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Yoga for Incontinence: 5 Easy Poses For Your Pelvic Floor!

Practising yoga is great for stretching and strengthening muscle groups, including your pelvic floor! We discuss our top 5 simple yoga poses you can try at home.

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Yoga for Incontinence: 5 Easy Poses For Your Pelvic Floor!
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Yoga is an ancient practice rooted in Indian philosophy, and has become a popular exercise that not only promotes physical well-being, but mental well-being and relaxation too!

However, the benefits of yoga stretch far deeper than you may have otherwise realised (pardon the pun), as studies have found that yoga can be beneficial for those with incontinence [1], especially for those experiencing urinary incontinence or women experiencing postpartum incontinence.

That’s right, as well as giving you a physical workout, the poses (and even breathing techniques) employed in yoga can help stretch, strengthen, release and relax the muscles in the pelvic floor [2].

If you’re new to the world of yoga, we’ve put together our top 5 poses that target the pelvic floor region - so keep reading to find out what they are and how to do them!

Before You Start…

While these poses are relatively easy to do at home and don’t require much bending or twisting, it’s important to keep the following in mind to ensure you’re not only getting the most out of the poses but avoiding potential injury:

Levels of flexibility vary from person to person. So some may need to modify their stretch to be less deep - this is completely normal! You might even find that with regular practice, your flexibility increases and you’re able to stretch deeper into the poses.

Stop if it hurts
You don’t need to push yourself to stretch deeper if it feels painful, because doing so might result in overstretching, a pulled muscle or other injury. Remember, it isn’t normal to feel pain while stretching - so if that happens, ease off the stretch or have a rest in child’s pose.

Focus on your breathing
Focusing on the breath is a fundamental part of yoga, which focuses on diaphragmatic breathing (also called “belly breathing”). This style of breathing engages not only the diaphragm but also the abdominal muscles and the pelvic floor!

To make sure you’re doing your best yogi breath, place one hand on the middle of your upper chest and the other on your stomach, just below the rib cage. Then slowly take a deep breath in through the nose, drawing the air down toward the stomach so it pushes your hand upwards, while your chest remains still. Then exhale through the mouth while you tighten your abdominal muscles - you should feel your stomach and hand fall, while your chest remains still.

So, with that out of the way, it’s time to roll out your mat and get into our top 5 poses!

1. Child’s Pose

Child’s pose is an easy resting position that stretches the lower back and helps with relaxing the pelvic floor muscles. When these muscles are tightened constantly, it decreases blood flow to the area and contributes to pain or discomfort. Relaxing the muscles helps them recover from any strain, and allows blood flow.

How to:

  1. Start on your yoga mat on your hands and knees
  2. Bring your big toes to touch
  3. Slowly sit your pelvis back towards the heels of your feet, resting your forehead on the floor and having your arms in a comfortable position
  4. Stay in this position for up to ten to 20 rounds of breath (inhale and exhale), relaxing into the stretch and noticing any feelings that may arise in your body.

2. Cat and Cow Poses

Cat and Cow poses are separate poses, done together! They warm up the spine through stretching and flexing the pelvic floor, helping to relax and release tension held in the pelvic floor.

How to:

  1. Start on your mat on your hands and knees, ensuring your hands are facing forward shoulder distance apart and your hips are directly over your knees.
  2. Exhale as you round your spine towards the ceiling, bringing your head and tailbone down towards the mat - like an angry “cat”!
  3. Slowly inhale as you ‘reverse’ the pose into cow position, by arching your back, lowering your stomach and lifting your chin and chest.
  4. Go through as many cycles of cat/cow as you like, being sure to move in time with your breath.

3. Bridge Pose

This pose is great at strengthening the core, lower back, legs, glutes and pelvic floor all at once, as it requires each of these muscle groups to work together to support and lift your body into the pose.

How to:

  1. Lay face up on the floor with your knees bent at a 90-degree angle, with the soles of your feet flat on the floor.
  2. You can place your arms by your sides or on your lower belly.
  3. Exhale as you press your arms and shoulders down into the mat, squeezing your glutes to lift your hips off the floor. Your hips should be parallel to your knees.
  4. Hold for a couple of rounds of breathing before gently exhaling as you lower yourself back down.
  5. Repeat as many times as you like.

4. Happy Baby Pose

This is another great pose to relax and lengthen the pelvic floor muscles, as well as the hip and lower back muscles - which can all contribute to pelvic floor tightness and pelvic pain.

How to:

  1. Lay face up on the mat and bring your knees towards your chest so your feet face upwards towards the ceiling at a 90-degree angle.
  2. Keeping your head on the floor, grab the outsides of both of your feet and hold for a few rounds of breath.
  3. If it’s accessible to you and feels comfortable, you can also pull one foot down at a time with your hands to rock gently from side to side.

5. Chair Pose

This powerful pose is sure to give your lower body a workout! It helps to strengthen the legs, abdominal muscles and back muscles as well as the pelvic floor since all of these muscle groups need to work together to do it effectively.

How to:

  1. Start at the top of your yoga mat with your big toes touching one another and a space between your heels.
  2. Inhale as you pull your arms parallel to the floor with your palms facing down
  3. Exhale and bend the knees into a squatting position with your arms still up. Then reach your hips back as if you’re trying to sit into an invisible chair behind you, and hold. Make sure your knees are pointing forward, and don’t lower your hips below the knees.
  4. Continue to breathe and hold the position here for three to six rounds of breathing.
  5. To exit the pose, inhale and straighten your legs, bringing your arms straight towards the ceiling. Exhale as you release your arms to your side.

Modification you can try: if this pose feels a bit too challenging, try placing your hands on your knees instead.

We hope this article helps you fire up your pelvic floor and relax your mind through these easy yoga poses. And of course, if you find your incontinence is triggered while doing exercise, we have a wide range of high-quality, super absorbent incontinence aids that are made of slimline, discreet materials - meaning they stay invisible even under yoga pants!

This article is for informational purposes only. We recommend speaking to your GP or treating medical professionals for tailored advice unique to your situation if you are concerned about any incontinence symptoms related to a weakened pelvic floor.


About the Author: Celina Irwin

When Celina isn't managing all things e-commerce (hello engineering new web pages!), she's compiling info-packed blogs for our readers! Celina's love for writing is fuelled by a passion for turning complex topics into clear and educational reads. It's something that she loves doing as part of our quest to make the world of incontinence management a little more, well, manageable.

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