YOGA AND THE MIND

Well-being is a multi-faceted topic that varies widely in definition and attainment. It is something individuals and communities strive to attain with varying degrees of success. The things most challenging in life are often the most worth pursuing. In Kentucky, there is a real need for attention in the arena of well-being.   Serious mental illness in the Bluegrass state is significantly more common than the national average, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

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IT’S A STRETCH: DONT FALL FOR THESE YOGA MYTHS

Yoga has gained a lot of traction in the Western world in recent years. Though it is an ancient practice, it is new to our culture and there are many misconceptions about it. If you ask five different self-identifying yogis to define yoga, you may very well get five different responses. In this article, let’s evaluate some common myths about yoga.

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PELVIC FLOOR HEALTH WITH MULA BANDHA

While it may be uncomfortable to confront the topic of pelvic floor health, it is an important subject of concern for women in particular. The pelvic floor is comprised of layers of musculature at the base of your pelvis that serve many functions, including organ support, bladder and bowel control, childbirth, sexual pleasure and intra-abdominal pressure.

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PELVIC FLOOR HEALTH WITH MULA BANDHA

Pelvic Floor Breathing Exercise

Try the following exercise for your pelvic floor muscles, alternating engagement with relaxation. You don’t even need to wear gym clothes for this one.



Explorations:



Cautions:

Cautions: If you are experiencing any pelvic floor dysfunction, consult your health care provider. This dysfunction may take the form of incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, abnormally weak orgasms, vaginal pain during sex, constipation, ache in the pelvis and more.


It is not uncommon in yoga practice to keep a constant engagement of mula bandha during a yoga asana class. It is important to counter such engagement with relaxation.


Sources and Resources:



  

LAUREN WEAVER, RYT 200

Lauren Weaver is a Yogi, Yoga Instructor, and Assistant Instructor with the Yoga Teacher Training Program at Lexington Healing Arts Academy. She can be reached via email at Lauren.mw32@ gmail.com.

more articles by Lauren Weaver

While it may be uncomfortable to confront the topic of pelvic floor health, it is an important subject of concern for women in particular. The pelvic floor is comprised of layers of musculature at the base of your pelvis that serve many functions, including organ support, bladder and bowel control, childbirth, sexual pleasure and intra-abdominal pressure.


Daily life and large events such as childbirth can result in either weak muscles or overly engaged muscles. Both of these can lead to a series of problems. Let’s look at how we can avoid pelvic floor issues by integrating mula bandha into our life.


The Bandhas

The bandhas, defined as bonds or body locks, are specific engagements of interconnected musculature that are practiced in yoga for their own benefits as well as for the benefits they provide when integrated with other poses. Three bandhas are widely practiced. Jalandhara bandha involves the neck and upper spine; uddiyana bandha involves the diaphragm and lower abdomen; and mula bandha involves the muscles of the pelvic floor.


In the context of this article, mula bandha is the most important bandha and has even been recommended as an alternative approach to Kegels, the exercise also intended to help strengthen pelvic floor muscles, though it often narrowly focuses on the muscles that control urination.