10 Best Yoga Poses For Digestion & To Relieve Gas & Bloating

Nobody is perfect; we all occasionally indulge in bad foods or adopt lousy eating habits. 

But while eating that extra slice of pizza always feels good in the moment, we soon pay the price – cue uncomfortable bloating and embarrassing gas!

As yoga is well known to boost the functioning of our bodily systems, you may wonder, “Are there yoga poses for digestion?”

Absolutely!

Whether you're dealing with irritable bowel syndrome, struggling with constipation, or experiencing sluggish digestion, practicing yoga and especially practicing yoga poses for digestion can certainly get things moving in your digestive system!

Still, when it comes to digestive health, some yoga postures are better than others. 

So read on to learn which asanas help relieve constipation, ease stomach discomfort, and boost gut health – AND discover how these poses affect the digestive organs. 

10 Best Yoga Poses For Digestion & To Relieve Gas & Bloating

Image of the 10 best yoga poses for digestion and to relieve gas and bloating 1. Supine spinal twist 2. Revolved triangle pose 3. Cat cow pose 4. Extended puppy pose 5. Wind relieving pose 6. Happy baby pose 7. Child's pose 8. Bow pose 9. Seated spinal twist 10. Legs up the wall pose

Article content:

(Click any link below to jump directly to section)


ARE YOU CURIOUS ABOUT YOGA TEACHER TRAINING?!

Online Yoga Teacher Training Offers

  • Affordability
  • Flexibility
  • Certification
  • Lifetime access

⬇Click below to discover the best Yoga Alliance registered online YTT's that are under $500

2 best yoga poses to promote digestion 

For a healthy digestive system, I recommend including plenty of twists, inversions, forward folds, and backbends in your practice. Why?

These asanas stimulate the internal organs through a process known as peristalsis. Peristalsis causes muscle contractions that help to move food through the digestive tract. 

So, if your digestive system seems sluggish, supine spinal twist and revolved triangle are my two go-to poses for helping it operate at its optimum level. 

1. Supine spinal twist

Woman practicing yoga doing supine spinal twist.

Most twists are beneficial for promoting digestion, but the supine twist is best as it creates a deep, closed twist. This squeezes the digestive organs tightly to move things along the digestive tract and eliminates toxins. 

In addition, the massaging sensation can improve the functioning of many abdominal organs, including the stomach, liver, and pancreas.

Here’s how to do supine spinal twist:

  1. Laying on your back with both legs extended, bend your right leg, hugging the knee to your chest with your left hand.
  2. Extend your right arm alongside you (in line with the shoulder), then allow the right knee to drop towards the left side, crossing the body. 
  3. Keep your right shoulder grounded and turn your gaze to the right hand as you hold for 5 to 10 deep breaths.
  4. Release and repeat on the other side, bending the left leg. 

2. Revolved triangle pose

Woman practicing yoga doing revolved triangle.

The revolved triangle pose is one of the best but most advanced yoga poses for digestion. Not only does it promote better digestion, but it also energizes you, so it is a wonderful asana to practice in the morning. 

The deep twist also stimulates the digestive fire known as Agni, which helps to balance metabolism and can increase your appetite.

Here’s how to do revolved triangle pose:

  1. From the mountain pose, step your left foot back, placing the toes 45 degrees out while keeping your front foot facing forward. 
  2. With your chest and hips facing forward, bring your left arm overhead. 
  3. Inhale as you hinge forward from the hips, bringing the arm with you.
  4. Exhale as you twist from the core to the right side, placing your hand on a block outside your right foot.  
  5. Extend your right arm, drawing the shoulder back to open the chest and twist deeper. Option to look up to the top hand. 
  6. Hold for five breaths.

2 best yoga poses for digestion and bloating 

Do you ever find your belly blows up like a balloon after eating? If this happens regularly, it may be a sign of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). However, it can also be a normal (yet unpleasant) occurrence after eating a particularly heavy or carb-rich meal. 

Cat cow and extended puppy pose improve digestive flow, helping to relieve that discomfort and deflate your belly.

