Yoga has been shown to help digestive health in many ways. Studies have looked at older individuals with constipation due to a variety of issues including medication. Furthermore, studies of younger individuals who have irritable bowel have been studied. Conclusions were that yoga can help a number of digestive woes including relieving gas, decreasing bloating, and alleviating constipation by promoting relaxation, improving digestion, and increasing circulation in the digestive tract. Here are a few specific yoga poses that can be helpful:
- Wind-Relieving Pose (Pawanmuktasana): Lie on your back and bring your knees to your chest, hugging them in with your arms. This helps to massage the intestines and can help relieve constipation.
- Child’s Pose (Balasana): Kneel on the ground and sit back on your heels. Stretch your arms forward and bring your forehead to the ground. This pose helps to calm the mind and can stimulate the digestive system.
- Cat-Cow Pose (Marjaryasana-Bitilasana): Get on your hands and knees, and alternately arch and round your back, moving with your breath. This helps to massage the organs in the belly and can help alleviate constipation.
- Forward Bend (Uttanasana): Stand with your feet hip-width apart, bend forward from your hips, and allow your hands to rest on the ground or on a block. This pose helps to increase blood flow to the abdominal organs and can help stimulate digestion.
It’s important to remember that yoga is not a cure-all for constipation, and that it’s always best to consult with a healthcare provider if you’re experiencing chronic or severe constipation. Simple food tips like better chewing can also be part of getting that digestive track in gear! Additionally, maintaining a health gut includes not smoking, stabilizing your blood sugar, and eating a wholesome diet with plenty of fiber and hydration can also be helpful in preventing and treating constipation. The yoga practice has to be maintained, it’s beneficial while being practiced, it’s not a fix like a surgery! We incorporate the poses above into most every yoga class! And with or without constipation we recommend coming to classes at Hatha Yoga and Fitness to keep all parts of your body, even your gut, healthy and happy.