Kegel Exercises — also called Kegels — and named after the gynecologist Arnold Kegel, are Pelvic Floor Exercises aka Pelvic Floor Muscles Exercises.
The practice is done by contracting and relaxing the muscles that are part of the pelvic floor, notably the pubococcygeus muscles (often abbreviated to PC muscles). Kegels can be done by men and women, but in this post we just take a look at the applications and benefits that concern women.
Although associated with Mr. Kegel, Pelvic Floor Muscle Exercises are a very ancient practice, used in a variety of traditional healing systems, such as those from China, India, and Thailand. The Chinese-Taoist equivalent for the Kegel Exercise is the well-known Qigong Deer Exercise. In Thailand, Pelvic Floor Exercises may be part of Thai Yoga Self-Stretching (Reusi Dat Ton). In India, a broad range of Yoga poses engage the pelvic floor muscles.
The goal of the exercises is to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, which have several functions in our body. A healthy pelvic floor can prevent urinary and fecal incontinence (support for anal and bladder sphincters), treat or prevent vaginal and uterine prolapse, keep or realign internal organs, control orgasms, and diminish pelvic pains or painful sexual intercourse, among other things.
Kegel Exercises are rather simple to master. The main action to perform is engaging the muscles that hold-in urine (hold your pee) and avoid defecation. The exercises can be done standing, sitting or lying, in a variety of poses and positions. A check to see if you do them right is to stop the flow of urine while peeing.
In fact, one tightens the muscles around the perineum, the anus and in the vagina, holds for a few seconds and then releases. Variety is beneficial and can be brought in by varying the duration of holding (squeezing) the muscles, the number of repetitions, the speed of alternations, and the number of times per day one does the exercises.
Today, it has become rather popular among women to enhance the Kegel Exercises by using Yoni Eggs, Ben Wa Balls, or doing Yoni Yoga, among other practices. Here below, we take a look at some of the Kegel enhancement exercises.
The Yoni Egg (aka Jade Egg or Love Egg) is a semiprecious stone or gemstone carved into an egg shape, polished, and subsequently inserted and carried inside the vagina.
The basic idea behind carrying the stone is that crystals and gemstones are thought to radiate certain frequencies with energetic, healing properties.
Additionally, because the body must “clench” the egg to keep it inside the vagina, it is claimed that the Jade Egg strengthens both pelvic floor muscles and vaginal muscles, notably when actively doing Kegel Exercises.
Ben Wa Balls
Ben Wa Balls are also known as Kegel Balls, and are small, weighted balls to be used inside the vagina. They generally come in pairs, tied together by a string, and there is a great option of different sizes to choose from, depending on your goal.
The balls can be made from a variety of materials, such as metal, glass, plastic or silicone. They’re typically used as a sex toy, or as a tool for pelvic floor training, that is, to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles by applying Kegel Exercises.
Yoni Yoga is based on the Tantric idea of connecting physical, mental and spiritual exercises in order to channel energy of the Yoni through one’s total being — physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
When Yoni Yoga is done with a Yoni Egg, the goal is typically to perform Kegel Exercises within various Yoga poses (Yoga Asanas).
Female Deer Exercises
The Qigong Deer Exercises for women consist of two main parts: the first part is a Taoist Breast Massage, the second part includes Pelvic Floor Muscle Exercises, the latter being in fact similar to the Kegel Exercises, which can be done with a Yoni Egg also.
Vaginal Weightlifting means that you would put some weight on the loose end of the string and clench the egg inside your vagina to prevent it slipping out (made harder due to the weight at the other end). Obviously, the goal of Yoni Weightlifting is to train your vaginal muscles (being part of the pelvic floor muscles) by doing Kegels to clench the Yoni Egg.