Do you have a leak when you cough or jump? Often this is a sign that your pelvic muscles need toning up and for the uninitiated the pelvic floor muscles are the most undervalued muscles stretching from the pubic bone in the front to the tailbone in back. They act as part of a “hammock” that includes ligaments and fascia that support the bladder and bowel in the pelvis and spine.
Shaped like a pelvis, the pelvic floor holds all of our pelvic organs like the uterus, vagina, intestines, and bladder in place. Although the pelvic floor supports the bladder to provide control when we urinate, reasons such as pregnancy and childbirth or strenuous sports and exercise regimes, menopause, natural aging or pelvic and prostate surgeries can cause loss of pelvic floor control over the bladder due to loss of muscle tone.
This can lead not only to incontinence, pain, and prolapse, but also to the erosion of self-confidence, exercise, and sex life. Pelvic floor weakness affects both women and men because squeezing the muscles that stop the flow of urine can cause the wrong muscles to tighten and lead to urinary incontinence, pain during sex, or prolapse of the pelvic floor. pelvic organs (POP).
Luckily, there are certain yoga poses that not only improve mindfulness, relaxation, and balance, but also provide great support for our pelvic floor. According to a 2018 Cochrane review, one of the most effective treatment methods for incontinence is regular pelvic floor exercises.
Check out these 5 yoga asanas to help you control bladder leaks and build strong pelvic floor muscles for stronger core strength in the abs, better posture and to improve your sex life.
1. Tadasana or mountain pose
Method: Stand firmly on the ground with a small space between your feet and while taking a deep breath (inhale), raise both your arms upwards, interlacing your fingers. Now stand on your toes raising your heels simultaneously and notice the pressure of the stretch from the toes to the fingers.
Hold this position for as long as you can while breathing slowly and deeply. Then release and return to the original position with a deep breath (exhale) and repeat the same pose as per your convenience after relaxing for a while.
Advantages: Tadasana is a deep breathing exercise that gives strength and expansion to the lungs, can increase height, develops and activates the nerves throughout the body, and gives strength to the spine and heart. It is also good for regulating the menstrual cycle in women, cures indigestion related problems in all practitioners, strengthens arms and legs, helps eliminate lethargy from the body and reduces the problem of flat feet.
2. Virabhadrasana II or Warrior Pose 2
Method: Stand with your legs 4 to 5 feet apart. Place your right foot at a 90 degree angle with your toes pointed while keeping your left foot at a 45 degree angle. Bring your hands up to shoulder level and keep them parallel to the floor.
Bend your right knee and look towards your right hand. Keep your hip square and your right thigh parallel to the floor. Hold the pose for 10 to 15 seconds, then release the pose.
Advantages: Virabhadrasana II or the Warrior Pose 2 energizes tired limbs and opens your chest and lungs in addition to stretching your hips, groins and shoulders and improving stability and balance. It also stimulates your abdominal organs.
3. Utkatasana or chair pose
Method: Stand straight with your feet together and your arms at your sides. Take a deep breath and raise your arms upwards, then bend them in a namaskar mudra in front of your chest.
Exhale and bend your knees as if you were sitting in a chair. Straighten your back and push your tailbone toward the floor to come into the final position.
Try to stay in this pose for 15-20 seconds before releasing the pose. While inhaling, return to the first position.
Advantages: Utkatasana or the chair pose of yoga is known to be therapeutic for flat feet as it stretches the Achilles tendons and shins, strengthens the hip flexors, calves and back. It also stimulates the heart and abdominal organs. It acts on the shoulders and helps to correct tensions and bad postures.
4. Prasarita Padottanasana or Wide Legged Forward Bend
Method: Keep a parallel distance of about 3 to 4 feet between your legs and place your hands on your hips. With your legs and spine intensely stretched, inhale, lift your chest all over your torso and slowly bend over your legs.
Start stretching your torso forward by placing your hands flat on the floor and keeping them shoulder-width apart. Bend deeper, bringing your head down to the floor.
Advantages: This standing wide-legged forward bend is a good warm-up for other standing wide-legged poses because it stretches the backs of the legs and the inner groins. It calms the brain and relieves fatigue while improving blood circulation and toning the abdominal organs.
5. Setubhandhasana/Setu Bandha Sarvangasana or Bridge Pose
Method: Lie on your back with your legs straight on the floor, palms next to your thighs. Bend both knees while keeping the legs and hips apart and bring the heels closer to the hips.
Inhale and lift your belly and chest, lifting your hips off the floor. Support your lower back with your hands. Now straighten your legs with your toes pointing forward. Hold this position for 10 to 15 seconds and release.
Advantages: This variation also known as the bridge pose stretches the chest, neck, and spine. It not only strengthens the back, buttocks and hamstrings, but also increases blood circulation, relieves stress and calms the brain.