Yoga for Urinary Incontinence | Yoga Therapy
The reason I chose to cover this issue is precisely because I am no stranger to this. I know how it feels and how embarrassing it is, especially when it prevents you from participating participating in active exercise.
SPECIFIC ISSUE - URINARY INCONTINENCE
Urinary Incontinence (UI) is the loss of bladder control, resulting in urine leakage or heightened frequency in urge to urinate. There are 4 types of UI:
Urge incontinence - small leakage triggering a sudden urge to urinate
Stress incontinence - small amounts of urine with exertion, e.g. exercise, sneezing, coughing
Overflow incontinence - leakage because bladder does not empty well or blockage of the urethra
Functional incontinence - leakage resulting from medication/physical disability or memory problem, making it difficult to reach a bathroom
The following yoga therapy program focusses on ‘Stress Urinary Incontinence’.
Most commonly affecting post-birth women, the main causes of SUI are:
Weak Transversus Abdominis muscles
Childbirth / Episiotomies
Chronic constipation / bearing down and straining pelvic floor muscles
Vitamin C deficiency
THE BENEFITS OF YOGA FOR THIS ISSUE (SYMPTOM CONTROL)
For this particular project, the tailored yoga therapy program is not the typical yoga poses/flow series. Applying a yoga therapist’s knowledge of the human anatomy, this program is designed to help improve the symptoms of stress incontinence by focussing on bringing the body back into alignment and strengthening pelvic floor muscles.
Yoga therapy combines mind, body and spirit aspects to develop a healthy recipe for UI, including:
training the mind to minimise the ‘just in case’ mentality
exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and bringing whole body alignment (which brings organs and systems into alignment)
relieving emotional baggage, finding courage and healing of UI through spiritual growth
Hypertonic -> if overly tight pelvic floor muscles. avoid Kegel exercises
Post-natal, especially after an episiotomy or perineal tear -> seek clearance from obstetrician on whether you can can exercise (beyond the pelvic floor exercises).
Urinary Tract Infection -> whilst finding alignment and yoga can help prevent UTI, it does not cure the infection or inflammation. Get clearance from medical practitioner before engaging in this type of program during a UTI infection.
Functional Incontinence -> this tailored program focusses on those suffering from stress urinary incontinence and may not see any particular benefit for those suffering from incontinence resulting from medication or health issues.
15-30 MINUTE FLOW
Easy seated and abdominal breathing [5 breaths]
Differentiated Pelvic Floor Exercise, moving between a,b,c (Start with holding for 8 seconds and build up to 20 seconds over the course of practice)
a. Engage muscles as if holding in urine (muscles around urethra)
b. [For women] Squeeze vaginal wall muscles as if sucking from straw
c. Squeeze anus as if preventing bowel movement
Chair pose -> hold for 3 breaths [Repeat 2 sets]
Yogi Squat/Garland pose -> don’t tuck tail bone [5 breaths]
Lying on back, bent leg lifts (Lift one leg at a time, not both) [Repeat 5 sets]
Corpse pose -> Meditation on ‘release’ and ‘God’s love for you just as your are'
SOURCES & RESEARCH
These suggestions offered on www.lovejosephine.com are intended to complement and support the medical treatment targeting the specified issue, with the goal of enhancing the well-being of the patient. It is not intended to replace medical recommendations by your medical practitioners. It is highly recommended and, in most cases, essential that you stay compliant to the treatment advice given by a western medical professional. Prior to starting any physical programs, it is advised to get clearance from a medical professional. Upon medical clearance, the suggestions and educational resources offered on www.lovejosephine.com are meant to be observed and used in conjunction with medical treatment but not replace medical treatment.