by Lisa Wells
Practicing Mula Banda strengthens and awakens your pelvic floor muscles. My what? Your pelvic floor muscles, the ones you actually use during sex and that support sexual health and vitality, as well as keeping your organs in place. Mula Bandha is one of the few exercises that directly works the pelvic floor. A similar set of exercises is taught, often by MDs, as ‘Kegels.’ Unfortunately the way Kegels are commonly taught we learn to engage the urinary sphincter and ignore the rest of the pelvic floor. Mula Bandha is more effective and easy to learn. You can do it anywhere. It will put a grin on your face and a spring in your step. It is good for both men and women.
We’ll begin with geography: in your minds eye find the territory between your pubic bone, your tailbone and your two sitting bones. It is an oval-shaped set of muscles that literally prevent your organs from falling out between your legs. The pelvic floor muscles function unconsciously, engaging to provide support for the organs during weight bearing exercise, during sex, and during elimination. Mula Bandha teaches us how to consciously engage and release these muscles.
Level 1: Take your awareness to the oval defined by the pubic bone, tail bone and the two sitting bones. First, narrow the oval by drawing the two sitting ones closer to one another. Engage and release about 10 times. Second, shorten the oval from front to back. Engage and release about 10 times. Third, draw all 4 points toward the center and then relax, again about 10 times. Repeat daily.
Level 2: Increase the work by drawing the four corners of the oval together and then lifting the surface. Lift and lower about 10 times. Second, lift in stages, a relaxed pelvic floor is the basement, lift to the first floor, the second floor, the third floor, then relax completely. Third, lift the surface to the highest level you can and hold it steady while you breath deeply. Hold the lift for up to 6 breath cycles, relax. Repeat 6 times daily.
Level 3: Build dexterity by isolating the various quadrants of the pelvic floor. Engage one quarter of the musculature toward center at a time. As you are able to isolate each quadrant separately, you can consciously put them to use during other exercises. For example during a lunge, provide extra support to the back leg with the back of the pelvic floor on the lunging leg side.
At the end of your exercise session be sure to relax. Relaxation is as important as work to build healthy toned muscles. You want a toned, not tense or tight, pelvic floor. So, relax!
As you gain awareness of your pelvic floor, put these actions into play in your sex life. I won’t give specific instructions because everyone enjoys something just a little different. Experiment to find the movements that give you and your partner pleasure.
Lisa Wells is an instructor and co-owner at Live Well Studio. She can be reached at http://livewellstudio.com/