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Yoga for Constipation: 9 Yoga Poses to Relieve Constipation

5 min read
Yoga for Constipation: 9 Yoga Poses to Relieve Constipation

Yoga may not be the first thing you think of when it comes to constipation, but a 2015 study suggests it can alleviate it.

Researchers found that yoga could provide a cost-effective alternative therapy for people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), whose predominant symptoms are constipation and diarrhoea. They added that yoga might also help with other symptoms of IBS, such as anxiety and fatigue.

Let’s discuss the symptoms and causes of constipation and which yoga poses are beneficial for you to help alleviate constipation.

Symptoms and Causes of Constipation

Constipation does not just mean no or little bowel movement. It, rather, makes its presence felt through a range of symptoms, including:

  • Weak stool passing less than three times a week
  • Loose or lumpy stools
  • Trouble bowel movements
  • Feeling as though a blockage is preventing bowel movements in your rectum
  • Feeling as if you cannot empty your rectum of stool
  • Need assistance to empty your rectum, such as using your hands to press on your abdomen and using a finger to remove stool from your rectum

Common causes of constipation include:

  • low fibre diet particularly diets high in meat, milk, or cheese
  • dehydration
  • pregnancy
  • medications, including certain antacids, pain medications, diuretics, and some treatments for Parkinson’s disease
  • delaying the impulse to have a bowel movement
  • travel or other changes in routine
  • low exercise levels
  • older age (constipation affects around one-third of people ages 60 and over)

Is Yoga Good For Constipation?

Most individuals associate deep stretches and soothing music with yoga. However, it’s about a lot more. One of the benefits of yoga is preventing constipation. By practising yoga poses regularly, individuals can prevent feeling constipated.

Yoga alleviates constipation by reducing stress and providing digestive asanas to individuals. A few minutes of these yoga poses every day helps prevent bloating, infrequent bowel movement, and straining. Read on to know about yoga asanas that are effective in relieving constipation.

Yoga Poses For Constipation

Here are some yoga asanas for constipation that you can practise at home. These asanas work because they require you to stretch, squeeze, or contract your stomach. That is why pressure gets inserted into your intestine, improving your bowel movements.

1. Child’s Pose

​​This one is an easy yoga for constipation asana as it doesn’t require any twisting from your end.

How To Do It:

  • Sit on the floor with your knees spread at a bit more than hip-distance apart.
  • Keep your feet tucked under you with big toes touching.
  • Now lean forward and place your hands in front.
  • Creep forwards until your forehead touches the mat.
  • Hold the asana while breathing deeply.

2. Crescent Lunge Twist

This one is a standing yoga pose that requires an individual to be in a lunge position. In addition to that, it involves twisting the torso to help promote a bowel movement.

How To Do It:

  • Lunge forward with your left leg straight while keeping the right leg bent.
  • Now place your hands in a player position.
  • Bend your upper body towards the right knee, leading with the left shoulder.
  • Hold this asana for a few breaths.
  • Return to the standing pose.
  • Repeat with the opposite leg.

3. Wind-Relieving Pose

Also known as Pawanmuktasana, the Wind-Relieving Pose helps release gas and acid reflux by contracting your stomach. The best part about this pose is that anyone can do it effortlessly.

How To Do It:

  • Lie on your back with the knees pulled up against the chest.
  • Now place your hands in or around the shins.
  • Tuck the chin in and press the back into the floor while gently pulling the knees towards the chest.
  • Hold the pose for a few breaths and release.

4. The Bow Pose

This yoga for constipation and gas asana strengthens all the abdominal muscles. However, this one is one of the more advanced yoga asanas for constipation. So, it’s vital to take precautions.

How To Do It:

  • Lie flat on your stomach and bend the knees.
  • Reach the arms back and try clasping the ankle.
  • Now raise the chest off the floor as far as comfortable.
  • Use the tension between legs and arms to lift the upper body and thighs off the floor.
  • Hold the pose for a few seconds and release.

5. Adamant Pose

Also known as the Thunderbolt pose, this yoga asana is exceedingly easy to perform and effective in releasing gas. That is because it puts pressure on your hips and thighs.

How To Do It:

  • Kneel on the mat with knees and toes touching and heels apart.
  • Now sit in the gap between the knees.
  • Place your hands on the lap after straightening your back.
  • Hold the seconds for a few minutes.

6. Cobra Pose

While this yoga asana doesn’t require any twisting, it still can relieve gas. Also known as Bhujangasana, the cobra pose puts pressure on the abdominal muscles, legs, and hips.

How To Do It:

  • Lie flat on your stomach with your toes pointed out.
  • Now place the palms on the floor at the sides (next to the shoulders).
  • Engage the legs and abdominal muscles.
  • Try to lift the head slightly.
  • Now gently curl the neck backwards.
  • Press the palms into the floor and gently lift the upper body and shoulders.
  • Hold the asana for several breaths.
  • Now release the body back to the floor.

7. Matsyasana Twist

Also known as the half spinal twist, this yoga asana is a sitting pose.

How To Do It:

  • Place yourself on the mat in a seated position.
  • Now bend your left leg and place your left foot on the ground over your right knee.
  • Bend your right knee and wrap your right foot near the butt.
  • Place your right elbow near the left knee.
  • Twist the body while looking over your left shoulder.
  • Hold the pose and then switch sides.

8. Supine Twist

This gentle twist increases blood flow to your gut by massaging the digestive tract to stimulate detoxification. As a result, this pose helps with constipation.

How To Do It:

  • Lie on your back and bring your legs to the chest.
  • Then extend your left leg out and draw your right bent leg to the other one across the body.
  • Carry this out while keeping your shoulder intact on the floor.
  • Look towards the right and hold.
  • Now switch sides.

9. Downward Facing Dog

This yoga asana is ideal for relieving constipation. It allows for traction of the spine and creates space in the body where there’s compression. As a result, it allows a release of tension, giving way to a build-up in the digestive tract. Both beginners and professionals can do it with much ease.

How To Do It:

  • Place yourself in a standing pose.
  • Inhale and slowly bend down.
  • Try to be on all fours in a way that you look like an inverted ‘V.’
  • Make sure your hands are aligned with the shoulders.
  • Your feet should be hip-wide apart.
  • Now press your palms and slightly bend your knees.
  • Hold this pose for ten deep breaths.    

When To See a Doctor

While constipation can often be fixed with dietary changes and yoga asanas, at other times, it cannot. So, it’s best to consult a doctor for the same. Here are a few instances in which individuals must visit their doctor:

  • Severe stomach aches.
  • Persistent constipation after dietary changes and exercising.
  • Alterations in bowel movements.
  • Unintended weight loss.

Summing Up on Yoga for Constipation

Yoga may help people with constipation. Different poses can help pass stool or gas through the digestive tract.

Be careful when attempting some of the more advanced yoga postures.

It is recommended that a person see a doctor if yoga or dietary and lifestyle changes do not help or if blood is found in their stool.


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