The vagina is a tube that connects your vulva to your uterus and cervix. It’s where babies and menstrual blood leave the body, and where some people put penises, fingers, sex toys, and tampons.
It’s normal for a woman’s vagina to stretch during pregnancy and after giving birth. But you can learn to relax and loosen down there with specific stretching exercises.
Stretching the Pelvic Floor
The pelvic floor muscles are naturally elastic and can stretch and tighten. During childbirth, these muscles stretch in order to allow the baby to enter the vaginal entrance. Stretching beforehand can help ensure that your birthing process goes smoothly. It can also ensure that the pelvic area heals properly after childbirth.
The elasticity of the vagina can change over time due to age and childbirth, but it will never lose its stretch permanently. The term “loose vagina” has been used as a way to shame women for engaging in sexual relations. However, the elasticity of the vagina is not affected by frequent sex or by having multiple partners.
To do a simple pelvic floor stretching exercise, lie on your back with your knees bent and lifted so that the feet are towards the ceiling. Gently rock the feet in and out of the air and stretch them up towards the sky for 20-30 seconds. Do this a few times each day.
Alternatively, you can do a pelvic floor strengthening exercise by performing Kegel exercises or using a vaginal dilator. When you do these, make sure you are seated and NOT while urinating! Try squeezing and holding the muscles for three seconds and then releasing for six, with two minutes of rest in between each set. You should feel the muscle tighten, but you should not experience pain.
Happy Baby Pose (Ananda Balasana)
The wide-legged nature of Ananda Balasana (also known as Dead Bug Pose) makes it a great hip opener that can relieve back pain and tightness. It also stretches and strengthens the inner thighs and groin, which can reduce the risk of injury in these areas. This pose also helps to decompress the sacrum, or the lower spine bone, which improves the health of the pelvis and upper body.
As a restorative posture, Ananda Balasana calms the mind, relieving stress and anxiety. It is a good asana to practice before bed or at the beginning and end of a yoga session.
Practicing this asana can help to prevent and alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety by strengthening the abdominal muscles, which can lead to increased feelings of self-confidence and a sense of stability in the body. This asana can also be used to aid in digestion, as it opens and releases the digestive tract, which can help to relieve constipation and indigestion.
Ananda means bliss and balasana is child, making this pose a beautiful symbol of the joy that comes with the miracle of life. The childlike pose also represents the energy of birth and regeneration that occurs during the process of rebirth in yoga. As a result, this pose stimulates the sacral and root chakras in the body to help balance the physical, emotional and spiritual bodies.
The pelvic floor muscles — a group of 14 that surround the base of your core — are very important, but they’re often overlooked. These muscles support vital organs, stabilize the pelvis and control incontinence. They’re also crucial during pregnancy to encourage your baby into the optimal birth position and alleviate labor pains.
The best way to get familiar with these muscles is to practice standing or kneeling pelvic tilt exercises. These movements help stretch the muscles and are safer for people who can’t lie down or if they have injuries to the feet, legs or back.
A popular exercise is the Happy Baby pose (Ananda Balasana). To perform this, lie on your back with your feet flexed and up towards the ceiling. Imagining you’re a baby discovering his or her feet, rock your body back and forth. This stretch is very soothing and relaxes the core muscles.
Another great exercise for stretching the pelvic muscles is a simple one known as the posterior pelvic tilt. This is done by lying down on your back with your legs spread shoulder-width apart. Slowly raise your hips off the ground, keeping your lower back against the floor. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat. This exercise strengthens the muscles in your lower back and can alleviate low back pain or sciatica, which can originate from inflammation of the sacroiliac joints located in the lower part of your spine.
From the time you were a young girl or teen, you probably learned that your vagina is pretty resilient and flexible. It’s an organ that can stretch to accommodate things like a tampon or even push out a six-pound baby. That being said, there is such a thing as having a tight vagina and if you experience painful intercourse or pelvic pain, it may be time to do some exercises that loosen your lady parts.
If you’re not sure whether your tight vagina is normal or not, it’s a good idea to consult with a physical therapist. A pelvic floor physical therapist can help you do some exercises that will strengthen your muscles and maybe ease some of the tightness in your pelvic area.
A common exercise is a pelvic lift, which stretches the muscles around your scrotum. While sitting or standing, clench the muscles on the front of your pelvis for about three seconds. When you’re finished, the muscles should feel like they have been lifted up inside of your body (like when you hold in pee for a few seconds). Repeat as many times as you can each day.
Another great way to stretch your pelvic muscles is to do the Cobra Pose. This is a pose that resembles the position of a cobra and it’s also known as the Bridge Pose or Bhujangasana. Begin this pose by lying on your stomach on the mat with both of your feet flat on the floor in a comfortable position.