The Help of Yoga for Overactive Bladder

From the Doctor’s Blog September 16, 2015

Yoga Overactive Bladder
In previous article (Physical Therapy Pelvic Floor Exercises Can Help OAB) we talked about the causes and treatments for overactive bladder (OAB). We want to introduce you to an excellent resource provided by an Australian physical therapist specializing in pelvic floor dysfunction, Michelle Kenway,  Pelvic Exercises.

Her website has detailed videos on exercises for overactive bladder, frequency and incontinence. Many of our patients at Family Medicine have had a dramatic improvement in these symptoms by religiously doing these exercises, often avoiding the use medications. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us,  Michelle.

The following article is a reprint from her website: 7 Basic Yoga Poses that are Safe for Your Pelvic Floor.
There are also UNSAFE poses.  Learn more here: 10 Yoga Poses to Avoid for Pelvic Floor Safe Exercises.


Posted: Pelvic Exercises – 7 Basic Yoga Poses that are Safe for Your Pelvic Floor
Date: April 24, 2014

This Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist information teaches you how to do 7 basic Yoga poses that improve your strength and flexibility while protecting your pelvic floor. You will also learn safety tips and modifications for each Yoga pose that help you exercise effectively with comfort and avoid unsafe Yoga poses.

These 7 basic Yoga poses are suited to most women including those with:

  • Prolapse problems
  • Weak pelvic floor muscles
  • Bladder or bowel control problems ( OAB overactive bladder)
  • Previous prolapse surgery, bladder repair or hysterectomy

General Guidelines
If you’ve recently undergone surgery for pelvic floor problems or prolapse, seek your surgeon’s approval before recommencing exercises.

  • All your Yoga poses should feel comfortable and pain free
  • Aim to hold each of your basic Yoga poses for up to three full breaths starting out
  • Gradually progress the number of diaphragmatic breaths you can do for each pose over time
  • Counterbalance your poses to avoid strain e.g. forward bending pose is followed by a backward bending pose
  • Gradually progress the complexity of your poses as your strength, control and flexibility improve

Here is Michelle’s Basic Yoga Pose list. For complete pose and safety instructions, please visit her article.

1: Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
2: Warrior 1 Pose (Virabhadrasana)
3: Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
4: Cobra (Bhujangasana)
5: Cat Cow (Chakravakasana)
6: Sunbird (Chakravakasana)
7: Bridge (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)

This article is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice. Please consult your health care professional for evaluation of your individual case.