Why we need to practise different kinds of pelvic floor practises. And not just Kegels.
You might have heard about (and practised your) Kegels. But we need a bit more variation.
Here is why:
There are different kinds of muscles and muscle fibres in our body – including the pelvic floor. They all work together to support our body, movement and physiology. Our pelvic floor muscles support our pelvic organs, our bladder, cervix, uterus and rectum.
To keep the organs and the functioning of the organs optimal we need to have healthy, flexible and balanced pelvic floor muscles.
Slow and quick twitch muscles
Certain muscles fibres, so-called ‘slow twitch’, are there for endurance. There is a slight tone all the time to support our skeletal system, for us to be able to sit up, walk tall and of course to hold our organs in place. Otherwise, we would just be floppy! These muscle fibres are also responsible for keeping your bladder, cervix, uterus and rectum in their correct position.
Then there are quick twitch muscle fibres responsible for quickly switching on when needed. They switch on when your bladder is full and you need to hold until you can go to the loo. They contract quickly but also tire easily. For example the quick twitch muscle fibres contract quickly so we don’t leak when we sneeze.
When we practise pelvic floor movements we need to practise both. I go into great details and offer many variations in the sacred pelvis course which includes audio meditations, visualisations, guided practices and yoga-based instruction videos. But you can practise slowly engaging the whole or different parts of the pelvic floor with the breath. Then hold the engagement for a few breaths and slowly release. Once you have that awareness engage and release super quickly. Again work with the different areas of the pelvic floor muscles as well as the pelvic hammock as a whole.
Remember to learn to relax and release tension here too.
Both muscle fibres are important for our health and wellbeing so keep practising and play around. Keep inspired by staying in touch.
Anja Brierley Lange is passionate about womb wellness, pelvic floor awareness and women’s health. She is an Ayurvedic practitioner, yoga teacher and has additional training in yoni steam, clinical aromatherapy, flower essences and reiki. Her passion project sacredpelvis.com is an online course in pelvic floor awareness. She is the founder of yogaembodied.com and she is active on Instagram as @anja_yogini where she would love to hear from you.