor muscles while improving flexibility and blood circulation in the pelvic region. 

For me, the warrior poses and happy baby offer huge amounts of relief. I try to incorporate these into my weekly yoga sequences. Deep diaphragmatic breathing, also known as ujjayi breath, can help promote relaxation and release tension in the pelvic area. Breathing exercises have so many benefits to your overall health and well-being. 

Pilates for Pelvic Floor Strength and Stability:

Pilates, for me, is like aggressive yoga that seems to always wake the tummy muscles up. It focuses on strengthening the core muscles, including the pelvic floor, to improve overall stability and alignment. By engaging the deep core muscles, pilates exercises help to correct muscle imbalances and alleviate tension in the pelvic floor.

Exercises such as the Hundred, Leg Circles, and Pelvic Tilts target the muscles surrounding the pelvis, promoting both strength and flexibility. Pilates also emphasises proper alignment and body awareness, which helps to develop a more functional and balanced pelvic floor.

Hypopressives for Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation:

Hypopressives, also known as low-pressure fitness, are a series of breathing and postural exercises designed to reduce intra-abdominal pressure and strengthen the pelvic floor. By engaging the deep core muscles and promoting proper breathing patterns, hypopressives help to release tension and improve pelvic floor function.

These exercises involve a combination of breath holds, postural adjustments, and pelvic floor contractions, which work synergistically to retrain and rehabilitate the pelvic floor muscles. I haven’t done any of these specific exercises but if you are looking for a little more focused help with your pelvic floor, hypopressives have been shown to be effective in treating pelvic floor dysfunction and seem to be easily integrated into a daily routine.

All of these will help your tight pelvic floor but that doesn’t mean you need to do them all, try them out and find the one that works best for you. I did pilates for years but I really didn’t enjoy it. Yoga on the other hand, I love and I am easily able to incorporate it into my daily routine. 

It’s important to listen to your body and do what you feel most comfortable doing. It is also a good idea to start off with a qualified teacher who can show you how to do the poses correctly, especially if you start working out while you are pregnant. 

Living with a tight pelvic floor isn’t fun and it can be painful but there are natural ways to find relief that you can easily (or relatively easily) incorporate into your daily routine. Combining stretching, strengthening, and breathing techniques, can support the natural function of your pelvic floor muscles and alleviate painful symptoms. Always approach these practices mindfully and listen to your body, it will tell you exactly what it needs.



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