Everyone experiences times when their digestion doesn’t seem to move along. It can be annoying, uncomfortable, and sometimes painful. Yoga poses can improve your digestive health and help you feel better.
These poses help massage and twist your abdomen in ways that support healthy digestion. You’ll feel more relaxed and better able to eliminate waste from your body.
Yoga offers quick digestive relief, making it the perfect remedy. The gentle movement of yoga is a safe and effective way to get things moving.
How Yoga Helps with Digestion
Digestion involves breaking down food to eliminate waste and absorb nutrients. If you’re having digestive issues, it can cause symptoms including:
- Stomach aches
- Changes in appetite
These issues often stem from stress, lack of circulation, or not having enough physical movement. Yoga can help by reducing all these issues and allowing you to eliminate waste before experiencing issues. If you already struggle with digestion, yoga can help you find relief.
People with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can also find relief from doing yoga. IBS triggers overactivity of the nervous system, increasing stress. When you do yoga, it reduces stress and improves IBS symptoms.
Ten Yoga Poses for Better Digestion
Some yoga poses are better than others for improving digestion. Try these poses for the best results.
1. Seated Side Bend for Digestive Health
The seated side bend stretches your obliques, belly muscles, lower and upper back, and shoulders. It helps with bloating and gas while improving your digestion.
- Start by sitting cross-legged on the floor.
- Put both hands on the floor beside you.
- Raise your left arm into the air and lean to the right, using your right arm for support.
- Breath in and out four or five times.
- Switch sides and repeat the steps.
2. Knee-to-Chest to Improve Digestion
This gentle movement relieves lower back strain while also massaging the large intestine. It promotes bowel movements, easing digestive issues.
- Start by lying on your back, facing upward with your legs straight and arms at your sides.
- Slightly tuck your chin and exhale as you slowly bend your knees.
- Use your arms and pull your knees up toward your chest.
- Keep your back and shoulder blade flat on the floor or mat.
- If you can, wrap your forearms around your legs and grab opposite elbows.
- Take four or five deep breaths before lowering your legs.
3. Downward-Facing Dog
This yoga pose helps nourish the intestines, promoting digestive health. While in this pose, remember to breathe deeply and fully exhale to help massage internal organs.
- Start on your hands and knees.
- Keep your hands in front of your shoulders and knees directly below your hips.
- Spread your palms, placing weight on all four corners of your hands.
- Turn your toes under to support your lower body.
- Rotate your upper arms, hang your head, and move your shoulder blades away from your ears.
- Exhale and lift your knees from the ground, keeping them bent slightly.
- Don’t let your heels touch the floor as you lengthen your tailbone away from your pelvis.
- Lift your tailbone toward the ceiling, keeping your inner legs tight.
- Push your thighs back and stretch your heels toward the floor.
- Straighten your knees, but don’t lock them.
- Keep your arms firm while leaving your fingers on the floor.
- Hold the pose for ten breaths (or more).
- Bend your knees as you exhale and lower your body.
4. Bow Pose Supports Digestive Health
This pose resembles the shape of an archery bow. As it stretches your back, it supports digestion and alleviates constipation.
- Lie on your stomach, keeping your legs straight and arms at your sides with palms up.
- Bend your knees and pull your feet near your bottom.
- Grab your ankles with your hands while keeping your knees aligned with your hips.
- Lift your thighs off the floor as you pull your feet toward your body.
- Simultaneously, lift your chest and head from the floor while keeping your pelvis flat.
- Hold the pose for four to five breaths.
5. Triangle Pose
The triangle yoga post promotes digestion and gut health because it helps compress and release the colon. This process flushes toxins from the body, allowing for improved digestive health.
- Start in a low-lunge position with your right leg forward.
- Straighten the leg, keeping your foot in the same place.
- Bring your left foot forward about six inches and turn it to a 45-to-60-degree angle.
- Keep your heel flat on the floor.
- Place your right hand on your right shin and raise your left hand toward the ceiling with your palm facing outward.
