Best Asanas for Bladder Control

Updated: Dec 2, 2020

Bladder control issues are not only an old age problem. Bladder control problems in women are caused due to pregnancy, childbirth, cystocele, pelvic organ prolapse and menopause. One might also have bladder control issues after a urinary infection. Men have a prostate gland that surrounds the opening of the bladder. The prostate gets bigger as a man ages. Men with an enlarged prostate may have problems with starting to urinate, a slow urine stream or problems fully emptying the bladder.


How do you know that you have bladder control issues?

Here are some signs and symptoms of urinary incontinence,

  • leaking urine during everyday activities, such as lifting, bending, coughing, or exercising

  • feeling a sudden, strong urge to urinate right away

  • leaking urine without any warning or urge

  • being unable to reach a toilet in time

  • waking up in the night to urinate


Easy/Beginner Level Poses:


Urinary incontinence is caused by a weak pelvic floor. Here are some easy beginner level Asanas that will help you eliminate or at least improve your bladder control. Keeping the age factor in mind, use support for the various yoga poses, to bring less strain to the lower back or the sacrum. We are only focusing on the pelvic floor muscles and the inner thigh muscles.


1. Uttkatasana (Chair pose with a block variation)

This pose helps to bring focus towards the pelvic floor while trying to hold the block/bottle in place, without putting too much pressure to the sacrum and the tail bone. If possible try to press your knees together, in such a way, as if you are trying to squeeze the block/bottle using your knees. Bring your glutes (butt cheeks) together and pull in your anus. Repeat this exercise 5-10 times.


2. Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclining Bound Angle Pose / Sleeping Butterfly)

This pose works on your inner thighs and helps stabilize your pelvic floor. When your inner thighs are flexible, you will be able to activate your pelvic muscles more deeply. This is more of a relaxation and light stretching pose. You can also do this exercise on your bed.


3. Virabhadrasana I & II (Warrior Pose I & II)

These poses relieve stiffness in hips, inner thighs and buttocks. It strengthens and stretches your pelvic floor muscles. If you are unable to raise your arms into these poses because of the shoulder, neck or arm issues, you can keep your hands on your waist.

Check out the accurate step by step method to perform Warrior Pose I here and Warrior Pose II here.


Intermediate Level Poses (for the young and healthy):


If you are comfortable with the beginner level poses, then you can try to step up your game by adding the intermediate level poses. The intermediate level poses need to be combined with warming up exercises to avoid cramping or in the worst case hurting yourself.


1. Malasana (Garland Pose)

Warm-up with squats. Squats train your muscles of the thighs, hips and buttocks, quadriceps femoris muscle and hamstrings.

Malasana (Garland pose) lengthens the pelvic floor, allowing it to contract more forcefully. Try to push your legs away using your arms/elbows and try to keep your heels on the ground.


2. Badda Konasana (Bound Angle Pose / Butterfly Pose)

Warm-up by moving your legs sideways up and down in this pose. Like the flapping wings of a butterfly.

Badda Konasana or the Butterfly Pose is very similar but an intensified version of the beginner level pose "Supta Baddha Konasana". It stretches your inner thighs and helps to stabilize your pelvic floor. When your thighs are flexible, you’re able to activate your pelvic muscles more deeply. This asana increases blood circulation in your pelvic region and is a very good exercise to keep your bladder healthy.


3. Setu Bandha Sarvāṅgāsana (Bridge Pose)

Warm-up with cat and cow poses (Bitilasana-Marjaryasana).

In Setu Bandha Sarvāṅgāsana or the Bridge Pose, you have to push your glutes (buttocks) together and lift your back up. Gently move your hips up and down a few time and then hold the pose for 5-10 breaths. This contracts or lifts up your anus and strengthens your pelvic floor muscles.


4. Salabhasana (Locust Pose)

Warm-up with cat and cow poses (Bitilasana-Marjaryasana).

Lie on your belly with your arms on the side of your body. Simultaneously lift your legs and arms up and hold the pose for 5-15 breaths. The pose works on your glutes and counterbalances the pelvic floor muscles.


Mahamudra (Great Gesture / Great Seal Pose)

Warm-up your abs. Here is a link to Abs warm-up routine choose any 2 and warm up for 2-3 mins before you begin with Mahamudra.

In Mahamudra, you have to apply Mula Bandha (Root Lock) while keeping your spine straight. Mula bandha consists of a contraction, a muscular lifting-up in the floor of the pelvis. In simple terms, you have to pull in your core muscles, press your glutes together and lift up your anus.


I hope all the above Yoga asanas and tips help you with your bladder control issues. Feel free to contact me at info@naturyogabynes.com if you have any special queries. Click here to book a 60mins Live-Online Yoga trial session for FREE!


Sources:

(1) NIH (https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/urologic-diseases/bladder-control-problems/symptoms-causes)

(2) Light on Yoga, by BKS Iyengar (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Light_on_Yoga)

(3) Exercises to Control the Unexpected leak (https://www.tena.us/exercises-to-help-the-unexpected-leak/yoga-pose,en_US,pg.html)

(4) Mula Bandha: Your Ticket To Infinity and Beyond! (https://www.yogajournal.com/practice/to-infinity-and-beyond)


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