8 Best Yoga Poses For Digestion

Created by Emily Borst

Last Updated: September 11, 2021

CATEGORIES: Physical Fitness

Digestive issues can be a serious problem for some people. It’s one that is rarely talked about but very common. These issues can range from mild to debilitating depending on the person. Thankfully, there are several yoga poses for digestion aid and overall wellness. Yoga postures, or asanas, can help you care for the health of your colon and prevent future issues from appearing.

There are a number of benefits that yoga digestion poses provide, here are a few.

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Yoga poses for digestion can help improve physical and mental health

Having an irregular bathroom schedule can be frustrating, but it can also be a sign there’s a larger problem. Daily or twice daily bowel movements are typically considered healthy.

A 2020 study found that yoga poses to aid digestion improved physical health related to IBS, as well as mental health.

For other mental health and wellbeing tips, try these calming techniques for stress reduction.

Yoga poses for digestion-lying on back-relaxation for digestion

Yoga poses can help improve digestion and bloating

Colon cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths for men and women in the U.S. This concerning statistic shows that prevention and detection are key, with studies showing that yoga can lower your risk.

A 2015 study showed that yoga can improve symptoms related to cancer (including colon cancer), and its treatment.

Consider giving these yoga postures for digestion a chance the next time you’re experiencing some digestive discomfort. These asanas for digestion can help give you relief after a flare-up, help with discomfort, or serve as preventative care if you have digestive problems.

Any of these eight yoga for digestive and bloating poses are sure to help you feel your absolute best.

Yoga postures for digestion-wide legged child's pose

The Best yoga poses for digestion

1. Twist (Matsyendrasana)

  • Best for: Feelings of constipation or a blockage

The twist is an easy and beginner-friendly yoga pose that can relieve pain from a blockage. It will activate your core and get things moving in your digestive tract. 

 Lie flat on your back on a yoga mat, bed, or other cushioned surface to begin. 

  1. Bend both of your knees into your chest.
  2. Cross your legs over to the left, keeping your left leg even to the ground.
  3. Extend your arms into a “T” position and turn your head to the right.
  4. Remain in this position for 30 seconds or longer.
  5. Lift your knees back to center using your core, and repeat on the other side – turning your head to the left this time.
  6. Repeat this 2-3 times on each side.
Yoga pose for digestion-Twist (Matsyendrasana)

2. Knees to Chest (Apanasana)

  • Best for: Relieving gas or bloating pain

Alternatively referred to as the “wind-relieving” pose, this asana may be for you if you are experiencing gas buildup or bloating pain. It will release pressure from your stomach and digestive tract.

Lie flat on your back on your yoga mat or bed, knees bent and your palms on your knees, then begin.

  1. Inhale then exhale – while exhaling, hug your knees to your chest.
  2. Gentle rock your knees from side to side, deepening the stretch in your stomach and lower back.
  3. Stay in this position for 5-10 breaths, then release your knees back to the ground slowly.
  4. Repeat 2-3 times.
Yoga poses for digestion-Knees to Chest (Apanasana)

3. Happy Baby Pose (Ananda Balasana)

  • Best for: Relief after a large meal or digestive flare-up

This is a yoga pose for digestion that is simple and gentle on your core and allows for a good stretch on your legs and arms. Your stomach will be able to relax in this yoga pose.

Lie flat on your back, preferably on a yoga mat or other cushioned surface, then begin.

  1. Bend both of your knees and hold on to the outside of your feet, keeping your arms outside of your legs.
  2. Gentle press both of your knees towards the ground below your armpits using your upper body. Keep your upper body relaxed, don’t tense your chest or shoulders.
  3. Hold this pose for 5-10 deep breaths.
  4. Repeat 2-3 times.
Yoga asana for digestion-Happy Baby Pose (Ananda Balasana)
Yoga asanas for digestion-Happy Baby Pose (Ananda Balasana)-1 legged version
Single-leg version of happy baby pose

4. Seated Forward Fold (Utkata Paschimottanasana)

  • Best for: Getting ahead of any digestive issue, before a big meal

The seated forward fold is a good preemptive stretch if you’re anticipating or regularly experiencing digestive issues. It allows you and your stomach to relax, preventing stress from affecting your digestive tract.

