Yoga Poses for Constipation Relief: Gentle & Effective

Yoga Poses for Constipation Relief: Gentle & Effective

posted 2023 Aug by

In our fast-paced lives, it’s common to look for immediate remedies to our health hiccups. Yet, some timeless practices have remained steadfast in their promise of healing

Yoga, the age-old ritual, not only offers serenity for our minds and tension relief to our bodies, but it also extends its healing touch to digestive issues. For example, yoga can be a highly beneficial option for constipation relief. 

What Causes Constipation?

Constipation, a common digestive concern for many people, often hampers regular bowel activities. 

The roots of this discomfort can usually be traced to:

  • Dietary choices: Constipation often finds its origin in our plates. Not enough fiber, reduced water intake, or a sudden dietary shift can be the culprits.
  • Medications: A few medications, especially certain antacids, blood pressure regulators, and iron boosters, could be stealthy instigators of constipation.
  • Lack of physical activity: A lifestyle that's more sedentary or instances of prolonged immobility can disrupt the usual ebb and flow of bowel activity.
  • Hormonal imbalances: Medical conditions like diabetes or thyroid irregularities, even the natural course of pregnancy, can impact our bowel rhythm.
  • Stress: Our gut, often dubbed as our “second brain,” can recoil under stress, slowing its regular dance.

How Yoga Can Help Relieve Constipation?

Yoga is more than a mere exercise; it's a symphony of the mind, body, and spirit. When addressing digestion, certain yoga stances work their magic on abdominal organs, ushering food and waste through our system. 

As we flow from one pose to another, the gentle embrace and release of the abdominal muscles act like a tender massage on the intestines and colon, invigorating the process of peristalsis, which is how the intestines move waste along the digestive tract.

Here are a few ways that yoga can support digestion:

  • Relaxation: Stress, a known disruptor of digestion, meets its match in yoga. As yoga melts away stress, it ensures a relaxed, functional digestive realm.
  • Stimulation of abdominal muscles: Many yoga poses hone in on the abdominal sanctuary. Their gentle tension and release act as nature's remedy, prompting regular bowel movements.
  • Improved circulation: Consistent yoga can increase the circulation of blood, reaching every nook and corner. As the abdominal area receives its fair share of this enriched circulation, digestive organs thrive.

Which Yoga Poses Are Best for Constipation Relief?

Embarking on a journey of yoga isn't just about flexibility or strength; it's about understanding the vast array of benefits this timeless practice offers to the whole body system. 

Your gut, a crucial component of overall wellness, is no exception. Blending science and ancient wisdom, certain yoga poses are specially tailored to enhance gut health, offering relief from constipation and promoting overall digestive well-being. 

Let's dive deep into a few yoga poses and learn how each of these poses can help address digestive concerns like constipation. 

Warm-Up Poses

Cat-Cow Pose (Marjaryasana-Bitilasana)

This dynamic pose awakens the spine and abdominal region, creating an energetic foundation for the poses to come. By initiating movement in the core area, it also helps prepare the digestive tract for enhanced function.

  1. Begin on all fours, ensuring your wrists are stacked under your shoulders and knees under your hips.
  2. Inhale deeply, curving your back downwards, lifting your gaze skyward and tailbone towards the ceiling (cow pose).
  3. On your exhale, reverse by arching your spine upwards, tucking your chin in, and pulling the tailbone downwards (cat pose).
  4. Fluidly move between these poses for multiple breath cycles, emphasizing the union of breath and motion.

Supine Twist (Supta Matsyendrasana)

This restorative twist rejuvenates the spine while providing a gentle internal massage to the digestive organs, fostering improved digestion.

  1. Begin by lying flat on your back. Draw both knees into your chest to give them a comforting hug.
  2. Slowly straighten the left leg onto the mat, simultaneously guiding the right knee across your body to the left, deepening the twist.
  3. Stretch your right arm outwards, palm upwards, anchoring yourself. Gaze over your outstretched right arm, finding a calming focal point.
  4. Inhale and exhale deeply, sinking deeper into the pose with every breath, then gracefully transition to the opposite side.

Poses for Abdominal Stimulation

Wind-Relieving Pose (Pawanmuktasana)

True to its name, this pose assists in eliminating accumulated gas, enhancing abdominal comfort.

  1. Lie on your back and draw both knees to your chest.
  2. In a smooth motion, draw both knees to your chest, enclosing them with your arms.
  3. For added comfort and a bonus back massage, gently sway side-to-side, feeling the gentle pressure against your spine.

Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana)

This pose offers two main benefits: it elongates the spine while kindling the abdominal fire, promoting efficient digestion.

  1. Begin seated with your legs stretched out in front of you.
  2. As you inhale, raise your arms overhead, stretching towards the sky.
  3. On the exhale, lean forward from the hips, maintaining a straight back, and reach towards your feet — whether it's your toes, ankles, or shins, honor your body's limit.
  4. Breathe deeply, letting go of tension with every exhale, and immerse in the pose's calming benefits.

Poses for Promoting Digestion

Extended Triangle Pose (Utthita Trikonasana)

More than a mere stretch, this pose acts as a catalyst, stimulating abdominal organs and invigorating digestion.

  1. With legs spread wide apart, point your right toes to the front of the mat and the left toes slightly inward.
  2. Raise your arms parallel to the floor, take a deep breath, and lean forward with purpose. Then, gracefully tilt, letting your right hand meet the shin or the ground.
  3. Cast your gaze towards your elevated left hand, and relish the stretch.
  4. Inhale and exhale rhythmically, then switch to mirror the pose on the other side.

Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana)

This inverted pose rejuvenates the body, concentrating on the abdominal region, enhancing circulation, and optimizing digestion.

