“. . . according to the Yoga Sutra (3.1), the term [Bandha] refers to the ‘binding’ of consciousness to a particular object or locus (desha), which is the very essence of concentration.”
Georg Feuerstein



Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The Pelvic Floor

Dear Friends,

In this blog post I go over the muscles of the pelvic floor. This is an essential structure for support of the pelvic organs; the muscles involved are also engaged in Moola Bandha.

On to the pelvic floor...

The pelvic floor is comprised of a series of muscles including the piriformis, obturator internus, coccygeus, iliococcygeus, and pubococcygeus. These are illustrated in Figure 1. Other muscles involved include the deep and superficial transverse perineals, the ischiocaveronus and the bulbospongiosus. We illustrate these muscles in Figure 2.

Figure 1: The Pelvic Floor

Figure 2: The Pelvic Floor

Keeping your pubococcygeus strong can help reduce urinary incontinence. All of these muscles provide links to the thoracolumbar fascia, which is linked to the abdominal core. Take a moment to look over these images to get a feel for the attachments of the muscles of the pelvic floor. Kegel exercises and Moola Bandha engage them.

I’ll have more on this next week—just wanted to give an intro to the structure and let you know about the hacking issue. We appreciate all of your support.

All the Best,

Ray and Chris




21 comments:

  1. An incredibly helpful post for someone like me working on building awareness in the pelvis. Images like these are such a gift! Thank you.
    I do have one question though: on the second image, what is the fibrous tissue that runs up either side of the pelvic floor on the outside and crosses at the sacrum?

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    1. Hi Michael,

      Thanks for your comment and appreciation of our work. That structure is the sacrotuberous ligament, which runs between the sacrum and the ischial tuberosity. All the Best~Ray

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  2. Greetings again Ray & Chris,
    This post just REALLY made me smile today. I am the prenatal yoga instructor that specializes in pre as well as Postnatal Yoga, with an emphasis on teaching the mechanics of working and supporting the Pelvic Floor during Pregnancy and in preparation for childbirth, as well as the postpartum period. I would LOVE to show these two figures to my students . Are they in any of your publications? I have your muscles book as well as the Key Poses Yoga book!
    Thank you ALWAYS......
    Juliette Kurth
    silverlakeyoga.com RYT, PRYT (500, 200, 85hr)
    birthingbutterfly.com (DONA birth Doula, DASC)

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    1. Hi Juliette,

      If you would like high res images of these structures, please email my assistant Carol. Her email is carol@bandhayoga.com These images are from a forthcoming book on the subject. Delighted to see your comment. All the best with your teaching in Prenatal yoga!

      Ray

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    2. Looking forward to this forthcoming book as well! I also teach pre/postnatal yoga and talk about this area often. I may be emailing Carol as well.

      Thanks for sharing your wisdom and knowledge.

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  3. Thanks! I'm really looking forward to your follow up post. I'm struggling with midlife incontinence and pills don't help much. Do Kegels even work? I've read conflicting info. Thanks for your help.

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    1. Kegels really worked for me at 52. Took about 3 months of twice daily sessions and I regained my control. No harm in trying.

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  4. Thank you for this excellent, outstanding images!!
    I am yogateacher with a couple of workshops on this topic, but never had presentations of the pelvic muscles on the pelvic floor so clear visible. Thank you again!!

    Beate

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  5. Thank you so much ! The diagrams will help me explain to my elderly groups, who don't always understand fully. keep up the good work.

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  6. These images are the best images I have come across of the pelvic floor - as a pregnancy yoga teacher, I am always on the look out for great images that make it easy for mums-to-be to get an idea of how the pelvic floor, perineum and muscles and bones of the pelvis work together. Think I am going to like your next publication!! Thanks.

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  7. Wonderful! Thank you for these detailed images, I have been learning and teaching about using mool bandh and the muscles of the pelvic floor and navel, but this diagram gave me an even better understanding of the intricacies of this very important area of our bodies, will be very helpful as I continue to learn and teach. Thank you! sorry to hear about your online issues!

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  8. I know you know youve been hacked but you are now posting as artesananto 1 the hacker i assume on pinterest.just thought you should know.this happened me a few yeara ago all you can do is change your name slightly and copy the entire website as your provider isnt working fast enough. Im sorry you are experiencing this its really awful. Best of luck.

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    1. Thanks Niamh, we're working on it now. Ray

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  9. As I prepare my lesson plans to teach my first postnatal class I popped onto your site and this was the post! I am enjoying dipping my toes into the waters of anatomy through your books and posts - thank you!

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  10. Thank you so much Ray and Chris. My Ashtanga practice has enabled me to really deepen my hip opening of late. I'm experiencing things in practice and in my life off the mat that had me wondering just what it was in the anatomy of that part of the pelvis that was responsilble for a totally exhilarating change in my body posture and demeanor. I'm constantly queuing my students to press deep into the pelvic floor while breathing deeply and pressing down on the exhale. I'm also using uddiyana bandha breathing instructions to get them to understand the importance of focusing deep into the pelvic area. Namaste! Hope to see you both soon.

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  11. As a Physical Therapist, Yoga Instructor and New Mother with Postpartum Pelvic Dysfunction this was a very timely post. Thank you for bringing together Science and Yoga in such an Innovative and Inspiring format.

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  12. wow! That is the first time I have been able to fully visualize the interconnectedness of our wonderful pelvic floor. Thank you

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  13. So helpful!!! This pictures are a really valuable gift to me!!! Thank you and don't stop posting ♡

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  14. I am a pelvic floor physical therapist. Kegels are not the whole picture when dealing with any type of pelvic floor issue (urinary incontinence, sexual dysfunction, constipation, fecal incontinence, pelvic pain, etc), but they often are a piece to the puzzle. Problem is, most people doing kegels are doing them incorrectly... And if this happens they are either ineffective, or can even make things worse! I would recommend finding a pelvic floor PT (also sometimes called a "Women's & Men's Health PT) who can help assess you and work with you on creating a program specifically to address your unique pelvic floor issues (sometimes muscles ate too tight and need to be relaxed first and that can lead to leaking too!)

    You can find a PT in your area by going to www.womenshealthapta.org and using the PT locator, or you can also be in touch with me directly and I can let you know if I know of anyone in your area... We're a pretty tight knit community!

    jennifer.harrington@unchealth.unc.edu

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  15. Thank you so much for encouraging pelvic floor awareness! We have treated many individuals who suffer from incontinence, pain, and a wide range of pelvic floor disorders, and would like to mention that it isnt always a weak pelvic floor that causes many of these issues. In fact, a tight or hypertonic structure can also cause incontinence, and leaking! This is why we always recommend that an individual consult with a local pelvic floor specialist for the best treatment plan for them. Thank you again!

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