Pelvic Floor/Mula Bandha

The pelvic floor is the deepest, lowest part of core activation. Located in the perineum, when engaged, it gently “zips” the core base in and slightly upward, the same muscles that control urine flow. Some may be familiar with the Kegal method of maintaining pelvic floor health.6 It is common however to create too much tightness in the area. Since everything is connected, it will result in an imbalance. It is important to note that there is an anterior and posterior engagement of the pelvic floor. The emphasis is placed more on the urine flow and just behind it. If the anal sphincter gets over activated too strongly and frequently, the sacrum will pull down and again, create painful imbalances.

A fairly easy and quick way to find these areas of Mula Bandha is to begin standing, with both feet equally flat, toes facing forward, shoulder blades gently drawn back and down in the position called “Mountain Pose.” Take a few long full breaths to connect with the body and become aware of the foundation of the core the pelvic floor, gently activated. Shift the weight slightly to the heels and become aware of the posterior activity of this muscle for a breath or two. Again, feel both feet fully engaged on the floor. As the weight shifts slightly forward (envision a ski jumper just leaving the chute) and notice the front activation of the pelvic floor for a breath or two. Be sure to return back to feet both fully engaged on the floor in mountain pose with equal pressure on the big toe ball mound, the pinky mound and the heel for a few breaths. Take time for another breath or two to become aware of now the “middle ground” of the perineum.

Why so much talk about this area? The activation of this area during movement can assist greatly in supporting and strengthening muscles in action, especially long-term repetitive use. Let’s take this concept to a seated position, where much of the dental practitioner’s time is spent. Begin again with feet equally grounded, placed directly under the knee in 90 degree angle, practice this a few times by gently “zipping” in and releasing of this area. Begin to extend the torso forward, over the legs and lift the arms in a reaching motion. Notice and activate this area while doing so. This little muscle will take much of the work load of the back, the shoulder and the spine when gently activated during movement.