Yoga Poses for Stomach Aches

Woman cares for herself, her body, legs and arms. Young woman relaxing after gymnastics in the mist on the lake footbridge early morning. Peaceful atmosphere. Foggy air.
Yoga can ease an aching belly. (Image: FotoDuets/iStock/Getty Images)

Your tummy is aching and begging for relief. Instead of just reaching for antacids and heading back to bed, consider a little gentle movement to calm the gurgling.

Certain yoga poses can soothe you if you've got nausea, indigestion or cramps. While these poses won't cure what ails you — especially if it's food poisoning or a virus — it can help ease the uncomfortable symptoms. Yoga relaxes specific muscles and helps you breathe steadily, so you can deal with the discomfort in your belly.

A paper published in a 2013 issue of the International Journal of Yoga suggested that yoga may also impact stomachache pain by helping you to de-stress, thus easing digestion by regulating the flow of fluid and digestive juices.

A highly active, flowing yoga practice is likely to contribute to your nausea and discomfort when your stomach is aching. However, a collection of calming, floor-based postures may be just what your body ordered for relief.

Supine Twist

A supine twist soothes your abdomen, especially when you're cramping. It's helpful in stretching out your back, too.

To do a supine twist, lie on your back on a yoga mat. Bend your knees and plant your feet on the floor. Reach your arms out to the sides of the room. Gently let your knees fall to the right as you twist your head to the left. Support your bent knees on a pillow if you desire more support. Hold for 30 seconds or up to a few minutes. Repeat in the other direction.

Young pregnant woman working out at home. Caucasian model doing Spinal Twist, Jathara Parivartanasana, resting after morning practice on the bed
You don't even have to get out of bed to do a supine twist. (Image: fizkes/iStock/Getty Images)

Child's Pose

Child's pose, or Balasana, is a stress-reducing, comforting pose. It brings your knees in toward your chest to offer relief, and because you face down, you feel completely supported. In addition to compressing the abdomen to relieve discomfort, it gently stretches the backside of your body.

Beautiful woman practicing Yoga by the lake - Sun salutation series - Balasana or child's position - Toned image
Child's pose is calming. (Image: microgen/iStock/Getty Images)

Get onto your hands and knees on a yoga mat. Sit your hips back onto your heels while still reaching your arms forward on the mat. Allow your forehead to rest on the floor or a yoga block. If your knees feel achy, place a pillow between your thighs and calves to lessen the angle of your knee bend. Stay in the pose for a minute or two.

Wind-Relieving Pose

Wind-relieving pose is aptly named, but you may prefer to call it by the Sanskrit name, "Apasana." It's a natural position you find yourself in when trying to relieve stomach pain.

To do this pose, lie on your back on a yoga mat. Draw your knees into your chest and wrap your arms tightly around them. Breathe steadily as you hold the hug for 30 seconds or longer. Feel free to rock gently side to side to offer a slight stretch to your back, too.

Young woman relaxing during yoga (Series with the same model available)
Hug as tightly as feels comfortable in Apasana. (Image: DenizA/iStock/Getty Images)

Bridge Pose

Instead of only compressing your stomach, consider opening it up and stretching it with a pose such as bridge. This pose can help stimulate your organs to improve digestion and enhance blood flow.

Yoga (Bridge Pose)
Use bridge pose to help boost your energy. (Image: Svetlana Sayapina/Hemera/Getty Images)

Lie on your back with your arms alongside your hips and your knees bent, feet planted about hip-width apart. Press your feet, hands and the back of your head into the floor as you lift your hips up toward the ceiling. Rise until you feel a gentle stretch in the fronts of your hips, your chest and your abdomen. Hold for 20 to 60 seconds and repeat two to three times.

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