Best Yoga Poses for Overactive Bladder
Yoga and meditation have both been shown by recent studies to be helpful for overactive bladder (OAB) symptoms. Here are six yoga poses that may make a difference, and may also help those with pelvic pain. All photos courtesy of Dustienne Miller of Your Pace Yoga.
Lay on your stomach with your elbows propped up at a 90-degree angle. Gently press the pubic bone and tops of the feet into the mat. Press your forearms into the ground and keep your neck neutral or look up toward the ceiling. Add a pillow under your stomach if your back is sensitive to extension.
Perform lying on your back or face down (as shown), position the feet together and knees wide – breathe. Hold for 10-15 breaths. This is a position of pelvic opening (and is a great compliment to the pelvic floor dropping described in a previous post).
Starting in table position (hands and knees), rock back so that your rear end is sitting back on your heels. Your arms can either be extended in front of you or back by your sides. Breathe deeply.
If you experience discomfort in the front of the hips, keep your feet together and open your knees. You can also place a pillow between your stomach and your thighs. To decrease the knee angle, add a pillow or blanket between your feet and thighs.
Lay on your back with your feet flat and knees bent. Extend your arms out to the side with your palms up. Inhale and gently lower your knees to the right. Stay here for 3-10 breath cycles. On your last exhale, bring your knees back up to the starting position. Repeat on the other side. You may also place a block or bolster under your knee to create the degree of twist that is right for your body.
Sit on the floor with your legs in front of you. Bring the bolster/pillow to the base of your spine. The knees can be supported with a bolster/pillow or the legs can be extended – you decide based on what feels like the most relaxing position for you. Lay back, open your arms out to the side with your palms up, and allow the chest to open. If your back is sensitive to extension, you may prefer Child’s Pose or a side-lying restorative posture.
Look for a local yoga studio or gym with classes to attend. You will want to start with yoga that emphasizes pelvic opening, breath work, and mobility of your thoracic spine. Great videos are available on DVD from Your Pace Yoga to help you establish a regular practice.