Join the Kegel Revolution…
So, apparently there is a kegel revolution. Yes, those kegels, and yes a revolution. An uncomfortable topic to be sure, but an important one for everyone, yes everyone. So any Dudes that were going to stop reading here, hang in there. This is for you too.
Honestly, this is uncomfortable to talk/write about. I realize I should be all yogic and say things like our bodies are miracles and we should embrace all aspects. And that is true, our bodies are beautiful miracles and we should embrace them, but, man I was raised in the Ottawa Valley, and pelvic floor was not discussed at the dinner table.
So, why the revolution? Well, why I don’t think kegel supporters are actually taking to the streets, there is a growing realization to the many, many benefits for both women and men. It may seem dramatic (and sometimes I can be), but honestly, strengthening your pelvic floor may change your life. Regularly practicing kegel exercises (known in yoga as mula bandha or root lock) can improve hip pain, low back pain, incontinence, knee pain, shoulder pain, foot problems and yes, sex. By strengthening your pelvic floor you strengthen your core, which as mentioned, not only improves many structural pains, but also looks good.
The next question is generally the how to. There are many schools of thought on this. For the sake of this post I am going to borrow a recent article from Yoga Journal. To read the entire article, please click here
The Right Way to Do a Kegel
Picture the pelvic floor muscles between your two sitting bones. Inhale, and as you exhale, draw the muscles together as if they were the two halves of an elevator door closing to meet in the middle. Once this door is closed, lift the elevator up and then release. Next, imagine the pelvic floor muscles between your pubic bone and tailbone. Inhale, and as you exhale, draw those muscles together in the same elevator-door fashion, lift the elevator, and then release. Now, draw all four elevator doors together at once, meeting at one point in the middle, then lift and release. Repeat 5 times, and rest. Aim to repeat this Kegel practice 2 to 3 times a week.” (Yoga Journal, March 2016)
Important to remember…if you experience any pain, stop and talk to your doctor.
I know we all have lots to do, and I know it’s hard to remember more things, even if they are great for our health, but one of the greatest aspects of kegels is that you can practice them almost anywhere and no one needs to know. One ingenious woman would practice hers while bored at dinner parties, creative, but I’m not that popular. So I always recommend the red light reminder, whenever you are sitting at one, sneak in a few kegels, good for your health and makes the time go faster.
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6 Responses to “Join the Kegel Revolution…”
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Great article and how timely! This is so important for anyone, especially, I have heard repeatedly, for those recuperating from issues around incontinence or muscle wall tearing or other complications during childbirth.
In so glad you included men too!!!
One tip I hear teachers saying is to incorporate this type of muscle toning when doing other planned excercises, even jogging or dancing! Why not kill two birds with one stone? Not that I would ever advocate killing a bird of course.
Thanks Cera. And yes, I completely agree, about incorporating kegel muscle toning in many activities (and always being kind to our bird friends;). Namaste, Cara-Lynne
Great article. I am 68 & have been doing kegel exercises since I was 16…got rather lazy around the mid 20s-30s, but, thank you Mom (RN) they are paying off now!! I have many friends that don’t even know what kegel toning is or how to go about it. I’m sending them this well written news.
Jill, Thank you for the kind words and support. And bless your Mom for giving you such great advice! You are right. Kegels are so important at all ages but really pay off later in life. Sincerely, thank you again. Namaste, Cara-Lynne
As someone who has a messed up pelvic floor and has gone for physiotherapy(!) for it, the most important part of the kegel, and the part that is often forgotten, is the release of the exercise. Fully and completely return to soft and long muscles so that the muscles of the pelvic floor have optimal blood flow and aren’t stuck even partially contracted at the end of the kegel. Ya gotta be able to fully relax-if they are stuck tight, they cannot tighten further to stop urine flow when you laugh/cough/sneeze/breathe/run/jump/squat/pick up a child/step up on a stool.
What a great point Julie. The release is so important, just like in all yoga we often forget the relaxation is as important as the pose itself. Thank you so much for your comment. Namaste, Cara-Lynne