Five Amazing Yoga Poses to Help Reduce IBS Symptoms

Just because you have IBS or a similar digestive issue doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the practice of yoga. In fact, many studies have shown that yoga can improve your symptoms.  These 5 poses below have special attributes that target the abdominal area and can improve digestion, symptoms of discomfort and constipation.  Plus they are so easy!

Yoga has so many incredible benefits for the mind and the body. The physical practice both strengthens and lengthens muscles, relieves joint and muscle pain, and simply makes your body feel good. The mindful practice can ease stress, increase body awareness, and calm the nervous system.

Stress is one of the most common triggers of IBS symptoms so what better way to relieve your stress than finding your zen? Try moving through these 5 accessible yoga postures with steady, controlled breathing, and an open heart and mind to reduce stress and ease your symptoms.

Thanks to our friends at Yoga Twins for sharing these poses!

For more great hints on the low-FODMAP diet, check out my blog for over 200 low-FODMAP recipeslow-FODMAP food lists & Happy Gut Guide, Top 11 tips and tricks for a low-FODMAP diet, and my low-FODMAP 5 day Meal Plan.

Be healthy and happy,

Rachel Pauls, MD


Five Amazing Yoga Poses to Help Reduce IBS Symptoms

Gate Pose (Parighasana):

Gate pose is a great side body and spine stretch, shoulder opener, but most importantly, it stimulates the abdominal organs and lungs.

  • Start by kneeling on your mat, stretch your right leg out to the side and press your foot into the floor
  • Keeping your left knee directly under your hip, gently rest your right palm on your right leg, and reach your left palm up and over head
  • Bring your awareness to your left side body and breathe with intention for 5-10 breaths
  • Gently transition to your second side

Wind Relieving Pose (Pavana Muktasana):

Wind Relieving Pose improves digestion as well as lengthens the spine.

  • Lying on your back, bring your right knee towards your chest interlacing your fingers over your shin
  • Use your inhales to feel your belly expand into your right thigh and exhales to pull your knee in closer to your heart giving your digestive tract a gentle massage
  • Take as many breaths here as you’d like and transition to your second side
  • Make sure to keep your spine long on the mat and extended leg engaged

Supine Spinal Twist (Supta Jathara Parivartanasana):

Supine spinal twist stimulates the kidneys, abdominal organs, and intestines as well as releases stress.

  • From wind relieving pose, gently move your bent leg (right) across your body resting your knee towards the floor
  • Extend your right arm in a T shape on the floor keeping both shoulders grounded into the mat
  • Rest your left palm on your right thigh applying as little or as much pressure to the twist as you feel comfortable
  • Transition to second side from wind relieving pose

Bridge Pose (Set Bandha Sarvangasana):

Bridge pose stimulates abdominal organs, lungs and thyroid, improves digestion, relieves menstrual discomfort, reduces anxiety, stress, fatigue, and headache. Need we say more?

  • Lying on your back, bring your feet flat on the mat about hip distance apart
  • If you reach your arms down towards your feet you should be able to lightly touch your heels
  • Press your feet and arms into the mat and gently lift your tailbone upwards, keeping your ribs contained
  • Engage your legs with your thighs parallel
  • Hold at your high point, or use a block or pillow to rest your lower back on
  • Take 5 steady breaths in your bridge, and gently lower down onto your mat

Seated Half Twist (Ardha Matsyendrasana):

This twist stimulates the liver and kidneys, energizes the spine, and stimulates the digestive fire in the belly.

  • Sit on your mat with your left leg tucked in like you’re about to sit cross-legged
  • Step your right foot to the outside of left thigh, keeping your right knee pointing directly to the ceiling
  • Place your right hand behind your right hip, reach your left arm up and twist to your right, hugging your right knee in with your left arm or bringing your upper left arm to the outside of your right thigh
  • Use your inhales to find length in your spine and exhales to move deeper into the twist

Remember, as you flow through these gentle yoga poses, focus on bringing your awareness to your breath. Calm your mind and the body will follow.  

Happy International Yoga Day!

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