This edition of Hood Health 101 is for the ladies that want to keep it tight and right

Whether you are a man or a woman, nobody likes a loose vagina for various reasons, many of which go beyond sexual pleasure. So ladies, let’s get it right and “keep it tight, aight!” Method Man tried to tell us back in 95 and I think he was on to something.

Can you consciously relax and contract your vaginal and pelvic floor muscles? Can you even find them? These are the muscles that you use to stop the flow of pee when you are using the bathroom or can’t immediately get to a bathroom. Strengthening these muscles will help you to avoid urinary incontinence, avoid a uterine prolapse which is when your uterus falls down through your vagina, improve sex, avoid hemorrhoids and even have an easier childbirth.

Before we get into any exercises, I recommend that you first learn your body parts if you only think that you have a hole for a baby to come out of down there. If you must, get a mirror and take a look. You do know that you don’t pee through your vagina right? Okay, just checking. Some people don’t realize how many holes are actually down there. Ever heard of Bartholin or Skene’s Glands? There glands help to keep your reproductive system functioning well along with many other important parts that people seem to often forget about. Without them, you’d probably be dry and shriveled up. OK, maybe not shriveled up but… Well, anyway. Come on, if you can let some strange man dig all up in there because he has the letters “MD” behind his name, you shouldn’t be embarrassed to learn the parts of your own body that you live with every day.

A woman’s reproductive system is made up of so many intricate parts including a vulva, inner and outer lips, glands, ovaries, a uterus, fallopian tubes, a cervix, a clitoris, hormones, breasts and more. But one of the main parts of the reproductive system that we don’t often talk about is the pelvic floor. The pelvis itself has a bunch of openings that allow muscles and blood vessels to flow through it. We call the whole area of muscles that run throughout the pelvis, the pelvic floor. These muscles prevent you from peeing on yourself, hold your organs in place and prevent them from shifting or falling out of your vagina and also aid in childbirth.

Sometimes these muscles can get weak due to a difficult or long childbirth, being overweight, straining with lifting heavy objects or with constipation, changes in hormonal levels during menopause, or just plain old age. Just like the other muscles in our bodies, if you don’t use them, you lose them.

Here are some exercises we can do to stay healthy, strong and good:

Sci’s On the Count– No, not the prison count silly, the coochie count. “I am get-ting my coo-chie tight and right”. Say it loud. This affirmation has 10 syllables. Say this affirmation 10 times as slow or as fast as you want and squeeze with each syllable. This can be fun. When you try this exercise, focus on the vaginal muscles. Again, these are the muscles that you use to stop yourself from peeing. Initially, you may not be able to distinguish between the vaginal and anal areas but over time and with mastery, you will get nice with it, and may even be able to alternate between the two.

Drop it Like a Squat– Squatting is one of the best things a woman can do with her body. Squatting is a great way to tone your pelvic muscles. Historically, women have always moved our bodies and squatted when handling our daily business. We’ve forgotten. Squatting for five minutes with flat feet can also prove to be a benefit during childbirth.

Your Hips Don’t Lie– You don’t have to be a professional like Shakira. Just get that pelvis moving. Try some Hula, Belly Dance, some booty shaking Soukous African dance, West Indian whining and even Hip Hop where the pelvis area is moved often like with twerking.

Coochie Kung Fu– This is vaginal weight lifting that can be done with Yoni Eggs. You can use one egg or many and can even add weights to the eggs if you really want to work those muscles. Soon you can even move the egg up and down in the vagina like it’s in an elevator.

Vaginal Steaming– Herbal vaginal steams bring heat and steam to the vaginal and pelvic floor area which relaxes the muscles, increases circulation, tones and promotes healing. If you haven’t experienced a vaginal steam, find a certified practitioner. They usually have a few tricks up their sleeves when it comes to Coochie Care.

-SciHonor Devotion

SciHonor Devotion, CD, CPD, CCCE, CMA, CWSP is a contributing writer to the Hood Health Handbook set.  She is a Labor Doula, Postpartum Doula, Childbirth Educator, Homebirth Midwife Assistant and Womb Sauna Practitioner who serves women and girls in her community through workshop, ceremony and rites of passage.  She is also Co-Owner of Queen’s Quisine: Vegetarian and Vegan Catering Company and can be contacted at www.facebook.com/EarthDoulas / [email protected] / www.facebook.com/QueensQuisine