Supporting your gut with yoga
Yoga is a form of exercise that focuses on strength, flexibility and breathing in order to boost physical and mental wellbeing. Yoga consists of asanas (body postures) as well as pranayama (proscribed breathing patterns) and meditation.
Yoga has been demonstrated in several studies as an effective and safe way to increase physical activity, especially strength, flexibly and balance. There is also some evidence that regular yoga practice could be beneficial for people with high blood pressure, heart disease, aches and pain, depression and stress.
There has also been some research that yoga could help alleviate some of the symptoms associated with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), to find out more read our article Can yoga help manage my symptoms of IBS?
In some individuals stress and anxiety can be one of the causes and symptom aggravation of IBS. Yoga works to help calm and relax our body which can help reduce the symptoms associated with IBS.
We have highlighted some yoga poses that might help ease discomfort and support your normal digestive process.
The cat pose helps strengthen the core, improves digestion and relaxes the mind, reducing some of the anxiety related to digestive health issues.
The cobra pose helps tone the core, improves blood circulation and relieves stress. This reduction in stress can help alleviate some of the anxiety associated with digestive health.
Downward facing dog POSE
The downward facing dog pose energises the body. It lengthens the spine and tones the abdominal muscles.
Sitting half spinal twist POSE
The sitting half spinal twist lengthens the spine and encourages the movement of trapped gas by providing a massage to the abdomen
Wind relieving pose
The wind relieving pose massages the back and intestine, aiding in the release of gas from the body. Releasing this gas improves the function of your digestive system, and could relieve indigestion, flatulence, bloating, and constipation.
If you are new to yoga it is important to start with an online class to learn the poses and breathing techniques with the guidance of a yoga teacher. This will ensure you are carrying out the poses correctly and reducing the risk of injury. Build up your practice over time and work at a pace you are comfortable with. Yoga is about listening to your body and doing what feels right for you.
Whilst yoga has been shown to have its many benefits, including improvements to gut health, it should be accompanied by a balanced diet, at least 2L of water every day and plenty of fresh air to achieve maximum benefits!