Menopause is a whole body experience
As we age there’s not a crevice that escapes the decline of estrogen and natural collagen stores, and that includes the vagina! This reflects in the many recognised menopausal symptoms that can interfere with the regular functioning of the pelvic region, causing irregular menstrual cycles, vaginal dryness, loss of libido, unusual odours and even vaginal prolapse! And this list isn’t conclusive! Experiencing one or more of the symptoms reduces sexual appetite and interest, affecting confidence and self-esteem, which can have an impact on our intimate relationships.
It doesn’t have to be ALL doom and gloom!
Menopausal vaginal symptoms can be very uncomfortable and women are often too embarrassed to talk about them and seek professional advice. But if your daily symptoms are severe there may be a need for a medication prescription and you should seek advice. Don’t allow a brief moment of embarrassment stop you reclaiming and experiencing what can be a really juicy and sensual time of life. OMC Doctors are here to help you on your menopause journey and will get you back to feeling more like yourself!
My Menopause journey
At the beginning of my menopause journey, I experienced an incident that left me questioning my own sexual health.
During a juicy intimate session with my partner, just before that sweet, blissful rush of nectar release, I was overcome by a sudden pressing need to pee! All my feelings felt conflicted and confused, not knowing if there was going to be a trickle of pee released along with an orgasm, I withdrew and moved on from the moment. The incident left me anxious and upset and wondering if I was able or willing to allow myself become so relaxed enough to ever experience sexual bliss again!
Taking a step back, I began to investigate. As a yoga teacher for more than 20 years, pelvic floor exercises are not new to me. Fortunately, I did recognise that somehow, I had lost my focus with the onset of peri-menopause causing havoc on my physical body in so many areas and I had neglected these specific and very important exercises.
I rolled out my mat and literally within a week of doing regular, targeted pelvic floor exercises, I felt a renewed confidence of my body. I had rejuvenated control and strength in my pelvic region and it felt great!
I put my hard work and effort to the test! (No step-by-step details needed!) I was once again, liberated and was able to start enjoying a relaxed and blissful outcome! For me, this was a really eye-opening experience on how our hormones can literally dip from one moment to another and cause havoc, physically and mentally. I suspect, similar to a ‘hot flush’ sneaking up unannounced!
Teaching yoga specifically to menopausal women, I essentially work with and constantly remind our Goddesses to engage the pelvic floor muscles during the practice, this brings a fresh supply of oxygenated blood flow, nourishing the pelvic area. Yogic exercises improve vaginal health and strengthen the bladder, which can help put the Sha-Bang back into your sex life!
In yoga class we engage three parts of the lower pelvic region to create a ‘root lock’ this is know as the Mula Bandha – one of three yogic locks which are referenced in yoga practices. The Mula Bandha consists of the vagina, the anus and the pelvic floor muscles in the lower belly. The Mula Bandha is engaged to strengthen internally and stop the life force from escaping the body and to keep the prana flowing, oxygenating and lubricating around the lower body regions.
How to engage Mula Bandha
Whilst on the loo, midstream stop the flow of urine. (It’s not recommended that you regularly stop the flow of urine midstream as this can cause bladder problems.) Once or twice is adequate in helping you recognise the action of recruiting and squeezing the vagina muscles. That’s one part of engaging the root lock.
The second part is engaging the anus. Imagine you’re in a public place, and oh no… you feel like passing ’wind’. Yep! Engage the anus sphincter muscle and squeeze it tight. Don’t mistake the bottom cheeks for the sphincter! The bottom remains relaxed and can still wobble!
The third part of the root lock is pressing the pelvic floor muscles – lower abdomen back toward the spine to meet the other two parts internally, visually creating a kind of triangular shape. The engaging of all three parts together becomes the Mula Bandha – root lock.
It is important to note that the root lock is not held with the holding of the breath. The breath still flows in and out, the bottom still wiggles and the top of the surface belly still jiggles! Once the practice becomes familiar, it is an internal exercise that can be practiced and held anytime and anywhere!
At Triple Goddess Yoga our practices will compliment any medical route and are super effective in enriching the renewal of oxygenated life force energy in the pelvic region, helping you reclaim your sensual and sexual persona and feel empowered as the Goddess you are! For a seasoned yogi, the root lock can be engaged and held throughout a class. For novices, simple yogic exercises whilst engaging the root lock will reap many benefits and start to lay a strong foundation of core pelvic strength.
In the privacy and comfort of your own home, please watch and participate in our Triple Goddess Yoga pelvic floor short yoga practice to help you restore and rejuvenate! If you would like to learn more and practice more yoga with a focus on menopause, please visit Triple Goddess Yoga – https://www.triplegoddessyoga.com/ a yoga platform dedicated to women on their menopause journey.
Sue Yen is in the midst of her Autumn years and is the founder of Triple Goddess Yoga.