We commonly think about how yoga can help improve our strength and flexibility, but what about other issues? There are certain yoga poses that can actually help to relieve constipation.
Just to note, constipation can occur from many different issues and these yoga poses do not address all of these. These poses can be helpful in relieving constipation that is due to food moving slowly through your GI system. Basically, these poses stimulate movement of food through the intestines to help get things moving.
If you are dealing with constipation, I highly suggest you check out one of my previous posts that goes into much more detail on the possible causes of constipation. Click here to see this post.
Disclaimer: Constipation can cause or be caused by serious medical issues. Always be sure to consult with your doctor if you are experiencing constipation.
Due to the nature of twisting and forward bending in the poses listed below, they are not recommended for those who have low bone density (osteopenia/osteoporosis).
Before doing the poses listed below, I recommend doing some type of warm-up. A few sun salutations are a great way to warm-up for yoga.
With yoga poses, you can go with your intuition on how long you want to hold a pose but if you would like guidance, you can hold these poses for 10 seconds and repeat 3 times.
3 Yoga poses for constipation relief
1. Revolved cresent lunge (parivṛtta aṅjaneyāsana)
Twisting poses are a really great way to stimulate digestion and can be helpful when dealing with constipation.
There are two options for revolved crescent. Both options are shown in high lunge, but you can also do these poses in low lunge (with the back knee down on the earth).
-From a lunge position, twist to the side of the leg that is in front. (Ex. if your left leg is in front, twist to the left)
-Only twist as far as you can while you keep the spine long. Your torso should stay directly over your pelvis.
-As you twist keep your arms out straight as shown in the photo above.
-Perform this on both sides.
-This option takes the pose a little bit deeper into the twist.
-If the left leg is in front, place the right elbow on the outer left thigh (just above your knee).
-Place your hands in prayer and press through your hands and right elbow to twist (keep this pressure so you stay lifted instead of collapsed).
-You want to keep your chest lifting up to left and not collapsing toward the front leg.
-Repeat this on the other side as well.
Choose the option that is best for you, one is not better than the other.
2. Seated spinal twist (ardha matsyendrāsana)
To modify this pose, instead of placing the elbow on the thigh, you can hug the thigh instead.
-Bend the right knee and place that leg on the earth.
-Cross left leg over right and place left foot on earth.
-Place left hand behind you.
-Bring right elbow to the outside of the left thigh or to modify hug left knee with right arm.
-First lengthen the spine and then keeping this length, gently twist to the left.
-Repeat on the other side.
3. Knees to chest (pavanamuktāsana)
To modify, bring one leg in at a time.
-Hug both knees in toward your chest.
-Only bring the legs in as far as you can while still keeping the low back and sacrum in contact with the earth.
-Think about keeping the spine long and keep your upper body relaxed on the earth.
I hope you found these poses helpful. For a full guided practice focused on boosting digestion, check out the video below.
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