A Gentle, 10-Minute Yoga Flow for Better Digestion

LIVESTRONG.com may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.
woman on a rooftop doing seated spinal twist, one of the best yoga poses for digestion
The seated spinal is twist is one of the best yoga poses for digestion.
Image Credit: SolStock/E+/GettyImages

If you're feeling bloated or just uncomfortably full, there's an easy way to relieve your gassy gut that doesn't involve popping a pill: practicing yoga.

Advertisement

"Yoga can help with indigestion, bloating and constipation by increasing circulation to the abdominal area while stimulating your internal organs," says Koya Webb, a holistic health coach, yoga expert and author of Let Your Fears Make You Fierce.

With a combination of twists, forward bends, breath work and drawing the navel in toward your spine, practicing the best yoga poses for digestion can help you move food more easily through your colon for better digestion and elimination, she says. Yes, some yoga poses can help you poop.

Advertisement

Plus, many yoga poses also stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, otherwise known as the rest-and-digest system, Webb says. The result? You'll feel relaxed, and your belly will be better equipped to break down food.

To help you say goodbye to belly bloat and indigestion, here are the eight best yoga poses for digestion. Pick and choose your poses or, for a 10-minute yoga flow for digestion, practice them in order. Spend about 1 minute in each pose before gently moving to the next. Just be sure to have a bathroom nearby in case the yoga flow gets things, ahem, going.

Advertisement

1. Child’s Pose (Balasana)

JW Player placeholder image
Time 1 Min
Activity Yoga
  1. Kneel on the floor with your hips over your knees.
  2. Separate your knees about hip-width apart and bring your big toes to touch.
  3. Lower your body to rest your glutes on your heels.
  4. Exhale and bring your chest down toward your mat, elongating your neck and spine and stretching your tailbone down toward the floor.
  5. Stretch your arms out in front of you and rest your forehead on the mat.

This calming, grounding pose helps you deactivate your fight-or-flight response and ease into rest-and-digest mode.

2. Cat-Cow (Chakravakasana)

JW Player placeholder image
Time 1 Min
Activity Yoga
  1. Start on all fours, wrists under shoulders and knees under hips.
    • To modify, place a folded blanket under your knees for cushion.
  2. On an inhale, drop your belly toward the floor as you arch your back.
  3. On an exhale, round your back up to the ceiling.
  4. Slowly repeat this pattern back and forth on each inhale and exhale.

By moving back and forth between spinal flexion and extension, you stimulate your digestive organs to facilitate movement through your digestive track.

3. Wide-Legged Forward Fold (Prasarita Padottanasana)

JW Player placeholder image
Time 1 Min
Activity Yoga
  1. Stand with your feet 3 to 5 feet apart and keep them parallel.
  2. Place your hands on your hips and lengthen your spine with an inhale.
  3. Bend forward with an exhale, keeping your spine long.
  4. Bring your fingertips or palms to the floor or an elevated surface in front of you.
  5. Relax your neck and draw your shoulders away from your ears.
  6. Bring your hands to your hips and engage your back muscles. Inhale and slowly rise with a flat back.

Tip

To modify, bend your knees slightly.

4. Seated Spinal Twist (Bharadvajasana)

JW Player placeholder image
Time 30 Sec
Activity Yoga
  1. Inhale and sit up tall, engaging the pelvic floor and lifting the breast bone while being mindful not to hyperextend your back.
  2. On an inhale, reach your arms up overhead.
  3. With an exhale, twist to the left by turning your ribcage, shoulders and head and look over your left shoulder.
  4. Place your right hand on your left knee and your left hand behind you.
  5. Repeat on the other side.

Any twisting yoga pose helps you "wring out" your digestive organs and get things moving by kickstarting movement there.

5. Triangle Pose (Utthita Trikonasana)

JW Player placeholder image
Time 30 Sec
Activity Yoga
  1. Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
  2. Point your front foot to the side and your back foot's toes straight ahead.
  3. Exhale to send your back hip toward your back foot and hinge at the waist toward the front of your mat.
  4. Twist your torso and reach one arm toward the floor and the other to the ceiling.
  5. Gaze toward your top hand if you'd like.
  6. Breathe slowly and deeply.
  7. Repeat on the other side.

Tip

If you have trouble reaching the floor, place your bottom hand on your shin or a yoga block.

6. Knees to Chest (Apanasana)

JW Player placeholder image
Time 1 Min
Activity Yoga
  1. Lie down on your back, knees bent and feet planted, and take a deep inhale.
  2. Exhale as you draw your knees into your chest.
  3. Hug your shins with your hands or forearms.
  4. If you'd like, rock side to side gently as you breathe naturally.

This pose — also know as wind-relieving pose — does exactly what the name implies: helps clear out any excess gas and relieve that bloated feeling.

7. Supine Twist (Supta Matsyendrasana)

JW Player placeholder image
Time 30 Sec
Activity Yoga
  1. Lying on your back, place your feet flat on the floor and bring your legs together.
  2. Exhale and lower both of your knees to one side and turn your head to face the other.
  3. You should feel gentle stretch through the outside of your hips and lower back.
  4. Breathe slowly and deeply.
  5. Untwist on an inhale.
  6. Repeat on the opposite side.

8. Corpse Pose (Savasana)

JW Player placeholder image
Time 1 Min
Activity Yoga
  1. Lie on your back.
  2. Place a small pillow or rolled-up blanket under your head and/or a bolster under your knees if you want.
  3. Find length through your lower back and relax your pelvis and hips.
  4. Let your arms rest by your sides with your palms facing up.
  5. Breathe with ease and relax every part of your body.

End your 10-minute flow with Savasana, which — like child's pose — helps your entire body (including your digestive system) relax so that it can do its job effectively.

Related Reading

Advertisement