Well, enough cannot be said about the power of yoga and what it can do for your mind, body, and soul. Yoga is versatile; it has something for everyone. You have a health problem, and yoga has a solution for it. How cool is that, right? According to 2015 research, yoga is an effective alternative therapy for people with medical conditions that cause constipation and diarrhea.
Before we start discussing the asanas or yoga poses suitable for treating constipation, let’s take a close look at the symptoms that can be cured with yoga for constipation.
- Hard and dry stool
- Pain, discomfort, and difficulty in bowel movements
- No bowel movement for over 3 days
- Having to exert excessive pressure to pass stool
- Inflammation of the abdomen
- A feeling of being full and bloated
- Weakness and fatigue
- Pain in the lower abdomen
Yes, yoga – the right yoga poses – can relieve constipation and the above symptoms. However, it would be a bit too much if you expect it to work like magic and cure the symptoms of constipation overnight. But continued practice does make it happen. Most importantly, make it a habit to set aside some time from your busy schedule for these asanas to bid goodbye to constipation forever.
So, let’s get started with yoga for constipation that you should not miss out on.
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Yoga for constipation – Bhujangasana
- Lie down on your stomach with your face facing downwards.
- Keep your legs and knees joined together. However, if you have back pain, ensure that there is a gap of about one foot between the legs.
- Keep the palms facing downward, on either side of your chest. Place the elbows fixed on either side of your waist.
- Take a deep breath and then gradually lift your torso, exerting the entire weight of the upper body on your thighs and hands.
- Stretch the neck further backwards as much as possible for you, without over-exerting yourself.
- Hold your breath for about 10 seconds at least and return to the original position to complete one step.
- Repeat this pose 3 to 5 times or as per the instructions of your fitness trainer.
This yogic pose is recognized for its benefits to the digestive system, thus, improving appetite. The backstretch not just prevents flatulence, especially after a meal, but also strengthens the muscles of the abdomen. This pose gets the digestive juices flowing, ensuring the easy movement of the stool.
It is appropriately named the “Cobra Pose” because it requires the body to imitate the stance of a cobra about to strike. However, patients with heart diseases and ulcers having constipation are strictly advised against practicing this yoga.
Yoga for constipation – Salabhasana
- Lie down with your abdomen and fists facing downwards and chin on the floor.
- Breathe in deeply while gradually lifting the legs. Hold the position for 20 seconds.
- Breathe out while bringing down the legs to complete one step.
- Repeat this pose two more times or as directed by your fitness instructor.
This is another asana that is specifically designed for strengthening the muscles of your abdomen. Contrary to the Bhujangasana that focuses on the upper body, this yogic pose is especially for the lower body. However, they both work towards the same objective of relieving the pain and discomfort of constipation. For people with a slip disc and asthma, this asana is not for you.
Yoga for constipation – Matsyasana
- Sit down on the ground or a yoga mat.
- Bend your left knee, take your left leg over the right leg and place the left foot beside the right knee.
- Now bend your right knee and keep the right foot in front of your left buttocks.
- Keep your right elbow near the left knee and then twist the torso to look over your left shoulder.
- Hold this position to complete one step and repeat the same step with the other side.
The sharp abdominal twists are a great way to exercise the stomach muscles, boosting smooth bowel movement. Bid your final goodbye to constipation and flatulence!
Yoga for constipation – Ardha Matsyendra Asana
- Sit on the ground or on a yoga mat and stretch both your legs in front of you.
- Take the right leg over the left leg and place the right foot beside the left buttock.
- Keep your elbows and torso straight up.
- Breath out and then twist your torso to the right.
- Use your left hand to hold the right feet.
- Keep the right hand behind you, with the palm facing down towards the ground.
- Hold this position for 20 to 30 seconds and return to the starting position to complete one step.
- Repeat the same with the other side.
The twisting and stretching of the entire torso initiate the secretion of digestive juices. What’s more, the Half Twist Pose, as known in English, also massages the organs in the abdomen. The name of this asana is derived from the Sanskrit words ‘ardha’, meaning “half”; “matsya”, meaning “fish” and “indra”, implying “king”. However, this asana should not be performed by people with spinal disorders, during menstruation, and by pregnant women.
Yoga for constipation – Paschimottanasana
- Sit on the floor or a yoga mat and start with a straight posture.
- Keep your legs straight and joined at the knees, with the toes pointing upwards.
- Breathe in and sit up with a straighter spine and stretch your hands straight over your head.
- Breathe out and gradually bend forward completely, so that your head rests on your legs. Make sure that your knees do not bend at this juncture.
- Stretch further to make your hands touch the pointy toes. However, don’t over-exert yourself. Stretch as far as you can.
- Hold this position for 30 seconds.
- Return to the original position to complete one step.
- Repeat this pose at least 10 times or for as many times as your fitness instructor has advised.
Also referred to as the “Seated Forward Bend” yoga pose, it actively involves the full body. It works wonders for the organs of the abdominal pelvic region, treating constipating. What’s more, it initiates the loss of extra flab in your body. It is suitable for all, except for people with asthma and slip discs and also pregnant women.
So, try yoga for constipation as an alternative therapy and see it work wonders for you. In case of doubts, you should reach out to your yoga/fitness instructor or doctor before trying any pose.