Belt Yoga for the Pelvic Floor
We frequently use a belt in yoga classes as well as blocks and blankets. These are great props to help you gently stretch and strengthen "down there."
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Here are just a few examples of how a belt is used in yoga classes for the pelvic floor.
Dead Bug Modified with a Yoga Belt
In this modified version of Dead Bug, you hold the strap shoulder-distance apart with the shoulders flat on the ground. With the sacrum flat on the floor and spine in neutral (if it is arching, a pillow behind the head brings the ribs down), inhale with both knees up and allow the belly to fill and press outward. On the exhale, glide one heel outward (keeping the hips level), then inhale and bring the leg back to the start. The arms stay directly above with soft elbows or can be extended over head as the leg extends.
Note - this is great for the core, but the leg and arm movement SHOULD NOT result in an arched back. This may mean you only move a few inches, and that is fine!
Reclined Raised Leg with Yoga Belt
This pose is used a lot in pelvic floor yoga classes and leads into many other postures, and there are lots of modifications that work great! Try maintaining a 90 degree hip joint while keeping your shoulders and sacrum on the floor, using a strap if needed to gently hold the leg in place. A strap can also be used to help extend the leg straighter.
Ideally, the sacrum and shoulders stay flat on the ground and you should feel as if the leg is resting down and into the hip joint. It's great for the hip, hamstring, and pelvic floor. Bonus - it also helps you breathe deeper into the pelvic floor!
Seated Forward Fold with Yoga Belt
You don't need to touch your forehead to your knees in this pose. With pelvic floor issues, it's important that you don't round the lower back. Sit on the front of your sitz bones (use a blanket or pillow to help). Place the yoga belt on the balls of the feet, flex the toes toward the face, and maintain a straight spine. Knees can be bent as generously as needed. Hinge forward at the hip joint and come forward only as far as you need to in order to feel the stretch in your hamstrings. If you feel the hamstrings stretch after moving only one inch, you are still benefiting from this pose!
Stirrup Pose or Half Happy Baby (Ananda Balasana)
This pose can be great for working the hip joint as well as the innermost pelvic floor muscles. Place the strap in the center or ball of the foot. Maintain shoulders and sacrum flat on the floor and use the strap to help pull the knee toward the armpit. Remember to always keep your sacrum and upper back/shoulders flat on the floor. You may not be able to move very far, but that's okay if you have proper form and are able to feel the deep stretch in the hip joint and pelvic floor. Remember to breathe deep into the belly, allowing your tummy to pop up on the inhale (which is always the case in a pelvic floor yoga class).
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Gain access to yoga classes that are 100% focused on the health of your pelvic floor. Learn how to use the most common props, like yoga belts/straps, blocks, and blankets. Your whole body will thank you!
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