Does Yoga Benefit Digestion? Try These 9 Moves

Does Yoga Benefit Digestion? Try These 9 Moves

Posted on Jan 24, 2023

When you experience stomach troubles, you may seek assistance immediately.
There is a rising interest in using yoga and gentle movement to discover natural therapy for digestive disorders. You may be wondering if you should try yoga for digestive relief, since many people promote its advantages.

What is yoga?

Yoga is an ancient technique that has been used to integrate the mind and body for thousands of years. For many individuals, it also involves a spiritual aspect.
In order to improve mind-body awareness, this exercise combines:
·       gentle movement (asanas)
·       respiratory methods (pranayama)
·       meditation (dyana) (dyana)
·       It promotes your rest-and-digest system, or parasympathetic nervous system.

How yoga might aid digestion

Typically, "digestion" refers to the breakdown of food to deliver nutrients to the body and eliminate waste.
However, many individuals use the phrase to refer to any digestive problems, including gas, bloating, pain, and stool type and frequency.
The gut-brain axis is a network of nerves and biochemical signals in the blood that connects the digestive system to the brain.
This system allows your gut to instantly respond to psychological and physical stress with symptoms such as stomach pains, diarrhoea, constipation, nausea, and changes in appetite and digestion.

General digestive health

People think yoga promotes digestive health by lowering stress, enhancing circulation, and boosting the physical movement, or motility, of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.

Inflammatory bowel syndrome

Those with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) may find significant benefit from yoga. Scientists believe IBS is caused by an overactive sympathetic nervous system, the body's stress system.
A variety of symptoms, including gas, bloating, diarrhoea, and constipation, are associated with the illness.
In a 2018 research, 208 people with IBS either followed a low-FODMAP diet or practised yoga for 12 weeks. Both groups demonstrated improvements in IBS symptoms at the conclusion of the study, showing that yoga may serve a complementary role in IBS therapy.
People who participated in 16 biweekly yoga sessions improved their IBS symptoms, according to a 2016 pilot research.
However, the study also indicated that walking had similar advantages for individuals. This shows that regular exercise and stress reduction may be the most important variables in symptom improvement.
Other research have also demonstrated the IBS-relieving advantages of yoga.

Irritable bowel disease

Yoga may also aid in the management of symptoms associated with inflammatory bowel illnesses, such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. However, it should not be used as a substitute for drugs or other therapies.
There is little empirical research examining which yoga positions may alleviate gastrointestinal disorders and which are the most beneficial. The majority of existing assertions are based on anecdotal evidence. Therefore, scientists must do further study on this subject.


Yoga may aid in the relief of digestive difficulties by reducing stress, enhancing circulation, and encouraging gut motility. However, additional study is required to determine its impact in specific digestive disorders.

9 yoga positions for digestion

Here are nine yoga positions that may aid with digestion in general or with particular digestive ailments.
1.     Seated Side Bend (Parsva Sukhasana)
This is an excellent pose for beginners who wish to stretch their obliques, abdominal muscles, lower and upper back, and shoulders.
The mild stretch may aid in the relief of bloating and gas, as well as in overall digestion.
How to proceed:
·       Cross your legs and sit on the floor with your hands resting on the ground at your sides.
·       Raise your left arm straight into the air, and then lean slightly to the right.
·       Keep your right forearm pointing outward on the floor.
·       Slowly inhale and exhale four to five times. Then, reverse sides and continue.

2.     Supine Twist (Ardha Matsyendrasana)

The twisting action of this manoeuvre is believed to increase bowel regularity by assisting in the peristalsis of the small and large intestines. This is the process that drives food and waste through the gastrointestinal system.
This yoga posture may also aid in reducing bloating.
How to proceed:
·       While seated on the floor, both legs should be straight. Place your left foot on the ground after bending your left knee and crossing it over your right knee or thigh. Maintain a planted left foot throughout the whole action.
·       Then, lean softly on your right hip and bend your right knee so that the bottom of your right foot faces your left buttock. If this is too tough, you can maintain a straight right leg.
·       Place your right elbow on the outside of your left knee as you twist your trunk gently to the left. Place the palm of your left hand to the left of your buttocks on the floor.
·       Turn your head so that you are gazing slightly over your left shoulder.
·       Maintain this position and take four to five deep breaths. Observe your spine extending with every inhalation. Then, reverse sides and continue.

3.     Supine Spinal Twist (Supta Matsyendrasana)

Supine Spinal Twist Pose is an excellent way to stretch the low back and increase spinal mobility. People say it alleviates constipation and bloating and aids in digestion in general.
How to proceed:
·       Lie on your back, often known as the supine posture.
·       With the soles of your feet flat on the floor, bend both knees. Raise your hips 1–2 inches (2.5–5 cm) off the floor and move them 1 inch to the right (2.5 cm). This will allow your hips to stack throughout this exercise. Reduce your hips to the floor.
·       Straighten your left leg and pull your right knee to your chest by grabbing it with your right hand.
·       While maintaining a straight left leg, spin to the left and cross the right knee over the left. Allow your knee to softly drape over your left leg instead of pushing it to the ground.
·       Bring your right arm back and position it perpendicular to your body on the floor. For a larger stretch, place your left hand on your right knee and apply gentle pressure. Alternately, maintain a straight left arm.
·       Hold this posture for four to five full breaths. Repeat on the opposite side.

