If you have urinary incontinence, your doctor may have recommend Kegel exercises or prescription medications.
A new study in Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery suggests certain yoga postures can also help. In addition to improving incontinence, you get the added benefits of reduced anxiety and stress associated with incontinence.
An estimated 10 to 30 percent of older people, mostly women, and younger women have urinary incontinence.
Researchers at UC San Francisco, have developed a yoga routine aimed at increasing the awareness and control of pelvic muscles involved with bladder control. In their study, women with urinary incontinence who practice the yoga routine for two 90 minute session per week for 6 weeks experienced a 66 percent reduction in frequency of incontinence. Primarily, stress related incontinence occurring when coughing, sneezing, exercising, or other exertion. Women in the study who did not perform yoga and received a pamphlet on behavioral self-management had a 13 percent improvement in symptoms.
The yoga classes in the study used the following eight postures. Click on the pose name for information about the pose:
3. Trikonasana (triangle pose)
4. Malasana (squat pose)
5. Viparita Karani (legs up the wall)
6. Salamba Setu Bandhasana (supported bridge pose)
Holding some of these pose for more than a few minutes can be challenging for a 90 minute practice. Listen to your body and modify the poses for your level. Discuss this routine and the best way to benefit by it for your level of experience with a certified yoga teacher.