Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a chronic disorder that causes irregular bowel movements, abdominal pain, constipation, bloating, and other issues with the gut.
A common disorder in women (compared to men), IBS can occur at any age and can lead to stress and other emotional issues. Fortunately, not all hope is lost. Yoga is an effective remedy to combat symptoms of IBS and put your stomach and your mind at ease.
Yoga is a powerful exercise that is known to boost your physical and mental health. Certain yoga poses and exercises can actually target your digestive system and promote a healthy gut, fostering healthy bowel movements and relief from other symptoms of IBS.
5 Yoga Poses to Combat IBS
Whether you practice at home or attend yoga classes with an instructor, yoga will be beneficial for your overall health and help to promote a healthy digestive system.
1. Adho Mukha Shvanasana – Downward Dog
Downward-facing dog is a good pose to help you tone the abdominal muscles. Along with building strong legs, this pose stretches the spine and helps to improve blood flow throughout the body.
- Get into high plank position with your back straight and in line with your hips and take a deep breath in.
- As you exhale, lift your hips towards the ceiling and stretch your arms out towards the front of your mat.
Disclaimer: This pose is not recommended if you are experiencing any symptoms of diarrhea or loose stool.
2. Pavanamuktasana – Wind Relieving Pose
The wind relieving pose is extremely effective for releasing gas from your intestines. While this pose massages the abdominal muscles and intestines, you will feel instant comfort and relief from bloating or any other discomfort due to the excess gas.
- Lay on your back with your arms and legs stretched and take a deep breath in.
- As you exhale, pull your knees to your chest and wrap your arms around your legs like you are giving yourself a hug.
- Starting with the right side, continue to hold on to your right knee and lengthen out your left leg. Press your knee closer to your chest and pause for a few seconds.
- Slowly bring back your left leg and give yourself another hug.
- Alternate to the opposite leg, in this case, the left, and repeat this exercise to work on the left side.
3. Bhujangsana – Cobra Pose
The cobra pose is another one to practice to improve blood circulation. Cobra pose tones your abdomen, reduces stress and fights fatigue.
- Start with a forearm plank and lay down with your legs and stomach flat on the ground.
- With your elbows slightly bent and your palms flat on the ground, lift your chest up and stretch towards the ceiling and take a few deep breaths.
- As you exhale lower back to the ground and pause for a few seconds before repeating this exercise.
- Repeat this pose for about 15 seconds.
4. Dhanurasana – Bow Pose
An effective pose to help with constipation, fatigue, and stress, the bow pose strengthens the abdominal muscles and improves blood blow in the body.
- Lay down flat on your stomach with your feet hip-width distance apart and your arms on either side of your hips.
- Bend your knees and bring your feet up towards your head.
- Stretch your arms back towards the opposite wall and grab onto both ankles using both hands.
- Lift your chest and your legs up to perform the deep bend.
- Hold this pose for 1—2 seconds and come back to starting position.
Make sure to consult your doctor if you are experiencing symptoms of IBS.
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Yoga Makes Irritable Bowel Syndrome Vanish. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.artofliving.org/us-en/yoga/health-and-wellness/yoga-for-ibs
Achanta, R. (n.d.). 5 Effective Yoga Poses For Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Retrieved from http://www.stylecraze.com/articles/effective-yoga-poses-for-ibs-irritable-bowel-syndrome/#gref
Yoga for IBS: Best Poses. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/yoga-poses-for-ibs#1