Urinary incontinence is more common among women than men, because their urethra is quite short. When women cough, sneeze, or strain, or even when laughing, their bladder may leak a little urine.
This disorder can be controlled by certain herbs and certain yoga exercises.
Ashwini Mudra: This exercise involves using the perineal muscles to suck the anus inward, tightening the gluteal muscles. It will also strengthen the bladder sphincter. Do 10 to 12 repetitions, 2 or 3 times a day (while sitting down).
Vajrasana: Sit with your legs folded and with the hips touching the heels. The big toes are one on top of the other. The knees touch one another. The spine is straight. Keep the eyes gently closed.
Forward Bend: Sit with the legs outstretched and spine erect. On an exhale reach out and touch your toes, holding the position for as long as possible.
Garuda Mudra: Clasp your thumb and place your hand, right hand on top of the left hand and lower abdomen. Remain in this position for ten breaths and then slide your hands up to your navel. Be there for another ten breaths. Then place your hands on the pit of your stomach and remain there again for about ten breaths. Lastly place your left hand on your sternum, and turn your hand in the direction of your shoulder.
Sarvangasana (Shoulder stand): Benefits: Promotes balance to the endocrine glands of the neck region that regulate menstrual activities. If prolapse or displacement of the uterus is a problem, this posture may help. Precautions: Do not do this practice when menstruating or if you have cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, an ulcer, or a hiatal hernia.
Lie on your back and fold your legs into your chest. As you exhale, swing the lower legs up over your head to lift the pelvis off the floor. Bend the arms and place your hands on your back as close to the shoulders as possible. Point the fingers toward the waist. Reach your feet straight up so the hips are as high as they can comfortably be. Press the breastbone toward the chin. Breathe evenly and hold for 30 seconds or longer. If you are comfortable in this pose, it is beneficial to hold it longer. Add time in increments of 30 seconds until you can stay in the pose for up to five minutes.
Ardha Matsyasana (Fish Pose):
Benefits: Stretches the organs and muscles of the abdomen; stimulates the regulatory glands in the throat.
Sit erect with your legs extended in front of the torso, feet together. Lean back onto your elbows and forearms. Arch back as you expand the chest and place the back of the crown of the head on the floor. The weight of the torso should be distributed between the pelvis, the head, and the two forearms. Bring the elbows in toward the body's midline and arch the head downward toward the back to intensify the stretch. Breathe evenly and hold for 20 seconds or longer. To come out of the pose, push on the elbows to allow the head to slide away from the torso, and lie supine.
Vineeta Gogia, In-house Yoga and Mudra Expert
Image source: Sakhi
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