4.     Knees to the chest (Apanasana)

Knees to Chest is a moderate exercise that may be calming and alleviate lower back tension. It promotes bowel motions by gently massaging the large intestine.
How to proceed:
·       Straighten your legs while in a supine posture on your back.
·       Slowly bend your knees and bring them near your chest while pulling them in with your arms.
·       Hold this posture for four to five full breaths.

5.     Cat-and-Cow (Marjaryasana-Bitilasana)

Cat-Cow Pose is a transition between two traditional yoga poses, Cat Pose and Cow Pose. The combination can stretch your back and abdominal muscles.
Proponents assert that these poses enhance blood circulation and increase gastrointestinal peristalsis through gentle organ massage.
How to proceed:
·       Beginning on your hands and knees with a neutral spine, or a flat back and neck. Ensure that your knees and hips are aligned, as well as your wrists and shoulders.
·       Start by assuming Cow Pose. To do this, angle your pelvis such that your tailbone rises and your stomach falls. Be careful to engage your core.
·       Roll your shoulders back and look upward to elevate your head. Make cautious to avoid excessive neck extension.
·       Maintain for 4–5 breaths.
·       Next, return to the neutral position.
·       To assume Cat Pose, place the tops of your feet on the ground with the soles facing up. Arc your back by tucking your tailbone, pulling your belly button into your spine, and rolling your shoulders forward so that your back is arched.
·       Allow gravity to regulate your head's descent, rather than forcing it down.
·       Maintain for 4–5 breaths.
·       Repeat two to three times.

6. Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)

Snake Pose replicates the upright pose of a cobra. It stretches your abdominal muscles and improves your posture, and proponents claim it aids with overall digestion.
How to proceed:
·       Beginning on your stomach, place your feet hip-width apart and your palms flat on the floor at your lower ribs with your elbows bent.
·       Extend your feet till the tops of your feet are in contact with the ground.
·       Press onto your hands and raise your head and chest slowly. Maintain a tiny bend in your elbows as you progressively straighten your arms. Shoulders should be rolled back and down. Concentrate on elevating your sternum instead of your chin.
·       Focus on lifting your chest and upper back forward while maintaining a stable pelvic position.
·       Without excessively stretching the neck or protruding the chin, gaze upwards slightly. Maintain for 4–5 breaths.

7. Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)

Bow Pose is a representation of an archer's bow. Proponents claim that it promotes digestion and constipation and relieves menstruation cramps in addition to stretching the back.
How to proceed:
·       Lay on your stomach with your legs extended and your hands at your sides, palms facing upward.
·       Bend your knees and get your feet as near as possible to your buttocks. Reach behind and grip your ankles gently. Make sure your knees are not broader than your hips.
·       Pull your feet nearer your body and raise your thighs slightly off the floor. simultaneously raise your chest and head upwards. Maintain a flat pelvis on the floor.
·       Maintain for 4–5 breaths. If you are experiencing difficulty breathing, keep to a mild, comfortable stretch. Some individuals may want to skip this move.

8. Stomach Twist (Jathara Parivartanasana)

People say this simple twist aids digestion by boosting circulation and encouraging intestinal peristalsis.
How to proceed:
·       Begin by laying on your back with your knees bent, your feet flat on the ground, and your arms extended. Shift your hips to the right by roughly one inch (2.5 centimetres).
·       Raise your feet off the ground while maintaining knee and foot contact.
·       Turn your hips to the left and bend your legs to the left. Maintain a flat upper back on the ground. Permit gravity to bring your legs to the earth.
·       Maintain for 4–5 breaths.
·       Bring your knees toward your chest and restore your hips to a neutral posture. Then, slowly extend your legs straight.

9. Corpse Pose (Shavasana)

The Corpse Pose is typically performed towards the conclusion of yoga practise. It is intended to help you attain real relaxation via regulated breathing and meditation.
How to proceed:
·       Lay on your back with your legs extended and your arms at your sides.
·       Close your eyes and inhale for four counts, hold for four counts, then exhale for four counts. Observe the rise and fall of your stomach or chest with each breath to maintain concentration on the breath rather than on intrusive thoughts.
·       Allow gravity to relax your muscles naturally.
·       Continue for at least five minutes, or for as long as you choose.
·       Each of the aforementioned yoga positions may alleviate digestive disorders such as bloating, gas, and constipation. They may also aid with digestion in general.


People generally acknowledge that yoga is safe. However, it may not be appropriate for those who:
·       suffer from back or neck injuries
·       pregnant women with high blood pressure
·       Certain yoga instructors provide specialty sessions, such as prenatal yoga.
Furthermore, if you are suffering from persistent stomach troubles, you should consult a medical practitioner. They may be able to determine the underlying reason.
Although you may find yoga useful, you should not abandon other therapies prescribed by your doctor. Consult with them before beginning yoga or any other workout regimen.
Yoga may not be appropriate for those with certain medical issues. Consult a healthcare physician if you wish to begin a regular yoga practise, and be sure to inform them if you have recurring digestive concerns.