- Keep your arm straight with your shoulders stacked on one another.
- Stretch your head forward and lower your tailbone toward your left heel.
- Hold the post for three to six breaths before repeating on the other side.
6. Seated Twist Can Help Improve Digestion
This pose promotes digestive health and bowel regularity. The twisting motion helps the small and large intestines move food and waste. It also alleviates bloating.
- Sit on the floor and bend your left knee.
- Cross your left foot over the top of your right thigh.
- Place the left foot on the floor, and keep it planted throughout the movement.
- Lean on your right hip and bend your right knee, facing the sole of your foot inward toward your bottom.
- Place your right elbow next to the outside of your left knee.
- Rotate your trunk to the left, placing your left palm on the floor next to the left of your bottom.
- Turn your neck and look back over your left shoulder.
- Hold the position for four to five breaths, elongating your spine as you count.
- Switch sides and repeat the pose.
7. Supine Spinal Twist
This yoga pose stretches the lower back, increases spinal mobility, and alleviates constipation and bloating. It also supports general digestive health.
- Lie flat on your back with both arms at your sides.
- Bend your knees and place the bottoms of your feet flat on the floor.
- Lift your hips a couple of inches and shift them to the right before lowering them back to the ground.
- Straighten your left leg while bringing your right knee toward your chest.
- Rotate to the left, bringing your right knee over your left knee without touching it to the ground. Don’t bend your left knee as you rotate.
- Place your right arm straight on the floor perpendicular to your body.
- Press your right knee with your left hand for a more intense stretch. You can also leave your left arm straight if you prefer.
- Hold the position for four to five breaths and repeat on the other side.
8. Extended Puppy Pose for Improved Digestive Health
The extended puppy pose stretches your belly, relieving cramps after a large meal. It also promotes digestion and eases bloating.
- Get on your hands and knees to begin the extended puppy pose.
- Keep your hips where they are, and walk your hands forward as comfortably as you can.
- Lower your head to the floor, letting your neck relax and opening your heart.
- Stretch your spine by stretching through your arms and pulling your hips toward your heels.
- Hold the pose for 30 seconds to one minute.
9. Cat-Cow Pose
This pose transitions from the cat pose to the cow pose and stretch your back and belly muscles. It improves circulation, massages your organs, and promotes gut health.
- Start on your hands and knees with your back and neck flat.
- Alight your knees with your hips and your wrists with your shoulders.
- Enter the cow pose by tilting your pelvis and raising your tailbone toward the ceiling.
- Your belly should move down, engaging your core.
- Roll your shoulders back and look toward the ceiling without overextending your neck.
- Hold the pose for four to five breaths before returning to the starting position.
- Enter the cat pose by placing the tops of your feet on the floor. Your soles should be facing upward.
- Turn your tailbone and draw your belly button toward your spine.
- Arch your back by rolling your shoulders forward.
- Lower your head and hold it for four to five breaths.
- Repeat the cat-cow pose two or three times before resting.
10. Bridge Pose
This pose is a type of backbend that compresses the digestive organs. It also delivers blood to the heart and relieves fatigue caused by poor digestion.
- Start by lying on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor, a hip distance apart.
- Move your feet up closer to your bottom and press down with your feet to raise your hips.
- Lift your pubic bone instead of your navel.
- Put your hands together beneath your back on the floor.
- Broaden your collarbones and roll to the top of your shoulders.
- Roll your thighs inward and press down through your heels to lift the backs of your thighs.
- Lift your bottom even higher and keep your thighs parallel.
- Hold the pose as you count ten breaths.
- Exhale, release your hands, and lower your body to the floor.
Final Thoughts on Yoga Poses for Better Digestion
Yoga can help improve many areas of your life, including better digestion. It helps with digestive disorders, constipation, and other problems. You’ll feel better and experience minor discomfort, gas, and bloating.
These yoga poses can quickly help you feel better. If you make them a regular part of your routine, you’ll notice a drastic improvement in your digestive health.