- Penny Petersson
A bedtime yoga pose for vulvar pain
So, I live with vulvar pain, like many of us in this space. I teach yoga for an overactive pelvic floor, and I often get the question: How can yoga help with my vulvar pain?
It can help you because:
Many of us living with vulvar pain may also have an overactive pelvic floor
Some of us feel that higher stress levels are a huge trigger for our vulvar pain - yoga can help lower them
If you live with an overactive pelvic floor and vulvar pain - the overactivity might make the vulvar pain worse, because your pelvic floor is on guard (hello tearing from hell).
You rewire your mindset and you may start to see your pain in a different way, you change your relationship - which feels freaking incredible.
But today I invite you to have an open mind and really think of this yoga pose as healing while doing it. And I for one believe we highly underestimate our own healing power.
Bound Angle, aka, Butterfly Pose, is a favourite for many, and I know several of my students love this one because it opens up the hips, stretches the inner thighs, and it is also a great one to connect your pelvic floor breathing.
I like to do Bound Angle at the end of the day while lying in bed, place my hands on my lower abdomen and focus on breathing into my pelvis. This will help relax your pelvic floor, calm down your nervous system, and give your body a chance to prepare for sleep. But if I have a bad vulvar pain day, I visualize myself healing my tears and pain, and I like to think of my breath as a healing force, that I am sending straight into my vulva. I feel my vulva (my pelvic floor) move with every breath. Here is a great opportunity to visualize that your vulva has a specific light, colour, or warmth and you are feeding that with every inhale.
You can always place your hands onto your pelvic floor, onto your vulva, as well (hello self-healer), use the hands as feedback (breathe into your hands), and don't be scared of using your hands to get to know your body - like common, how amazing isn't your pubic bone?
And if you, like me, like to use the steroid ointment for your Lichen Sclerosus - LIKE is a very strong word here which most of us probably wouldn't use in this sense, however, we're going with it - this is a great pose to air the area while the steroid ointment is doing its thing. Often if I put the steroid ointment on and I walk around it can make the pain worse, so by lying in this position - you give it time to absorb, undisturbed, without mucking around with it.
How to do the yoga pose: Lie on your back and guide the soles of your feet together Open the legs wide You can choose to keep your feet closer towards the groin our further away - what does your body want? You can put a wider pillow under your feet to lift your feet up, or two pillows under the thighs/knees to make it even more restorative and comfortable (recommended if you live with hyper mobility). The idea is that you want to calm yourself down, and if you're feeling too intense of a stretch to the point where it's affecting your breathing (is your Ego saying hi?), ease of a little bit - prop yourself up with more pillows. And really use visualization to heal you in this pose, both mentally, physically, and emotionally. You are a powerful being, and don't you forget it.
Try this out tonight, and let me know how it feels for you!
If you want to learn more about how yoga can help with your pelvic pain feel free to send me a DM, or check out the Pelvic Health Yoga membership.