Do you experience urine leaks while running, jumping, laughing, or sneezing? Yoga might very well be an alternative or supplemental intervention method perfect for you! Our pelvic physiotherapists frequently include yoga postures and breathwork to improve and manage the symptoms of various pelvic health conditions. Are you surprised to hear this?
Yoga is a centuries-old tradition that requires a focus on the whole self. It is a mind-body practice that encourages the integration of mind, body, spirit and probity to obtain optimal health. (3) Turning one’s attention inward develops your higher consciousness to gain mastery over external influences.
It also brings forth a heightened awareness of your physical body via various breathing techniques and physical postures. (2)
Incorporating a yogic practice has been shown to be effective in helping women with multiple chronic health conditions. These health conditions include and are not limited too: dysmenorrhea, lower back pain, bladder pain, irritable bowel syndrome, pelvic organ prolapse, and urinary incontinence. (3)(4)
Recent studies have found that yoga can improve the symptoms of urinary incontinence. (4)
A trial study on women aged 40 years and older experiencing stress-related urinary incontinence was conducted to examine the feasibility and efficacy of yoga as a successful alternative intervention therapy. The women underwent a 6-week Iyengar-based yoga (a form of Hatha yoga) therapy program which consisted of three weekly practice sessions with postural, breathing and mindfulness techniques. (1)
Some of the yoga postures used throughout the study included Utkatasana (Chair pose), Trikonasana (Triangle pose), and Malasana (Squat pose). (4) All of these postures work towards improving the alignment, flexibility, strength, control, and awareness of the pelvic floor. (1)
The findings of the study were encouraging Participants reported a 71% decrease in stress-related incontinence frequency and a 70% decrease in total incontinence frequency. The study supports the notion that a regular yoga practice catered towards the treatment and intervention of stress-related incontinence shows successful results. (1)
As some pelvic conditions may be accompanied by orthopedic concerns, please speak with your physical therapy professional about whether or not a yoga practice is right for you.
1. Huang AJ, Jenny HE, Chesney MA, Schembri M, Subak LL. A group-based yoga therapy intervention for urinary incontinence in women: a pilot randomized trial. Female Pelvic Med Reconstr Surg. 2014 May-Jun;20(3):147-54. doi: 10.1097/SPV.0000000000000072. PMID: 24763156; PMCID: PMC4310548.
2. Frawley, David. “Pratyahara: Yoga's Forgotten Limb.” Yogainternational.com, Yoga International, 5 June 2015, yogainternational.com/article/view/pratyahara-yogas-forgotten-limb
3. Tenfelde, Sandi; Logan, Rich; and Abernethy, Melinda. Yoga for the Pelvic Floor. Beginnings, 34, 1: 24-27, 2014.
Retrieved from Loyola eCommons, School of Nursing: Faculty Publications and Other Works https://ecommons.luc.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://www.google.com/&httpsredir=1&article=1016&context=nursing_facpubs
4. “Yoga and Mindfulness for Pelvic Health.” Physiopedia, www.physio-pedia.com