Yoga for digestion: Can yoga support your gut health?
Yoga for digestion and how it can help your body process food, support blood flow, and maintain calm
Looking for ways to support your gut health? Yoga may be the answer. Practicing yoga for digestion helps food move through your system, supports with bloating and constipation, and by increasing blood flow and supporting with tension, can improve your overall gut health. In this article, we’ll give you an overview of the benefits of yoga for your gut health, recommend some yoga poses for digestion to try out, and touch on the importance of breathing techniques (‘pranayama’).
* This article is for informational purposes only. It’s not intended to constitute or be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
Yoga for digestion: can yoga heal your gut?
Yoga can help with bloating and cramping by supporting muscle length and flexibility. This can make you feel more comfortable in your body. This has a dual benefit to your gut, an area of the body that is impacted both by your physical condition and your mental well-being.
By working with your breath, you are able to become more aware of how your stomach feels after eating certain foods or how your body reacts when tense or worried. This increased awareness helps you learn how to move through physical discomfort as well as emotional discomfort in a non-judgemental way.
The gut is a delicate ecosystem, home to a myriad of bacteria that aid in digestion and immunity. But if thrown off balance, it can lead to digestive issues.
Which yoga is best for digestion?
There are several different types of yoga that can help you manage your gut health:
Vinyasa flow yoga
As you move through the poses, you'll find that certain postures will stimulate different areas of your body. This form of movement releases tension from your organs so they function properly.
If you're feeling stressed or worried, restorative yoga can help calm your emotions by easing the tension in the body. It allows for deep relaxation so you can overcome those negative feelings.
Anyone who's ever tried Hatha knows how physically challenging it can be. But a gentle version of the practice allows you to focus on their breathing techniques rather than intense movements. This makes it easier for beginners who don't have much experience doing yoga, yet still want relieve gut discomfort.
Yoga for digestion combines a poses and breathing techniques.
What digestive yoga poses should I try?
Before you start, take a deep breath and let it out slowly. The best way to avoid getting injured during yoga is by doing a few poses at a time and then resting in between. Start by doing one pose, rest for a minute or two, then repeat with another.
Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward facing dog)
Supta Matsyendrasana (Supine Twist)
Trikonasana (Triangle Pose)
Go slowly and don't push yourself beyond your limits. Your body will tell you when it's had enough if you listen carefully.
If you’re new to yoga, check out a beginners guide to see the poses executed step-by-step.
Which pranayama is best for digestion?
First, what is pranayama? It's a Sanskrit word that literally means "breath practice," and it refers to the practice of regulating your breath as a way of managing stress. According to Yoga Journal, pranayama is an important part of yoga because it helps you stay present and aware throughout your practice.
In addition to promoting positive mental health benefits like increased focus, concentration and feeling less worried, practicing pranayama can help optimise your yoga for digestion and gut health.
Inhale deeply through both nostrils. Then exhale slowly through both nostrils while keeping airways clear until they feel completely opened up again.
Repeat the process throughout your practice, as you move through the poses.
Practice makes perfect.
Does yoga after eating help digestion?
Yoga is a great way to relax, relieve tension, and support digestion—which means you'll feel better overall.
But remember, while yoga can help with gut health, the most important factor to a healthy gut is your diet. A balanced diet, tailored to your needs, can give your digestive health a welcome boost.