Urinary incontinence is a problem that troubles many women after pregnancy. It is also known as stress incontinence. It is the involuntary leakage of urine. Any kind of abdominal pressure including coughing or sneezing or bending can cause leakage.
Statistics say that about 15% of middle aged women experience urinary incontinence. It can be classified into two - urgency urinary incontinence and stress urinary incontinence. Urgency urinary incontinence is the sudden urge to urinate followed by an involuntary loss of urine. Stress urinary incontinence is the involuntary loss of urine during activities like sneezing or lifting weights.
The condition is more common than you think because most women are embarrassed to talk about it. But it is the result of the natural turn of events, and it can be solved. All you have to do is strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and relax the tight ones. Pelvic floor muscles support the uterus, bladder, small intestine and rectum.
Strengthening the pelvic floor is not very easy. There are 16 muscles which are at their best when working in concert. You have to think about them as a single unit. However, try to pay attention to four points - two sitting bones, pubic bone in the front, and tailbone in the back. These four points define the perimeter of pelvic floor.
Yoga is a reliable solution to create pelvic stability. However, you have to remember that urinary incontinence cannot be treated quickly. You have to give it time and be consistent. You will experience an improvement in time. Here are six poses in yoga for urinary incontinence.
This is one of the easiest poses in yoga for urinary incontinence to do at home. Start by lying on your back with your knees bent and feet together. Inhale and relax the muscles - pelvic floor, transversus abdominis, and hip adductors. While doing this, allow your knees to drop open to both sides. Exhale and bring them back to the initial position. While doing this, lift the pelvic floor and pull the transversus abdominis in. Accentuate the muscular contraction briefly at the end. You can do it for eight times in the beginning.
Also Read: 10 Yoga Poses For Irregular Periods And PCOS
This pose known as bridge pose or setubandhasana too. It works well for new mothers and helps in building strength in the lower back and thighs too. Start by lying down in corpse pose. Bring your feet close to hips and keep them in hip width. Keep your hands straight and palms facing down. Adjust your lower back in a way that your core is comfortable to move. Inhale and lift your hips while pushing it in. Exhale and relax the hips. You will notice that your abdominal muscles are moving too. You will be pulling the transversus abdominis firmly inward. You can repeat the pose for eight times.
Viparita Karani is an asana in hatha yoga. It is an inverted pose and should not be performed during periods. It is best to perform this in the morning because your stomach and bowels should be empty. Lie on your back while your legs are placed parallelly to a wall. Soles of your feet should be facing up. Your buttocks can be pressed against the wall or little away from the wall. Keep your head and neck in a neutral position. Once you are comfortable with the pose, spread the legs to form a 'V' on the wall. This pose in yoga for urinary incontinence will stretch the muscles in the groin and thighs.
This pose is a little more advanced than the previous one. Lie on the floor with your legs against the wall. Keep your buttocks close to the wall. Spread your legs wide and relax your pelvic floor while inhaling. Then exhale and lift the pelvic floor and bring legs together. You can repeat this eight times. To make the pose harder, you can grip the big toe of the leg by bringing the legs to your torso. It is one of the best poses in yoga for urinary continence. It helps in regulating blood pressure as well.
Utkatasana aka chair pose is easy to practise. Start with standing while your feet are hip-width apart. Inhale and bring your palms forward and move them above your head. Bend your knees and squat while exhaling. Move your hips to a 'sitting-in-a-chair position. The weight should on your heels. Do not lower the bottom than your knees. And keep the spine in an arch position. After about three minutes, slowly straighten your legs while inhaling. Bring the hands down to your side while exhaling. You may not be able to hold the position for three minutes in the beginning. You can start this pose in yoga for urinary incontinence with 30 seconds and slowly work your way up.
Trikonasana aka triangle pose is a standing asana. Start with standing comfortably on your feet with legs wide apart. Bring your arms to the same level as your shoulder with palms facing down. Turn your feel slightly to left side while still facing forward. Then bend to left and touch your ankles. Your hands and shoulders will be in a straight line. Maintain the pose for 30 seconds and come back to the starting position. Repeat the same for the right side. Start with doing it for around eight times then increase the number of times. It is one of the best poses in yoga for urinary stress incontinence.
These poses in yoga for urinary incontinence are your easiest and most sustainable bets. You can get past the struggle without frequent hospital visits or medication. However, like all sustainable solutions, yoga for incontinence will not give you instant results. You will feel stronger and more energetic in the first week itself. But it may take a couple of months to get rid of the problem. You should invest your time doing these poses at least five times a week as it is one of the natural remedies for urinary incontinence that definitely works. You can also practise them within the comfort of your own home.