Yoga Poses To Boost Your Digestion

Written by Dr. Naveeda Adam on Fri, 01 December 2023


For quite some time, many of us thought that yoga was something only yogis or sages did. But now, even the western culture understands its appeal. Yoga can soothe your mind, relax your body, build flexibility, and improve your balance. It can also benefit in several ways, including digestion. Wondering how yoga can boost your digestive health? We have an answer for you.

Yoga: An age-old practice

First, let's begin by understanding what yoga is. It is an ancient practice that is rooted in Indian philosophy. Yoga has several elements, but some important aspects include physical postures (asanas), breathing techniques (pranayama), and meditation (dhyana). It has gained momentum worldwide in promoting physical and mental wellbeing.

Yoga and digestion: What's the link?

Our brain is a mysterious organ. It is connected to practically all parts of the body and our systems. It's no surprise that the digestive system is one of them. The communication network between the digestive system and the brain is called the gut-brain axis. Through this system, our gut can directly react to physical and psychological stress. This can manifest as stomach aches, diarrhoea, constipation, nausea, and changes in appetite and digestion.

Yoga can get you moving and take your mind off troubles and help you calm yourself. This can alleviate your stress levels, increasing motility to aid digestion.

Yoga poses for you to try:

1. Seated Side Bend (Parsva Sukhasana)

This is a simple and easy pose, especially if you are a beginner. It can stretch your obliques, belly muscles, lower and upper back, and shoulders. All you need to do is sit on the floor and cross your legs. Place your hands on the floor or a yoga mat on either side. Raise one arm and lean to the opposite side. Breathe 4-5 times. Switch to the other arm and repeat.

Yoga poses for digestion: Seated side bend

2. Knees to Chest (Apanasana)

You can practice this asana if you have a backache to relieve strain. Lie down on your back in a supine position. Keep your legs straight. Bring your knees close to your chest by using your hands. Hold this pose for a few deep breaths and repeat.

Yoga poses for digestion: Knees to chest

3. Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)

This pose is so named because it mimics an archer's bow. It can aid in digestion and constipation and even alleviate menstrual cramps.

Lie on your stomach, bend your knees, and bring your feet up towards your body. Grab your ankles with your hands. Slightly lift your thighs away from the floor. At the same time, lift your chest and head upward, keeping your pelvis flat on the floor. Do this for 4-5 breaths.

Yoga poses for digestion: Bow pose

4. Belly Twist (Jathara Parivartanasana)

This is a simple and effective pose that benefits digestion by increasing circulation and gut peristalsis.

Lie on your back, bend your knees, and stretch out your arms. Rotate your hips and bring your bent legs to the left. Keep your upper back flat on the

ground. Allow gravity to lower your legs toward the ground. Hold for some time. Return your hips to the neutral position and bring your knees to the chest. Slowly return your legs to the floor.

Yoga poses for digestion: Belly twist

Yoga can do wonders for your body. It will not only promote physical fitness but also boost your gut health as well. Of course, you can bid goodbye to stress. So what are you waiting for? Start practising yoga today!


Dr. Naveeda Adam

Dr Naveeda Adam is currently Medical Officer of the Gastrology Department at the Muhimbili National Hospital, Dar es Salam, Tanzania.

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  1. Yoga: What you need to know. Available from: 
  2. Foster JA, et al. Stress & the gut-brain axis: Regulation by the microbiome. Neurobiol Stress. 2017;7:124-136.
  3. Can yoga help aid digestion? 9 poses to try. Available from: Healthline 

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Current Version

Dec, 01 2023

Written By

Dr. Naveeda Adam