1. Cat cow pose

Woman practicing yoga doing cat cow.

The cat and cow pose combines gentle spinal flexion and extension, which, along with dynamic movement, stretches the abdominal muscles and sends more oxygen and nutrients to the internal organs.

Here’s how to do cat cow:

  1. Find a tabletop (hands and knees) position, with knees hip distance apart and hands shoulder-width. The hips should be directly over the knees and shoulders over the wrists.
  2. Find a neutral position where your spine is straight. 
  3. Press your chest forward as you inhale and draw your shoulders back to arch the spine.
  4. As you exhale, round your spine, drawing in the belly button. Pull the shoulder blades apart and tuck your chin to your chest.
  5. Repeat these two steps 5 to 10 times, linking each movement to each breath.

2. Extended puppy pose

Woman practicing yoga doing extended puppy pose.

The extended puppy pose is a gentle, heart-opening pose that stretches the front of the body, including the stomach and intestines. This creates more space in the abdomen, helping to relieve stomach discomfort and bloating.

Here’s how to do extended puppy pose:

  1. From a tabletop position, keep your hips stacked over your knees as you walk your hands forward, lowering the chest to the ground.
  2. Rest your forearms and forehead on the mat, allowing the spine to curve deeper. Press your hips back to deepen the stretch.
  3. Take 5 to 10 breaths here, then briefly do a cat pose (rounding the spine) as a counter pose. 

2 best yoga poses for digestion and gas 

Trapped gas can feel extremely uncomfortable, yet we all experience it now and again. Thankfully, wind relieving pose and happy baby pose will give you instant relief from gas and bloating, though you may want to do them at home rather than in a yoga class!

1. Wind relieving pose

Woman practicing yoga doing wind relieving pose.

As the name suggests, this is THE pose for relieving gas. This reclined position massages the abdominal organs, stimulates peristalsis, and helps to relieve tension and discomfort.

Here’s how to do wind relieving pose:

  1. Lay on your back with your knees bent, hugging them to your chest. 
  2. Wrap your arms around your shins to pull the knees closer until you feel a compression against your belly. Ensure your head and shoulders remain on the ground.
  3. Stay here for as long as needed as you breathe deeply. 

2. Happy baby pose 

Woman practicing yoga doing happy baby yoga pose.

Happy Baby works similarly to the previous pose by massaging the abdomen to increase blood flow to the digestive tract. However, the difference in this pose is that the knees are wide, which brings a deep stretch to the groin and inner hip muscles. This encourages all muscles in the digestive region to relax, allowing trapped air to escape.

  1. Lay on your back with bent knees. Lift your feet off the ground as you grab them from the outside.
  2. Keep your knees as wide as you can while drawing them down to the ground and pulling the feet toward your head. 
  3. Hold the position still or rock side to side to massage the lower back for 5 to 10 breaths.

2 best yoga poses for digestion and constipation

We often don't appreciate the importance of healthy bowel movements until we deal with constipation. Luckily, exercise, especially yoga, is very effective at releasing blockages in the colon and getting things moving again. Child’s pose and bow pose are good yoga asanas for smooth bowel movements.

1. Child’s pose

Woman practicing yoga doing child's pose.

The child's pose (Balasana) involves compressing the belly muscles. As you fold over your thighs, your organs contract, and blood flow increases. It is also an extremely calming pose, known for regulating the nervous system and decreasing stress, which is one common cause of constipation.

Here’s how to do child’s pose:

  1. Sit on your heels with your knees together. 
  2. Slowly walk your fingers forward as you hinge from the hips and fold your torso over your thighs. 
  3. Release the forearms to the ground and relax the forehead on the mat or a prop.
  4. Stay here for as long as you need. When you are ready, slowly roll back up to seated.

2. Bow pose

Woman practicing yoga doing bow pose.

Prone yoga postures like bow pose are surprisingly beneficial for easing constipation and helping digestion. This is because laying on your front and pressing your belly into the ground creates pressure on the abdominal organs. In addition, as you arch your spine and open the chest, the stomach and intestines receive a much-needed stretch. 

Here’s how to do bow pose:

  1. From a prone position, bend your knees, reaching your arms behind you and grabbing your feet or ankles.
  2. On an inhale, kick your feet into your hands as you lift your chest, sending your heart center forward.
  3. Hold on an exhale, then try to come up higher on your next inhale. 
  4. Maintain the pose for five breaths as you continue to kick your feet into your hands.

As bow pose is an advanced backbend, only practice it after warming up your spine with gentler backbends like cat-cow, bridge pose, or cobra pose.

2 best bedtime yoga poses for digestion

Going to bed on a full stomach can stall the digestive process and affect your sleep quality. While there are many yoga poses I don't recommend after eating, seated spinal twist and legs up the wall are two asanas that can improve digestion so you can enjoy undisturbed sleep after eating.

Going to bed on a full stomach can stall the digestive process and affect your sleep quality. While there are many yoga poses I don't recommend after eating, seated spinal twist and legs up the wall are two asanas that can improve digestion so you can enjoy undisturbed sleep after eating.

1. Seated spinal twist

Woman practicing yoga doing a seated spinal twist.

While twists are excellent for speeding up the digestive processes, some are not suitable to do after eating. I recommend avoiding standing twists that can be energizing and ones that involve folding forward from the hips.

Therefore, the seated spinal twist (Ardha Matsyendrasana) is best for bedtime yoga practice. 

Here’s how to do seated spinal twist:

  1. From a seated position with your legs extended, bend your right knee, placing the foot outside your left thigh (knee pointing up).
  2. Keep the opposite leg extended for the half variation, or bend the left knee, bringing the foot to the right hip.
  3. Bring your right arm behind you, placing the hand on the ground close to your back. This will help you sit upright with a straight spine.
  4. On an inhale, reach your left arm overhead, lengthening the spine.
  5. As you exhale, twist from your core to the right side as you bend your elbow, hooking it to the outside of your right knee.
  6. Stay here for five deep breaths. As you inhale, focus on lengthening the spine. As you exhale, try to twist a little deeper.

2. Legs up the wall

Woman practicing yoga doing legs up the wall pose.

Did you know the mindfulness aspect of yoga is also beneficial for healthy digestion? This is due to what is known as the gut-brain connection. 

The legs up the wall posture is a highly calming asana that shifts us from the sympathetic nervous system to the parasympathetic nervous system, also called the “rest and digest” response. The parasympathetic nervous system is responsible for digestion and helps to prevent digestive disorders like IBS.

In addition, the elevated leg positioning reverses blood flow from the feet to the digestive organs, making it an ideal alternative to the corpse pose.

Here’s how to do legs up the wall pose:

  1. Lay on your back and bring your hips as close to the wall as comfortable.
  2. Swing your legs up, resting the back of the shins and ankles against the wall (your head and back are on the ground) 
  3. Keep the legs straight, and relax the arms by the side. Close your eyes as you relax in this therapeutic position for 1 to 5 minutes. 

Takeaway on yoga poses for digestion

Whatever digestive issue you're dealing with, these 10 yoga poses for digestion can help to relieve discomfort and improve the functioning of this vital bodily process. But while doing a few digestion yoga poses can be a quick fix, cultivating a regular yoga practice is hands down the best way to enjoy optimum digestive health. 

Some online yoga studios, online yoga teacher training programs, and brands that we write about may offer us a small percentage should you decide to purchase after reading our content. Thank you for enabling us to exist! 

Gemma
Gemma

Gemma is a Certified Yoga Teacher of over 5 years. Aside from being a CYT 200, Gemma is also certified in Yin and Yoga Nidra. Gemma is passionate about sharing her expertise of yoga and wellness through words, guiding others along the path of personal and spiritual development. She is in LOVE with everything related to personal-growth and psychology. Aside from helping others find more peace and stillness, Gemma runs a kitten rescue project in Thailand, where she is currently residing. Gemma can be reached at gemmac@theyogatique.com, or you can connect with Gemma on LinkedIn.

The Yogatique
Logo
Shopping cart