What can’t yoga do? Probably most famous for its relaxing techniques that alleviate aches and pains and stress, yoga is also proven to provide symptom relief for those suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and other gastrointestinal disorders.
Here are 5 amazing yoga poses to reduce your IBS symptoms.
Gate Pose (Parighasana)
As an effective side-body, spine stretch, and shoulder opener, gate pose is a great way to stimulate your abdominal organs and lungs.
- Kneel on your yoga mat, stretching your right leg out to the side and pressing your foot into the floor.
- Gently rest your right palm on your right leg and reach your left palm up and over your head, making sure to keep your left knee directly under your hip.
- Stretch to the left side of your body and take 5-10 breaths.
- Gently transition and repeat on the other side.
Wind Relieving Pose (Pavana Muktasana)
This pose accomplishes exactly what you think it does. Strengthening your abdominal muscles and massaging the insides of your abdomen, it aids digestion and releases unwanted toxic gases from your body. It also stretches your neck and back, and releases tension in your lower back.
- Lie down on your back and stretch your legs forward.
- Bring your right knee towards your chest, interlacing your fingers over your shin.
- As you breathe, inhale to expand your stomach into your right thigh, and the exhale to pull your knee in closer.
- Take as many breaths here as needed, then transition to the other side.
*Make sure you keep your spine along the mat and your extended leg engaged.
Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)
Bow pose is well known for relieving your body of stress and fatigue. It also strengthens your abdominal muscles, enhances intestine function, and improves digestion.
- Lie down on your stomach with your feet hip-width apart and your arms by your sides.
- Fold your knees to bring your feet towards your head.
- Stretch your arms backward to reach your ankles and hold them in your hands.
- Lift your chest off the ground and move your legs upwards to form a bow.
- Hold the pose for 15-20 seconds as you focus on your breathing, making breaths long and deep.
- Release the pose on an exhale.
*Make sure to keep your feet engaged and head straight and looking ahead.
Seated Half Twist (Ardha Matsyendrasana)
This twist, aside from feeling amazing, opens your chest to increase air supply to your lungs as well as stimulating your liver and kidneys, energizing your spine, and relieving constipation and indigestion.
- Sit up straight on your mat with your left leg tucked in, as if you’re going to sit cross-legged.
- Step your right foot to the outside of your left thigh, being sure to keep your right knee pointed directly at the ceiling.
- Place your right hand behind your right hip, reach your left arm up, and twist to your right, looking over your right shoulder and hugging your right knee towards you with your left arm.*Leverage the twist with slight elbow pressure against the outside of your knee.
- As you hold this pose for 30-60 seconds, inhale to lengthen your spine and exhale to move deeper into the twist.
- Gently release and repeat on the other side.
Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)
Cobra pose stretches all the way through the center of your body, front and back. This stretch greatly benefits your spine, abdominal, and back muscles, promoting healthy digestion and relieving constipation and gas, as well as improving blood circulation.
- Lie on your stomach and place your palms on your mat, just below your shoulders.
- Deeply inhale as you press through your palms and use your core muscles to lift your shoulders and chest away from the floor, always looking forward.
- Release slight on your exhale, and on your next inhale, deepen the stretch as you rise taller.*The idea is to engage your core muscles to initiate and deepen the posture instead of relying on your arms, chest, or shoulders.
- Repeat three to five times.
For more tips and tricks on managing your IBS symptoms, check out our IBS and Low FODMAP foods Blog!