Incontinence – The Problem Nobody Wants to Talk About


Incontinence is a problem that doesn’t make you seriously ill but can cause serious discomfort. It’s a discomfort that affects your social engagements, work schedules, family activities, and, most importantly, your self-esteem.

The problem of incontinence is very seldom talked about because it seems to be the irrevocable sign of the fragility of age, and aging in our country has not been presented as an attractive proposition. One cannot be happy if this problem of incontinence is a constant source of upset. So why not fix it? I have had many students of a all ages who suffer from this problem, and we at the American Yoga Association have had great results with the use of very simple techniques that can be done privately and painlessly to correct this problem.

Many Americans think that Yoga practices are for the young and strong. Yoga techniques can be used by people of all ages. In fact, Yoga techniques were designed to carry the body in its most optimum health and flexibility to the very end of your life. These techniques supply an inner flexibility and strength of the mind and body that give support for the stress of change through the years.

Incontinence is a grief and embarrassment that can be relieved, sometimes completely removed, by the use of the specific breath and muscular training techniques of Yoga. The muscles below your waist don’t just turn 60 and quit. They are suffering from neglect and can be strengthened and renewed with a simple technique:

Lie flat, with no pillow under your head, legs bent, and feet flat on the bed or floor separated by several inches. Lay your arms at your sides, palms up. Start by breathing out completely through your nose. Then take a deep breath in through your nose. Hold the breath in and count to three. Then breathe out as hard as you can until the breath is gone, forcing the breath out until you are completely empty of breath. (You will feel your stomach muscles tighten.) Now with the breath completely out, suck in all of your stomach, pelvic, and buttock muscles toward your spine. Hold and count to three. Then release and breathe in through your nose deeply. Let the breath out normally. Rest a moment, and then repeat. Try to do five repetitions at one session, and repeat the sequence three times a day. We recommend including this technique in a daily Yoga routine that includes exercise, breathing, and meditation.

In most cases, results can be seen very quickly, and you will not need to resort to drugs or invasive medical procedures. It is well worth the time to give yourself the new freedom of self-control that Yoga techniques will bring.

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