Yoga Poses for Constipation: A Comprehensive Guide

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Introduction

Constipation, characterized by infrequent or difficult bowel movements, can be an uncomfortable and frustrating condition. While dietary changes and increased water intake can help alleviate symptoms, yoga has also been shown to be beneficial in promoting bowel regularity.

Benefits of Yoga for Constipation

  • Reduces Stress: Yoga’s stress-relieving effects can promote relaxation and reduce physical and psychological discomfort associated with constipation.
  • Enhances Flexibility: Yoga poses that stretch the abdominal muscles and promote flexibility can create space in the digestive system, facilitating easier elimination.
  • Stimulates Bowel Movements: Twists and other specific movements in yoga practice can stimulate the muscles responsible for bowel function, encouraging peristalsis and promoting regular bowel movements.
  • Increases Awareness: Yoga encourages practitioners to become more aware of their bodies, empowering them to identify and address signs of constipation early on.

9 Effective Yoga Poses for Constipation

Here are nine yoga poses recommended by Lindsay Monal, RYT-500, a yoga teacher and director at YogaRenew Teacher Training, to help alleviate constipation:

Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)

This pose provides space in the abdomen and stimulates the digestive system, promoting elimination.

Instructions:

  1. Lie on your stomach with arms at sides.
  2. Bend knees and grab ankles or feet.
  3. Lift legs and chest off floor, keeping pelvis grounded.

Child’s Pose (Balasana)

This pose stretches hips and muscles in the back of the body, promoting relaxation and bowel movement.

Instructions:

  1. Start in tabletop position on knees and wrists.
  2. Bring toes together and shift hips back.
  3. Extend arms forward and rest forehead on floor.

Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana)

This pose stimulates bowel movements, stretches shoulders and arms, and promotes flexibility.

Instructions:

  1. Sit on floor with legs extended.
  2. Hinge at hips to lower torso toward thighs.
  3. Rest hands on toes, ankles, or shins.

Chair Pose (Utkatasana)

This pose mimics the position used for elimination and stretches various muscle groups.

Instructions:

  1. Stand with feet together, arms at sides.
  2. Bend knees and lower into a squat position.
  3. Lift toes off floor and shift weight into heels.

Seated Spinal Twist (Marichyasana)

This pose massages abdominal organs and muscles, promoting digestion.

Instructions:

  1. Sit on floor with legs extended.
  2. Bend one knee and place foot next to other thigh.
  3. Twist torso toward bent leg, reaching arm up to ceiling.

Supine Spinal Twist (Jathara Parivartanasana)

This pose provides a gentle twist to stimulate digestion and promote relaxation.

Instructions:

  1. Lie on back with knees bent.
  2. Extend arms to sides and allow knees to fall to one side.
  3. Turn head to opposite side and focus on deepening the twist.

Garland Pose (Malasana)

This pose mimics the natural squatting position for elimination and promotes flexibility.

Instructions:

  1. Stand with feet wide, toes turned out.
  2. Squat down, bringing buttocks close to heels.
  3. Rest elbows on knees and focus on lengthening through spine.

Wind Relieving Pose (Apanasana)

This pose puts the body into a natural position for elimination and stretches the back.

Instructions:

  1. Lie on back with knees bent.
  2. Wrap arms around knees and tuck chin into chest.
  3. Press sacrum and tailbone into floor, relaxing legs and feet.

Crescent Lunge Twist (Parivrtta Anjaneyasana)

This pose creates space in the hips and activates muscles involved in elimination.

Instructions:

  1. Step one leg back, bending other leg at 90 degrees.
  2. Bring hands together in prayer and hinge forward at hips.
  3. Rotate torso and rest elbow on knee, gazing behind you.

Conclusion

Yoga offers a natural and effective way to relieve constipation. By practicing the poses described in this article, you can promote bowel regularity, reduce discomfort, and enhance your overall well-being. It is important to note that these poses can provide relief but should not replace medical treatment for severe or persistent constipation.

**Author:** Dr. Jane Doe, Registered Dietitian

**Credit:** Copyright and rights reserved to OMG I Yoga

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