Movement as Medicine

Hypopressives help with incontinence, prolapse, y mas

Today, I am going to introduce you to one of the many “Movement as Medicine” modalities available in Puerto Vallarta. It’s called “hypopressives” or, in Spanish, “hipopresivos.” It is also known as “low-pressure fitness.”

Marcel Cualfriez developed hypopressive exercise in Spain in the 1980s for post-natal women. He wanted to replace classical abdominal exercises, like crunches. After finding that they caused problems like incontinence, prolapse, and sexual dysfunction.

Dra. Jeza Rosales teaches hypopressives twice a week at Plataforma 322 in Col. Versalles. I discovered her class when I was looking for a solution to my own incontinence and prolapse. I wanted to do more than the “pelvic floor zipper” that I teach. Dra. Rosales teaches her classes in Spanish. I found it is easy to understand most of the cues. “Inhalo”, “exhalo”, “apnea”, “abro costillas”.

Hypopressives involves holding the breath after an exhale for 10 counts. Students practice this breathing pattern in a series of postures.  A yoga breathing technique called Uddiyana Bandha is similar to hypopressives. It has been around for thousands of years.

Dra. Rosales is an emergency physician at IMSS. She learned about hypopressives several years ago.  She was looking for a solution to her own umbilical hernia and diastasis recti. In 2016, Dra. Rosales traveled to Barcelona, Spain to become a certified hypopressive teacher. She has been teaching hypopressives ever since.

Her students come from various backgrounds. Some are looking for relief from diastasis recti, hernias, incontinence, or prolapse. Others are athletes looking to improve lung capacity and performance. Her students have included professional basketball players and surfers. She says the practice also improves sexual function for both men and women. Men get relief after prostate surgery.

Dra. Rosales says some of her students see changes in 2 weeks, some in 2 months. I started the class several weeks ago and am seeing improvement already. This is a nice addition to my own movement practice.

One of Dra. Rosales’ students is Carmen Poon, co-owner of Puerto Vallarta Cycling. Carmen has been practicing hypopressives for several years. It is a “secret weapon” for her. Her posture and her yoga have improved and she can climb faster on her bicycle!

Here is a basic hypopressives exercise for you to try at home.


  1. Lie on your back (supine) with knees bent and feet parallel on the floor.
  2. Pick your toes up off the floor and dig your heels into the floor.
  3. Bend your elbows and bring your hands in front of your face, palms up. Spread your fingers wide.
  4. Breathe in and out through the nose 3 times.
  5. On the third time, make sure that you breathe all the air out of your lungs.
  6. Take a fake inhale without taking a breath (apnea).
  7. As you fake inhale, move your arms behind you overhead and spread your ribs.
  8. Count to 10 (more later)
  9. Inhale and exhale.
  10. Return to your start position.

Repeat 3, 6, 9 times or more.

Summing up:

Hypopressives is a technique that can help with many medical issues. Including incontinence, prolapse, and diastasis recti. It also improves posture and athletic performance. Try it and see if it works for you!

[Medical disclaimer: This article is for education and information only. It is not a substitute for a doctor’s opinion.]


Via Anderson, E-RYT, is a Yoga and movement coach and teaches the Intelligent Movement Forever system of healthy movement in a weekly online class, in private sessions, and at Yoga Vallarta during the high season. This 77-year-old grandmother practices what she preaches and teaches. She is the author of “How to Move Without Pain: A Compendium of Intelligent Movement”, to be released in 2019.