Health

What Yoga Poses Are Good For Digestion (9 Poses To Try)

If you have digestive problems, you can find relief quickly.

There is a growing interest in naturally relieving digestive problems through yoga and gentle movements. Many people are touting the benefits of yoga for easier digestion, so you might be wondering if you should try it.

This article explores how yoga can aid digestion and lists a few poses you can try.

Yoga Poses To Improve Digestion

What Is Yoga?

Yoga is a traditional practice that people have used for millennia to connect the mind and body for good health. For many people, it also includes a spiritual element.

To promote better awareness of mind and body, the practice combines:

  • Gentle movement (asanas)
  • Breathing techniques (pranayama)
  • Meditation (Diana)

It stimulates your parasympathetic nervous system, known as the resting and digesting system

How Yoga Can Help Digestion

The term “digestion” usually refers to the breakdown of food to provide your body with nutrients and remove waste products.

However, many people also use the term to refer to any symptoms that result from digestion, such as gas, bloating, discomfort, and the type and frequency of stools.

The gut axis of the brain is a communication system of nerves and biochemical signals that travel through the bloodstream, connecting the digestive system to the brain.

Through this system, your gut can directly respond to psychological and physical stress with symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, nausea, and changes in appetite and digestion.

Overall Gut Health

People believe that yoga promotes digestive health by reducing stress, increasing circulation, and promoting physical movement or gastrointestinal motility.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

In particular, yoga can help people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Scientists believe IBS occurs as a result of over-activity of the sympathetic nervous system, your body’s stress system.

The condition has a number of symptoms such as gas, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation.

In a 2018 study, 208 participants with IBS followed either a low-FODMAP diet or yoga for 12 weeks. In the end, both groups showed improvement in IBS symptoms, suggesting that yoga may play an additional role in treating IBS.

A 2016 pilot study showed improvement in IBS symptoms after people took 16 yoga sessions every two weeks.

However, the study also found that people experience similar benefits from walking. This suggests that adding regular movement and reducing stress may be major factors in symptom relief.

Other studies have also shown the benefits of yoga for IBS relief.

Also Read: Yoga Nidra – Discover The Benefits Of Sleep Meditation

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

For inflammatory bowel diseases such as  Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, yoga can also help treat symptoms. However, you should not use it to replace drugs or other treatments.

There is little research that directly examines which yoga poses can relieve gastrointestinal problems and which are most effective. Most of the current claims are based on anecdotal accounts. Therefore, scientists need to do more research on this topic.

SUMMARY Yoga can help relieve digestive problems by reducing stress, improving circulation, and supporting bowel motility. However, scientists need to do more research to understand its role in specific digestive problems.

9 Yoga Poses For Digestion

Here are 9 yoga poses that can help with general digestion or other specific digestive problems.

1. Bending To The Side While Sitting (Parsva Sukhasana)

Parsva Sukhasana

This is a great beginner exercise for people looking to stretch the obliques, lower and upper back, and shoulders.

Gentle stretching can help reduce bloating and gas and support overall digestion.

How to do it:

  1. Sit on the floor with your legs crossed with your hands touching the floor at your sides.
  2. Raise your left hand straight into the air, then gently bend over to your right side.
  3. Keep your right forearm flat on the floor, facing outward.
  4. Inhale and exhale slowly 4-5 times. Then change sides and repeat.

2. Twisting While Sitting (Ardha Matsyendrasana)

Twisting While Sitting

It is believed that the rotational motion of this movement contributes to normal bowel function, helping the small and large intestine to peristalsis. It is a movement that propels food and waste through the gastrointestinal tract.

This yoga technique can also help reduce bloating.

How to do it:

  1. Sit on the floor with both legs extended. Bend your left knee and place it on your right knee or hip with your left foot on the floor. Keep your left leg still throughout the entire movement.
  2. Then, gently rest on your right thigh and bend your right knee so that the sole of your right foot is facing inward towards your left buttock. If it’s too difficult, you can keep your right leg straight.
  3. Take your right elbow and place it on the outside of your left knee, gently twisting your torso to the left. Place your left palm on the floor to the left of your buttocks.
  4. Rotate your neck so that it looks slightly over your left shoulder.
  5. Hold this position and take 4-5 deep breaths. Pay attention to the lengthening of your spine with each breath. Then change sides and repeat.

3. Twisting On The Back (Supta Matsyendrasana)

Twisting On The Back

The supine curl is great for stretching your lower back and increasing your spine mobility.

People believe that it relieves constipation and bloating and supports overall digestion.

How to do it:

  1. Lie on your back, this is also called supine position.
  2. Bend both knees with your feet flat on the floor. Raise your hips 2.5–5 cm off the ground and move them to the right about 2.5 cm. This will allow your hips to fold in this movement. Lower your hips back to the floor.
  3. Straighten your left leg, grab your right knee and bring it to your chest.
  4. Keeping your left leg straight, gently rotate it to the left and place your right knee on top of your left. Instead of pressing your knee to the ground, allow it to gently slide over your left leg.
  5. Bring your right hand back and place it straight on the floor, perpendicular to your body. Take your left hand and gently press down on your right knee to stretch it tighter. Alternatively, keep your left arm straight.
  6. Hold this position for 4-5 deep breaths. Then repeat on the other side.

4. Knees To Chest (Apanasana)

Knees To Chest

Knees to the chest is a gentle movement that can relax and release tension in your lower back.

Proponents say they gently massage the colon to promote bowel movements.

