Yoga for Urinary Incontinence | Yoga Therapy

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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.


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:

  1. Urge incontinence - small leakage triggering a sudden urge to urinate

  2. Stress incontinence - small amounts of urine with exertion, e.g. exercise, sneezing, coughing

  3. Overflow incontinence - leakage because bladder does not empty well or blockage of the urethra

  4. 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:

  1. Poor alignment

  2. Weak Transversus Abdominis muscles

  3. Childbirth / Episiotomies

  4. Overweight

  5. Chronic constipation / bearing down and straining pelvic floor muscles

  6. Age

  7. Vitamin C deficiency


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:

  1. training the mind to minimise the ‘just in case’ mentality

  2. exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and bringing whole body alignment (which brings organs and systems into alignment)

  3. relieving emotional baggage, finding courage and healing of UI through spiritual growth


  1. Hypertonic -> if overly tight pelvic floor muscles. avoid Kegel exercises

  2. Post-natal, especially after an episiotomy or perineal tear -> seek clearance from obstetrician on whether you can can exercise (beyond the pelvic floor exercises).

  3. 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.

  4. 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.


  1. Cat/Cow

  2. Childs Pose

  3. Easy seated and abdominal breathing [5 breaths]

  4. 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

  5. Chair pose -> hold for 3 breaths [Repeat 2 sets]

  6. Yogi Squat/Garland pose -> don’t tuck tail bone [5 breaths]

  7. Lying on back, bent leg lifts (Lift one leg at a time, not both) [Repeat 5 sets]

  8. Corpse pose -> Meditation on ‘release’ and ‘God’s love for you just as your are'








These suggestions offered on 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 are meant to be observed and used in conjunction with medical treatment but not replace medical treatment.