muck_a_luck: (Yoga Om)
[personal profile] muck_a_luck
If you are like me, a woman of a certain age with two vaginal child births behind you, then you know that you are supposed to be paying attention to the condition of your pelvic floor – that is, you are supposed to be doing your Kegel exercises every day so you can sneeze and laugh without "spending a penny," as it were.

How I do Kegels )

I have never found the process particularly pleasant or relaxing, and I know one person who finds Kegels actually make her anxious and stressed.

Recently, Yoga Journal had a Daily Insight titled :Mula What? It was a tiny blub about what Mula Bandha is and how to find it. Specifically, this comment got me thinking:

    To help his students find Mula Bandha, Richard Freeman, an Ashtanga Yoga teacher, offers this hint: "If you exhale very fully and smoothly, you'll notice that the end of exhalation creates a natural toning in the pelvic floor muscles that allows you to get the last of the breath out. This is the point where Mula Bandha is set. It's really complex but really simple."

After reading about how to find mula bandha by a deep, cleansing exhale, I have changed how I approach Kegel exercises.

Review Langkawi Yoga's explanation of mula bandha, located at this link.

They state, "The contraction of mula bandha on the deepest physical level is similar to the Kegel exercises used to correct urinary incontinence and strengthen the vaginal walls after childbirth."

I have been experimenting with the following breathing technique as my new approach to Kegels.

Deep breath in – duration is a count of three.

Deep, cleansing exhale – count of approximately seven.

Feel mula bandha engage. Hold that engagement while breathing normally for a count of 10. This "breathing normally" for me is somewhat shallow in order to hold the lock. I don't know if that is normal, or if I just need to practice more so I can really breathe normally.

Release the lock with a very deep, belly inhale – again about a count of three.

Repeat the cycle with a deep cleansing exhale to engage the lock again.

I find this breathing cycle to be extremely relaxing and pleasurable. My Kegel exercises have gone from being a chore I did not to embarrass myself, to something I enjoy and look forward to. They would be meditative, I think, if I weren't doing them in traffic.

I totally made this up. Has anyone ever done anything similar or gotten any similar instruction? Can you add any thoughts to how this might be done better?
zats_clear: hands doing yoga mudras (yoga mudras)
[personal profile] zats_clear
I wanted to share a technique that works wonders in calming my state of mind, letting go of pain, and reorienting my day on a more even keel. If you have done yoga for any length of time, you have heard the term "pranayama." Until a few months ago, that was pretty much all I knew of yogic breathing. On a Shiva Rea dvd, I saw what I now know as Nadi Shodhana and it was a whole new animal. There are numerous sources for Nadi Shodhana on the internet (go figure!), but I found this to be one of the more interesting, talking about an experiment done to determine the effects of this type of breathing.

Take a moment, try it out, and let me know what you think! Those of you who have already done it or other breathing techniques, please chime in as well.

I have copied the following from here:

user-friendly directions )


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