  1. Begin by lying down, knees bent and feet placed firmly, hip-distance apart, with heels close to the buttocks.
  2. As you breathe in, channel energy through your feet, lifting your hips skywards, aiming to form a bridge.
  3. For added stability and a deeper stretch, interlace your hands underneath your body, rolling the shoulders underneath.
  4. Ensure thighs remain parallel to each other. As you breathe, visualize the enhanced blood flow to your digestive organs, amplifying their function.

Poses for Relaxation and Stress Reduction

Child's Pose (Balasana)

An oasis of calm, the child's pose transports you to a space of introspection and serenity. It beckons the body to fold inward, symbolizing a return to one's inner self.

  1. Begin in a kneeling position, seated comfortably on your heels. 
  2. Stretch your arms forward and lower your torso onto the floor between your legs.
  3. With each breath, delve deeper into relaxation and feel the worries of the day melt away.

Corpse Pose (Savasana)

Savasana, often termed the “final resting pose,” is a profound experience of utter relaxation and a harmonious union with one's essence.

  1. Lay flat, allowing the ground to support your entire body. Let your limbs find their natural spread, welcoming openness.
  2. With eyes closed, embark on a journey within. Breathe intentionally and deeply, permitting every cell to fully relax.

Poses for Gentle Movement and Circulation

Supine Leg Lifts (Supta Padangusthasana)

This pose is a gentle invitation for the legs to dance skyward, enhancing abdominal engagement and boosting circulation.

  1. Begin lying down, lifting your right leg. Hold this position.
  2. Make sure your left leg remains grounded and engaged. Breathe into the stretch, then switch to your other leg.

Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana)

More than a mere forward fold, this pose refreshes the mind, rejuvenating the nervous system and sending a cascade of oxygen-rich blood to the brain.

  1. Stand tall. On an exhale, lean forward from your hips, making sure to keep a flat back.
  2. Holding opposite elbows, sway gently, feeling the ebb and flow of life's rhythm.

Gentle Twists

Bharadvaja's Twist (Bharadvajasana)

This seated twist is like an internal dance, massaging the digestive organs and fostering inner harmony.

  1. Sit with your legs extended. Gracefully fold them to your left. Twist to the right, with your right hand anchoring the movement behind.
  2. Place your left arm on your right knee, sealing the twist. Gaze over your right shoulder, embracing the stretch. Switch sides.

Seated Spinal Twist (Ardha Matsyendrasana)

A twist that delves deeper, kindling the fires of the abdomen and invigorating the internal organs.

  1. Begin seated, legs reaching forward. Bend the right knee, placing your right foot with intention outside the left thigh.
  2. Embrace the twist to your right, with the left elbow finding its place outside the right knee. Use your right hand to support you from behind. Switch sides.

Poses for Deep Breathing and Relaxation

Diaphragmatic Breathing (Sama Vritti Pranayama)

This breathwork is a tribute to life's rhythm, awakening the diaphragm.

  1. Choose whether you’re sitting or standing. Place one hand on your chest, the other on your belly's rise and fall.
  2. Inhale with purpose, filling your abdomen, making sure your chest remains still.

Alternate Nostril Breathing (Nadi Shodhana Pranayama)

A harmonious dance of breath, this technique balances energies, creating a symphony of calm within.

  1. Use your right thumb to gracefully close off the right nostril.
  2. Breathe through your left nostril, then switch, releasing a controlled exhale through the right.
  3. This rhythm, in and out, weaves a tapestry of balance and serenity, cycle after harmonious cycle.

What Else Can Support Positive Digestive Health?

While yoga is a potent tool in the wellness arsenal, optimal digestive health often requires a multifaceted approach. Our daily choices — from the foods we eat to the way we handle stress — play integral roles in how well our digestive systems function. By aligning various aspects of our lifestyle, we can support digestive health.

Incorporate Fiber-Rich Foods

Fiber plays a crucial role in facilitating smooth digestion. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts are rich sources of this magic component. Not only does fiber add bulk to stools for easier passage, but it also feeds our gut's beneficial bacteria, fostering a thriving digestive environment.

Stay Hydrated

Imagine a water slide with no water — that's your digestive tract without hydration. Drinking water aids in softening stools and lubricating the digestive system for seamless operation. Your hydration needs might fluctuate based on climate, activity level, and individual requirements. So, while eight cups a day is a general benchmark, always listen to your body.

Regular Physical Activity

Beyond the yoga mat, other forms of physical activity can be equally beneficial for digestion. Movement acts as a gentle massage for the digestive organs, encouraging the efficient movement of food residues. Whether it's a morning jog, an evening dance class, or even gardening, the key is consistent activity that you genuinely enjoy.

Manage Stress Levels

The brain-gut connection isn't mere folklore; it's backed by science. Our emotional state can directly influence our digestion. Techniques like deep breathing, spending time in nature, or simply pursuing hobbies can significantly mitigate stress, promoting a tranquil internal environment conducive to healthy digestion.

The Bottom Line

Embracing yoga, combined with balanced nutrition, hydration, regular physical activity, and stress management, can significantly revamp digestive health. This comprehensive approach ensures that you're not just addressing symptoms but are holistically nurturing your body. Remember, each choice you make is a brick in the foundation of your wellness.

If you want to give your digestive system an extra boost, consider adding L’Evate You to your daily routine. Let our curated range of products seamlessly integrate into your wellness journey, supporting your path to optimal digestive health.


Yoga: What You Need To Know | NCCIH

Peristalsis: Definition, Function & Problems | Cleveland Clinic

Definition & Facts for Constipation | NIDDK

Fiber | The Nutrition Source | Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Constipation: Symptoms & Causes | Cleveland Clinic

9 Benefits of Yoga | Johns Hopkins Medicine

The Gut-Brain Connection | Harvard Health

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