Yoga for Digestion: Poses, Breathing Techniques & Mindful Eating

yoga poses for improve digestion

Yoga for Digestion

The positive impact of yoga on digestion is plenty. An essential part of our general health and well-being is digestion. It is the procedure by which our body converts food into nutrients that may be absorbed and used for development, repair, and energy. We benefit from enhanced immunological response, greater energy levels, and higher nutritional absorption when our digestive system is operating at its best. However, several issues, including bloating, indigestion, constipation, and even more severe ailments like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), can be brought on by poor digestion.

Stress and poor lifestyle choices are among the primary variables that might impact digestion. The body’s stress response mechanism is activated when we are under pressure and causes blood flow to be directed into our muscles rather than our digestive organs. This may cause pain, gas, and bloating, among other symptoms, by slowing down digestion. Stress can also influence our eating patterns, leading us to overeat, eat hastily, or choose poor foods, all of which can worsen digestion.

Our digestion may be improved by including yoga in our everyday practice. Yoga is a comprehensive form of exercise that enhances general health by integrating breathing exercises, physical postures, and awareness. Practicing yoga for digestion helps to activate the abdominal organs, improve blood flow, and encourage a healthy digestive system 


Yoga Poses for Digestion

Yoga poses for digestion and bloating includes gentle stretches and twists that target the stomach organs and promote relief from a range of digestive discomforts. The following poses are some of the best yoga poses for digestion:




  1. Place your knees together on the ground.
  2. As you gently sit onto your heels, ensure your weight is spread equally on the foot and heels.
  3. Lengthen your spine and let your shoulders come down.
  4. Place your hands on your thighs and relax them.
  5. Take calm, deep breaths in and out.
  6. Raise your head and gaze straight. 

Read more about Vajrasana


Half-fish pose

Half fish yoga pose for digestion

  1. Take a seat with the legs out in front of you
  2. Place the left foot on the outside of your right thigh and bend the left knee. 
  3. Grasp your left knee with your right hand and turn your body slightly to the left, 
  4. glancing over your left shoulder. 
  5. Hold for a few breaths, then switch to the other side.


Forward fold

Forward fold yoga pose for digestion

  1.  Sit with the legs extended in front.
  2. Contract the belly inward and gently press your sitting bones into the floor.
  3. Inhale and extend your back
  4. Exhale and bend forward from the hips. 
  5. Maintain a straight back and avoid overstretching.
  6. Hold your big toes if your hands reach your feet as you glide across. 
  7. Keep your elbows bent, extending them outward, and keep your shoulders away from your ears.
  8. To extend the position further, raise your head slightly and lengthen across the front of your chest with each inhale. 
  9. Try to fold farther into the posture with each exhale.
  10.  Release the feet gradually, and take a breath to exit the pose.
  11.  As you release, slowly take a seat upright.


Cobra pose

Cobra pose

  1.  Lie face down on the mat. Bring your legs to a hip-width distance by firmly pressing your legs and the tops of your feet on the yoga mat.
  2. Place your hands, palms down, just below your shoulder blades. Stack your elbows and wrists on the floor next to your ribs while bending your elbows.
  3. As you take a breath, start raising your spine into spinal extension by pulling your chest away from the floor.
  4. To raise the upper body, press through the hands. Be careful not to put too much weight on your hands.
  5. To lift higher, use your lower back muscles. Then, use your abdominal and back muscles to lift yourself into a deeper backbend as high as possible.
  6. Maintain comfortable inhalation and exhalation and hold for 15-30 mins. 
  7. Lower down gently as you exhale.
  8. If there is any pain or discomfort, adjust the stretch or cease immediately.

Read more about Cobra Pose


Cat and cow stretch

Cat and cow pose

  1. Starting on all fours, place your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips to perform the cat-cow stretch. 
  2. Breathe in as you drop your belly, arch your back, and raise your head (Cow Pose). 
  3. Breathe while bending your back and bringing your chin to your chest (Cat Pose). 


Supine spinal twist

Supine spinal twist

  1. Lay down comfortably.
  2. Extend the left arm straight out to the left and bend your knees to the right.
  3. Place your right hand on your left knee to get a deeper stretch. 
  4. Stretch your right hand out to touch the outer right foot or toes. 
  5. Hold and repeat with the other side.

Wind releasing pose

Wind releasing yoga pose for digestion

  1. Lie down on your back.
  2. Bend the left knee and reach in to hug your left knee to the side of your rib cage.
  3. Continue with a left straight leg.
  4. Hold for a few breaths. Continue with the opposite side.


Downward dog

Yoga for digestion - Downward dog

  1. Come on all fours, place your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. 
  2. Raise your hips and straighten the legs, tuck your toes beneath, and push back through the hands.
  3. Spread the fingers on the mat for support.
  4. Move your shoulder blades from the ears toward your hips.
  5. Sink your heels toward the floor, rotate the thighs inward, and maintain a high tail.
  6. The space between the hands and feet should be the same.


Forward bend

Forward bend

  1. Stand on the mat with the spine lengthened
  2. Inhale. Raise your arms.
  3. Exhale, contract your belly and bend forward from the hips.
  4. Flatten your palms on the mat or hold onto your ankles.
  5. When you inhale, extend your back, and as you release the breath, go deeper into the position.


Extended puppy pose

Extended puppy pose

  1. Come to your fours in the tabletop position.  
  2. Extend your hands forward and lower the body until you can release your head onto the floor while maintaining the hip position. 
  3. Separate the shoulder blades and widen the shoulders. 


Bridge pose

Bridge pose

  1. Lie on the back. Bend your knees.
  2. Spread your legs with your feet flat on the ground.
  3. Stretch your arms out to each side of your body to touch the back of the heels
  4. Gently raise your hips up 
  5. Tuck your chin in slightly toward your chest, which helps lengthen the back of your neck.
  6. Put your hands under the back in an interlace
  7. Engage your inner thighs and relax your glutes.
  8. Hold for 30 seconds.

Read more about the benefits of bridge pose


Breathing Exercises for Digestion

Deep breathing exercises in yoga contribute to the activation of the body’s relaxation response, which helps you with stress relief and fosters a peaceful mental state that is ideal for good digestion. One may also combine the yoga poses for digestion with diaphragmatic breathing, which provides a gentle massage to the internal organs.


Diaphragmatic Breathing

  1. Sit comfortably on the mat.
  2. Put one hand on the chest and one hand on the abdomen.
  3. Breathe in softly through the nose. Ensure the chest is still.
  4. Exhale with the mouth as you lightly press both lips.
  5. Feel the abdominal muscles contract as you exhale.
  6. This completes one round.


Mindful Eating for Better Digestion

Apart from its health advantages, yoga has the potential to foster mindfulness and promote better eating habits. The practice of mindful eating involves being completely aware of your eating experience—including the flavor, texture, and aroma of the food. Eating consciously increases the likelihood of choosing healthier foods, eating more slowly, and paying attention to the body’s signals of hunger and fullness. This can help to avoid overindulging and enhance digestive health.

To begin, practice gratitude for the food on your plate. To incorporate mindful eating, avoid distractions such as using phones and tablets and watching TV during a meal. Take small bites and chew the food well to savor the food. You may develop a more harmonic and balanced connection with food by implementing these mindful eating techniques into your daily yoga practice, which will enhance your digestion and general well-being.

Meghna Banerjee