Sit on the ground on a yoga mat or other cushioned surface, legs straight out in front of you – then begin.

  1. Hinge forward at the hips, keeping your back straight, lower your torso until resting on your legs or as far as you can go.
  2. Remain in this position for 5-10 deep breaths.
  3. Slowly lift your head and torso up until sitting upright.
  4. Repeat 2-3 times.
Yoga poses for digestion-Seated Forward Fold (Utkata Paschimottanasana)

5. Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)

  • Best for: Sluggish feeling, back pain from digestive issues

Your back can take a lot of the heat from digestive issues, causing pain and discomfort. This yoga pose can relieve some of that discomfort and pressure while giving you a boost of energy.

Lie flat on your back on a mat, bed or other cushioned surface with your knees bent.

  1. Keeping your arms beside you and your feet flat on the ground, lift your hips up into the air as far as you’re comfortable. Keep your upper back and head on the ground.
  2. Hold this position for 5-10 breaths, then lower your hips back to the ground slowly.
  3. Repeat 2-3 times.
Yoga poses for digestion-Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)

6. Extended Wide Squat (Malasana)

  • Best for: Hip and back relief during a flare-up

The extended wide squat can provide hip and lower back relief during a digestive flare-up. It will open your hips up and squeeze your belly, giving lower back and hip relief.

Stand on a mat or cushioned surface, feet slightly wider than your hips.

  1. Bend your knees, slowly bringing your hips to the ground. If your heels don’t sit flat on the ground, use the edge of your mat or a blanket to stabilize yourself.
  2. Bring your palms together at your heart, then press your elbows against your knees to open your hips.
  3. Remain in this position for 5-10 breaths.
  4. When you’re done, put your hands to the floor and walk them away from your feet. This will deepen the stretch in your hips and lower back.
  5. Hold this pose for another 5-10 breaths.
  6. Repeat this 2-3 times.

7. Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)

  • Best for: While experiencing digestive blocks

This is a common pose that will lengthen your spine and put pressure on your stomach, helping with any digestive issues. The pressure exerted is gentle, encouraging digestion.

Lie flat on your stomach, arms extended on your yoga mat or bed.

  1. With your legs and pelvis on the ground, walk your hands toward your chest and lift your torso, keeping your elbows bent. 
  2. Walk your hands in, stopping when you feel a stretch in your core. 
  3. Relax your shoulders away from the head and lengthen your neck.
  4. Stay in this position for 30 seconds, lowering your torso to the ground slowly when done.
  5. Repeat 2-3 times.
Yoga to improve digestion-Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)-cover image

8. Seated Heart Opener Pose (Vajrasana)

  • Best for: Gas, bloating pains or after a big meal

This is a simple pose, one that provides relief when you’re experiencing gas pain or bloating. It will stretch your stomach, helping relieve bloating pains.

Sit down on your shins on a yoga mat, bed, or another surface to begin.

  1. Interlace your hands behind you, pressing the heels of your hands together. For a deeper stretch, press your hands on the floor with your fingertips pointed away from your body.
  2. Pull your palms down to the ground, opening your chest and shoulders.
  3. Stay in this position for 5-10 breaths.
  4. Repeat 2-3 times.

Exercise and Digestion

In addition to these yoga asanas and exercises for digestion, there are a number of other daily habits that you can keep to stay your healthiest. From your diet to drinking enough water, these habits can have a positive impact on your digestive health.

Tips in this article are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment of gastrointestinal conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome or gastroenteritis. Seek the advice of a qualified healthcare provider or medical professional if you have questions or concerns.

If you enjoyed this article, check out these yoga poses for tension headaches, and these yoga poses for lower back pain.

Disclaimer: This article contains affiliate links. This means that if you make a purchase after clicking on one of these recommended service provider links, like an insurance broker, or a travel agent, I may earn a commission – at no extra cost to you. [For my full disclosure, please see my DISCLAIMERpage].

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