Whether Doing Yoga Improves Your Digestion

Whether Doing Yoga Improves Your Digestion

Yoga, an ancient practice that combines physical postures, breathing exercises, and meditation, has been a source of holistic well-being for thousands of years. Among its many benefits, yoga is often recommended for improving digestion. But what does the science say? Let's explore how yoga can be beneficial for your digestive system.

Understanding Digestion

Before we delve into yoga's effects, it's important to understand what digestion is. Digestion is the process by which our body breaks down food into nutrients, which are then absorbed into the bloodstream. A healthy digestive system is crucial for overall health, as it ensures that our bodies get the necessary nutrients for energy, growth, and repair.

The Connection Between Yoga and Digestion

Yoga may aid digestion in several ways:

  • Stress Reduction: Yoga helps in activating the parasympathetic nervous system, also known as the 'rest-and-digest' system. This can lead to a reduction in stress, which is often a contributor to digestive problems.
  • Increased Circulation: The physical movement in yoga can increase blood flow to the digestive organs, aiding in their function.
  • Physical Movement: Certain yoga poses are designed to massage and stimulate the gastrointestinal tract, which can help in moving food through the system and alleviate issues like gas and bloating.

Yoga for Specific Digestive Issues

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

IBS is a common condition characterized by symptoms like gas, bloating, and changes in bowel habits. Studies have shown that yoga can be an effective complementary treatment for IBS, helping to alleviate symptoms.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

For those with IBD, such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, yoga can support symptom management. However, it's important to note that yoga should not replace medical treatments but can be used alongside them.

Yoga Poses for Better Digestion

Here are a few yoga poses that are particularly good for digestion:

  • Apanasana (Knee-to-Chest Pose): Helps relieve gas and bloating.
  • Pawanmuktasana (Wind-Relieving Pose): Stimulates bowel movement.
  • Vajrasana (Thunderbolt Pose): Promotes blood flow to the digestive organs.

How to do it?

Certainly! Here are the steps for the three yoga poses that can help improve digestion:

Apanasana (Knee-to-Chest Pose)


  1. Lie on your back with your legs extended and arms resting by your sides.
  2. Breathe in, and as you exhale, bend your knees and bring them towards your chest.
  3. Wrap your arms around your shins and gently pull your knees closer to your chest.
  4. Keep your neck and shoulders relaxed, and hold the pose while taking deep breaths.
  5. To release, exhale and gently lower your feet back to the floor.

Pawanmuktasana (Wind-Relieving Pose)


  1. Start by lying on your back with your feet together and arms beside your body.
  2. As you exhale, bring one knee towards your chest and press the thigh on your abdomen with clasped hands.
  3. Inhale, and as you exhale again, lift your head and chest off the floor, trying to touch your chin to your knee.
  4. Hold the pose for a few deep breaths, then release and repeat with the other leg.

Vajrasana (Thunderbolt Pose)


  1. Kneel on the floor with your knees and ankles together.
  2. Sit back on your heels with your spine straight and hands on your thighs.
  3. Keep your head straight and gaze forward, or close your eyes for meditation.
  4. Breathe normally and hold the pose for as long as comfortable.


While yoga should not be seen as a cure-all for digestive issues, it can certainly play a role in managing symptoms and promoting a healthy digestive system. As always, if you're experiencing severe digestive problems, it's best to consult with a healthcare professional.

Remember, incorporating yoga into your daily routine can have numerous benefits for your mind, body, and spirit, including better digestion. So, roll out your mat and give it a try!

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