How to do it:

  1. Lie on your back, lying on your back with your legs straight.
  2. Slowly bend your knees and pull them towards your chest, pulling your arms closer.
  3. Hold this position for 4-5 deep breaths.

5. Cat & Cow (Marjaryasana-Bitilasana)

Cat & Cow Poses

Cat-Cow Pose allows you to switch between two classic yoga poses cat pose and cow pose. Together, they can stretch the muscles in your back and abdomen.

Proponents say these postures improve circulation and gently massage the organs to promote intestinal motility.

How to do it:

  1. Start with arms and knees with a neutral spine, that is, a flat back and neck. Make sure your knees are in line with your hips and your wrists are on your shoulders.
  2. Start with a cow pose. To do this, tilt the pelvis so that the tailbone rises up and the stomach falls. Make sure to use your kernel.
  3. Gently pull your shoulders back and lift your head looking up. Avoid overstretching your neck.
  4. Hold for 4-5 breaths.
  5. Then return to neutral.
  6. To get into the cat pose, place your feet on the floor with your feet up. Squeeze your tailbone, pull your navel toward your spine, and rotate your shoulders forward to arch your back.
  7. Gently lower your head, letting gravity control it, not force it.
  8. Hold for 4-5 breaths.
  9. Repeat this 2-3 times.

6. Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)

Cobra Pose

The cobra pose mimics a cobra in an upright position. It helps stretch the abdominal muscles and improve posture, and proponents say it supports overall digestion.

How to do it:

  1. Start by lying on your stomach, feet shoulder-width apart, palms on the floor at the lower ribs, bent at the elbows.
  2. Extend your feet so that their feet touch the ground.
  3. Press on your hands and slowly lift your head and chest up. Keep your elbows slightly bent while slowly straightening your arms. Roll your shoulders back and down. Focus on lifting your sternum, not your chin.
  4. Be sure to keep your pelvis on the floor and focus on getting your chest and upper body up and moving forward.
  5. Look up slightly without stretching your neck too far or lifting your chin. Hold for 4-5 breaths.

7. Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)

Bow Pose

The bow pose mimics the shape of an archer’s bow. It stretches your back, and supporters say it helps digestion and constipation and relieves menstrual cramps.

How to do it:

  1. Lie on your stomach with your legs straight, arms at your sides, palms up.
  2. Bend your knees back and bring your feet as close to your buttocks as possible. Lean back and gently grasp your ankles. The knees should not be wider than the hips.
  3. Bring your feet closer to your body and lift your hips slightly off the floor. While doing this, lift your chest and head up. Keep your pelvis flat on the floor.
  4. Hold for 4-5 breaths. If you find it difficult to breathe, do a light stretch that is comfortable for you. Some people may miss this turn.

8. Twisting The Abdomen (Jathara Parivartanasana)

Twisting The Abdomen

It is a simple method that people believe supports digestion by increasing blood circulation and promoting intestinal motility.

How to do it:

  1. Start by lying on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the ground, and your arms extended outward. Move your hips about 2.5 cm to the right.
  2. Lift your feet off the ground, keeping your knees and feet together.
  3. Rotate your hips and bring your bent legs to the left. Keep your upper back flat on the ground. Let gravity bring your feet to the ground.
  4. Hold for 4-5 breaths.
  5. Gently return your hips to a neutral position and bring your knees to your chest with your hands. Then slowly straighten your legs.

9. Posture Of A Corpse (Shavasana)

Posture Of A Corpse

You usually do a corpse pose at the end of your yoga session. It is designed to allow you to achieve true relaxation through controlled breathing and meditation.

How to do it:

  1. Lie on your back with your legs straight, arms out to the sides.
  2. Close your eyes and take a deep breath for a count of four, hold your breath for a count of four, and exhale for a count of four. To stay focused on your breath and not on obsessive thoughts, notice how your belly or chest rises and falls with each breath.
  3. Let gravity naturally relax your muscles.
  4. Continue this for at least 5 minutes, or as long as you like.

SUMMARY Each of the yoga poses above can help relieve digestive problems such as bloating, gas, and constipation. They can also aid in digestion.

Precautions

People generally consider yoga to be safe. However, it may not be suitable for people who:

  • back or neck injuries
  • are pregnant
  • have high blood pressure

Some yoga instructors offer specialized classes such as prenatal yoga.

Also, if you are constantly experiencing digestive problems, it is best to consult your doctor. They can identify the root cause.

While yoga may seem beneficial to you, you should not stop other treatments recommended by your doctor. It is best to consult with them before starting yoga or any other exercise regimen.

SUMMARY Yoga may not be suitable for people with certain medical conditions. Talk to your doctor if you want to start doing yoga regularly, and be sure to tell him if you continue to have digestive problems.

The Essence

Yoga is a traditional practice that has existed for thousands of years. It promotes health by involving people mentally, physically, and spiritually.

Some studies support yoga as a complementary treatment for digestive disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome. It can help relieve certain symptoms such as discomfort, gas, bloating, and constipation.

While more research is needed on how yoga can help with digestion, it may be beneficial for you to try yoga along with any current treatments your doctor recommends.

With several disadvantages and potential digestive relief, yoga can bring the relief you’re looking for.

Also Read: All You Need To Know About The Daily Yoga Benefits

Books For Complete Yoga Guide

  1. Yoga For Beginners
  2. 2,100 Asanas: The Complete Yoga Poses
  3. Teaching Of Yoga Poses
  4. The Key of Yoga Poses: Scientific Keys – VOL 1
  5. The Key of Yoga Poses: Scientific Keys – VOL 2

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