Yoga is beneficial to our health in so many ways, from mental health benefits and reduced stress, to physical fitness benefits and improved digestion. There are yoga poses for digestion that many people find helpful, just as there are yoga poses great for increasing physical strength and muscle tone.
There is so much more to yoga than standing in a serene garden and practicing breathing while you hold poses. Yoga is an ancient art that helps to strengthen our mind and body, and it can also help improve digestion and positively impact digestive health. This is where we come in with the best yoga poses for digestion, so that you can make them part of your routine if your digestive health is not where you want it to be.
Certain yoga poses for digestion, for example, can help to relieve gas and abdominal discomfort. Yoga is also great for general gut health.
Some of the yoga poses for digestion laid out in this article can aid those who suffer from digestive health issues such as IBS and IBD - making the symptoms less severe and the condition easier to manage.
Is Yoga a Natural Remedy for Digestive Health?
The way in which digestion works is that it breaks down the food we have eaten, so that the nutrients can be absorbed by the body and waste can pass through the way it’s supposed to. However, people also use the term ‘digestive health’ to reference a range of different problems in their daily life.
When we talk about digestion, we are often referring to:
- Discomfort (such as stomach pain, discomfort from trapped gas, etc.)
- Stool type (such as stool that is too hard or soft)
- Stool frequency
How can yoga be a natural remedy for digestive health issues like these? It is believed that yoga might be able to help with digestive health because of the way it works to reduce stress, increase circulation, and stimulate mobility in a way that encourages the digestive tract.
However, studies have also shown that yoga can be very beneficial for relieving the symptoms of IBS because of the regular movement, and the way in which yoga works to decrease the stress hormone.
Similarly, there has been plenty of research to show that yoga can be highly effective for those who are suffering from a variety of inflammatory bowel diseases. While it cannot replace medications, it can be used as a supportive treatment to help ease the symptoms, used in conjunction with other treatments.
The Best Yoga Poses for Digestion
There are many different yoga poses, and they all have their own benefits for our health and well-being. Below, you will find our favorite selection of yoga poses for digestion to try out if you are looking for an improvement in your digestive health.
1. Seated Side Bend
This pose is an excellent move for beginners and one that is very easy to undertake. The best part is that it’s one of the best yoga poses for digestion improvement, as it works to stretch your obliques, stomach muscles, shoulders, and your lower and upper back.
Through this, the stretching process can help to alleviate gas that has built up in your body, which also helps to reduce bloating and make you feel more comfortable.
2. Seated Twist
Through the twisting motion that you undertake as part of this pose, it is possible to help promote better bowel regularity in your body and keep your digestive system running smoothly.
This is because the motion assists the small and large intestines through peristalsis to move food and waste through your digestive tract. Due to this, it is also possible for this particular pose to help alleviate bloating.
3. Supine Spinal Twist
This pose has a strong focus on the lower back, which helps to improve mobility and strengthen the muscles. However, it can also help to alleviate constipation as well as feelings of bloat and any excess gas. It is a popular pose for general digestive support, and it is one of the most commonly used for those who need relief.
4. Knees to Chest Pose
This is a very gentle pose that uses a slow rocking motion to calm the body and bring a sense of tranquility to you as a result. However, the positioning and movement is also an excellent way to massage the digestive tract and help to encourage bowel movements - especially for those who feel constipated and are struggling to remain regular.
5. Cat-Cow Pose
This creates a beautiful transition between the cat pose and the cow pose, helping to promote healthy digestion and keep things running smoothly for you. When used together, they stretch your back and stomach muscles at the same time, which is what stimulates the digestive system by gently massaging your organs.
6. Belly Twist
This pose is excellent for improving posture, but the way in which it stretches and focuses on your stomach muscles can also be deeply beneficial. It is a good pose for supporting digestion in general, and while it doesn’t focus on a sole issue that you might be facing, it does help to just keep general maintenance in order for your gastrointestinal tract.
7. Corpse Pose
This pose is used to finish a yoga session because it relaxes the body and allows you to focus on breathing, preventing potential muscle damage and giving you a chance to relax fully.
While this does not explicitly aid digestion, it is important to use it to finish your session and the way in which it relaxes the body can be a good aid to those who have digestive issues caused by things like stress and anxiety (such as IBS).
Yoga is Safe
There are no inherent risks to undertaking yoga, and it is an exceptionally safe practice. However, there are some people who should avoid partaking until they have spoken to a doctor to make sure they are clear. These are:
- Pregnant people (although most doctors will state that most types of yoga are safe for pregnant people)
- People with back or neck injuries (especially if you’re healing from a recent injury and you need to keep your injured area in a certain position)
- People with high blood pressure
As you can see, there are plenty of yoga poses that you can incorporate into your routine if you want to help improve your digestion. Bloating and gas can be exceptionally painful for some people, but some of these yoga poses can relieve that pain. Gentle exercises like the ones in a yoga class are an excellent way to naturally reduce stomach pain and improve digestive health.
Yoga is a wellness practice that benefits your well-being in many ways. Remember that your digestive health is only one aspect of your health that stands to benefit from yoga. You’ll likely also experience reduced stress, better mental health, and perhaps even an improved and more toned physique with regular yoga practice.
Yoga should be part of your exercise routine for obvious reasons - it’s great for your well-being. However, your exercise routine should also consist of various other types of exercise for the sake of your physical and mental health.
This includes cardio, strength training, and perhaps even athletic rehab if you have an area of your body with limited range-of-motion.
Find out the ideal exercise program for you, based on your DNA, by finding out your genetic strengths and weaknesses through reading your genetic fitness reports from CircleDNA.
NCBI, Stress & the gut-brain axis: Regulation by the microbiome: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5736941/
PubMed, Effect of Yoga-Based Intervention in Patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome:
PubMed, A systematic review and meta-analysis of mindfulness-based interventions and yoga in inflammatory bowel disease: