19 Best Yoga Poses For Digestion

19 Best Yoga Poses for Digestion

Who hasn't had digestion issues at one point or another? Whether you are gluten sensitive, lactose intolerant, or have irritable bowel syndrome or acid reflux, gastrointestinal troubles are no walk in the park. Our gut contains over 100 trillion bacteria and is the center of our immune defense. All of those bacteria constitute about three to five pounds of anyone's body weight, and we need to ensure that we are harboring beneficial bacteria. Our total health is dependent on our gut flora, and when that gets screwed up, everything else goes awry.  You might not think that neurological, psychiatric, or cardiovascular risks are linked to poor gut health, but studies have shown autism and ADD to be connected with poor gastrointestinal health as well.

19 Best Yoga Poses for Digestion

Detoxifying the gut is a key factor in improving digestion. Believe it or not, yoga is an amazing tool to start you on your journey to better gut health — and better health overall. As I mentioned in my article 12 Yoga Poses to Cure Your Hangover (try it! You will be pleasantly surprised), yoga is a Hindu spiritual ascetic discipline that originated in India over 5,000 years ago. It includes breathing control and meditation through specific body postures. It is practiced to promote health and relaxation with synergy of the mind, body, and spirit.

Even people who don't have chronic gut-health problems can have sometimes use a healthful yogic pick-me-up, so if you're curious about building a healthier body, try these poses out.

Boat Pose — Navasana

This pose elevates the diaphragm and relieves stomach and liver pressure by allowing air to flow through the abdomen. Also, by engaging core and back muscles, the abdominal area can digest more easily.

Bow Pose — Dhanurasana

Bow pose opens up space in the abdominal area and lengthens the torso region, which houses the digestive system. Extension of the legs and arms allows oxygen to flow freely.

Bridge Pose (Supported) — Setu Bandhasana

This pose stretches the abdominal area allowing for efficient digestion as it aligns the digestive organs in optimal positions.

Bridge Pose (Full) — Setu Bandhasana

The thyroid is also stimulated, which improves metabolism.

Camel Pose — Ustrasana

This pose boosts the digestion process by elongating the torso which wakes up the digestion process. It also allows for decrease in heartburn symptoms.

Cat Pose — Marjaryasana

This pose increases abdominal circulation thereby stimulating a healthy digestive process. By arching the spine, the abdominal organs are inadvertently massaged.

Child Pose — Balasana

This pose relieves symptoms of nausea and heartburn and gently stimulates digestion to begin. It can also relieve gas pains.

Child Pose — Balasana

By alleviating stress through its calming effect, it can lessen the severity of IBS and stomach ulcers.

Cobra — Bhujangasana

This pose stimulates peristalsis of the intestines, thus aiding in the elimination process and relief of slow transit of the bowels.

Cow Pose — Bitilasana

This pose is therapeutic for digestive problems because bending the spine allows the stomach and intestines to experience more efficient blood flow.

Crane/Crow Pose — Bakasana

This pose relieves heartburn and is beneficial for digestion because it places stress on the abdominal muscles which reoxygenate blood that flows to the digestive organs.

Downward-Facing Dog — Adho Mukha Savanasana

This pose slightly compresses the abdominal area, but this pressure allows for massage of the internal digestive organs which jumpstarts the digestion process by aiding in effective elimination.

Headstand — Salamba Sirasana

This is considered the king of yoga poses because of its immense power to relieve a plethora of symptoms including depression, stress, digestive ailments.

Headstand — Salamba Sirasana

In a way, it literally reverses all the bodily processes, from aging to circulation to hormonal production. My philosophy is... when life turns you upside, simply adjust your view.

Knees-to-Chest Pose — Apanasana

This pose promotes vitality to the abdominal and pelvic organs, so it allows for optimal health of the digestion, elimination, and sexual activities.

Knees-to-Chest Pose — Apanasana

It encourages healthy bowel movement, relieves menstrual cramps, and stimulates digestion by creating downward energy flow. Its name says it all.

Legs-Up-The-Wall Pose — Viparita Karani

This promotes reverse circulation, from the feet to the legs to the abdomen.

Legs-Up-The-Wall Pose — Viparita Karani

It is restorative and regenerative as the digestive system is gently perked up which enhances movement through the intestines. It looks simple, but it's oh so effective.

Locust — Salabhasana

This pose relieves bloating and swelling in the abdomen while strengthening the bladder. It strengthens the abdominal core as well.

Open Triangle Pose — Trikonasana

This pose massages the abdominal region while simultaneously stimulating blood flow of the area.

Plow Pose — Halasana

This pose helps decrease belly fat with regular practice. The abdominal organs are stretched so constipation is relieved and the chin position stimulates the thyroid gland which controls metabolism.

Reclining Superhero — Supta Virasana

This pose stretches the torso, so it relieves abdominal cramps while promoting healthy digestion due to proper alignment of the abdominal organs.

Standing Spinal Twist — Katichakrasana

This pose allows for toxins in the digestive system to be released efficiently, so it perpetually stimulates detoxification of the gut.