Your tummy is aching and begging for relief. Instead of just reaching for antacids and heading back to bed, consider a little gentle yoga for your stomach 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 — they 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 suggests that yoga may also impact stomachaches 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 stretches for stomach cramps may be just what your body ordered for relief.
Read more: Does Yoga Help Reduce Stress?
Twist It Out
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.
Compress and De-Stress
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're face down, you feel completely supported. In addition to compressing the abdomen to relieve discomfort, it gently stretches the backside of your body.
Get on 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.
Yoga for Gas
Natural positions to relieve gas include the aptly named Wind-Relieving pose.
Lie on your back on a yoga mat. Draw your knees in to 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.
Build a Bridge
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.
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.
Read more: 5 Ways Yoga Can Help You Heal