Today, I happened to fall over an article on Kegel exercises on askmen.com. I found it amusing that a very ancient yogic practice is given a new name and dumbed down to be an exercise to enhance libido.
In Yoga, this is called Mula Bandha. The body (human or animal) is viewed as a shell with warm and fluid life force (prana) that has 4 exits (mouth, nose, urinal pathway and anus. ears to lesser extent). The practice of pranayama in combination with mula bandha is the basic exercise to keep prana contained in this shell. This is the same kegel exercise. It's erroneously viewed as purely muscular action resulting in people not understanding the internals of this exercise resulting in inability to archive balance - not knowing when to stop, long-term benefits and it's REAL significance.
The REAL significance can only be understood when you understand things from start to finish. When a human is born from a single cell stage to a multi-cellular one, during the growth of this macroscopic organism, there is a vertical elongation that takes places in a very methodical fashion. Take a look at any image of human embrological growth. This elongation or exapnsion rather, is thought of as the very nature of pranic force which pervades all universe. This isn't air, dark matter or some crazy unnamed, unfathomable diablo. It is the very thing that makes your nerves and muscles twitch. It's the reason light and sound exist and are perceived, all matter and space look like they exist. Most of our human lives get past not even getting a glimpse of it because we are too busy for it. We die and repeat our cycles of birth and death in vain not knowing what makes us. Nope not your parents, not GOD. It's this life force I talk about.
It has been discussed as the power of kundalini, yoga ragini and more. But scientifically I can tell you that it comes close to electricity although electricity comes not where close to it in power. I'll write about this later.
So what's the significance of mulabandha? Prana by it's fluid nature, is always trying to find an exit by way of breath, swallowing and yawning, urination, ejaculation and defaecation. These being it's natural actions, the unnatural way of it's exit is if these exit points are left unchecked. In our normal day to day course of living, we talk (chatter rather), fart, have erotic spells often out of pleasure and lose this prana. Even without doing those, the very act of keeping the body awake and those exits unchecked results in slow leakage. Note that when all prana leaves the body at once, we have a special case - death. Now you know the natural reason for ageing?
Mulabandha in combination with Mauna (silence, reticence) is the practice advocated to every human so this prana is contained. A natural consequence of at least material wise is control over lower abdominal muscles. There are stories of practitioner who could draw mercury up their urinary tract! Done over period of years with tenacity and moderation, pranayama can conquer death. Body will stay healthy and young as long as you wish to keep it. Of course corollary is that during the process you'll happen to look further you will realize how lame body itself is and give it up.
Done during the wee hours of 4am after cleansing orifices (get it?) pranayama bestows benefits only the practitioner can describe and yeah you can google it. In any case during every day life, the best advice from my Guru Swami Sivananda is to perform mild mulabandha all the time.
So by all means do Kegel but remember it's mulabandha (closure of lower orifices) and be conscious of doing it mildly during the day.