Easy Yoga Poses for IBS Symptom Relief
Yoga is a popular exercise that combines physical, mental, and spiritual disciplines. For people with an IBS diagnosis, yoga can be a helpful fitness strategy for symptom relief.
That’s because yoga is a form of physical therapy that incorporates poses or postures done in a specific order to create an intense workout. Yoga may help alleviate IBS-related symptoms by pressing on the colon from different angles and stretching out muscles in the digestive tract.
In addition, doing certain exercises may divert pressure from the colon to other organs such as the liver. Here are some easy yoga poses for IBS symptoms relief:
1. Standing Forward Bend
The standing forward bend pose, also known as Uttanasana, involves bending forward from the waist while keeping the legs relatively straight. The stretch of this pose is good for relieving constipation and abdominal cramping. It also tones the abdomen, reduces flatulence, and improves blood circulation.
To get into this pose, stand with your feet together about 2 feet apart or slightly wider than your hips. With your palms together in front of your chest, continue to exhale while slowly bending forward from the waist. Don’t forget to place your hands on a sturdy surface like a chair for support. Hold the pose for about 30 seconds while you breathe deeply.
2. Child’s Pose
The child’s pose, also called Balasana, is a great exercise for anyone with IBS because it improves digestion and relieves abdominal pain. The pose also massages the internal organs and stretches the hip flexors.
This pose can be practiced on the floor or on a yoga mat for better grip. Kneel on all fours with your hands under your shoulders and knees underneath your hips. Tuck your toes under as you exhale and gradually lower down onto your forearms. Position your knees as close to the floor as possible as you extend your arms in front of you. Relax your neck by extending it backward while inhaling deeply from time to time during the stretch.
3. Cobra Pose
The cobra pose, called Bhujangasana, is a great alternative to the bicycle pose. It improves digestive health by stimulating peristalsis and emptying the stomach and intestines. This posture also tones the abdominal muscles and stretches the hip flexors.
Even though it looks like a cobra stretched out on its side, this posture is actually named after the serpent because of its shape and position when practiced correctly. To do this pose, lie on your stomach with your arms extended over your head. Keep your arms completely straight and elbows pressed into the ground for support. You can also rest your chin on a firm surface like a yoga mat for additional support if needed.
4. Half Lord of the Fishes
The half lord of the fish's pose, called Ardha Matsyendrasana, is a good alternative for those with IBS. This posture relieves constipation and abdominal distension as well as helps lower blood pressure.
5. Belly Roll-Down Pose
The belly roll-down pose, also known as Kumbhakasana, can be done to relieve constipation and abdominal pain. It stretches the abdomen and massages the internal organs which provide an effective treatment for digestive ailments.