Intestinal problems, whether casual or recurring, can be very uncomfortable, and embarrassing to some, and can impact the person’s quality of life significantly.
Physical yoga, also known as asana, is not intended as a treatment or solution for those suffering from intestinal problems or gas, but the physical postures, and beyond, can be a great way to relieve gas by stimulating the digestive system and moving gas out of the body.
There is an abundance of practices that can help you find relief from intestinal problems, and there are certain yoga poses to relieve gas that can help you feel a bit better and can be adapted to your needs and how you feel.
In this article we will explore the following:
- Main causes of intestinal gas
- Common symptoms of intestinal gas
- Benefits of practicing yoga poses to relieve gas
- 9 yoga poses to relieve gas
- A yoga class for intestinal health
Main Causes of Intestinal Gas
There are several reasons why you may experience intestinal gas and flatulence, but here are the main ones:
- Eating certain foods
- Digestive disorders
- Eating too fast
- Chewing gum
Check out this article from the Mayo Clinic for more, and consult a medical professional.
Common symptoms of intestinal gas
Although the symptoms of intestinal gas can vary widely from person to person, here are some of the most commonly reported symptoms:
- Passing gas
- Pain, cramps, or a knotted feeling in your abdomen
- A feeling of pressure and fullness, also known as bloating
- An appreciable enlargement in the size of your belly
Please, keep in mind that passing gas about 20 times per day is absolutely normal, but if you feel like you may be having an issue, please contact your doctor.
Benefits of practicing yoga poses to relieve gas
Regularly practicing yoga asana, whether you go to a yoga studio or create your self-practice with online teachers, has many benefits for your body, mind, and spirit.
When having any type of intestinal issues, whether occasional or persistent, there are certain styles of yoga that may be more beneficial than others, depending on how you feel, so give yourself permission to try a few, and see what works best for you.
Here are some of the benefits of practicing yoga for flatulence:
- Yoga can help to improve digestion by stretching and massaging the digestive organs.
- Yoga can help to relieve bloating and abdominal pain by increasing circulation and drainage in the abdomen.
- Yoga can help to reduce stress, which can contribute to gas.
- Yoga can help to improve overall health and well-being.
9 yoga poses to relieve gas
When having gas and intestinal discomfort, sometimes it may feel good to take a Vinyasa class and simply move your energy.
However, depending on the causes, symptoms, and regularity, you may want to explore yoga poses to relieve gas that are less strenuous and more grounding.
We recommend speaking with a yoga teacher as well as a medical professional before attempting any of these yoga postures to relieve gas.
Here are some yoga poses for gas that we invite you to explore
1# Prasarita Balasana (Wide Child’s Pose)
When suffering from intestinal discomfort, child’s pose can be an accessible yoga pose to relieve gas.
- Bring yourself to a tabletop position, and start to bring your big toes together and separate your knees wider than your hips.
- Send your hips back toward your heels, and either place a folded blanket between your hips and your heels to mind the gap, or rest your hips down to your heels.
- For a little abdominal massage if that feels okay for you, make fists with your hands and bring to the creases of your hips as you fold forward, resting your forehead on a block or the floor.
- If that’s too much for your belly, simply rest your hands by your feet and take a few deep breaths in the shape, or even place a bolster underneath your torso.
2# Uttana Shishosana (Puppy Pose)
A great way to open up the front of your body and also a good yoga pose to relieve gas is the puppy pose.
- Also from the tabletop position, start to walk your hands forward while keeping your hips stacked over your knees.
- For a milder stretch to the front of the body, bring your forehead to a block or your yoga mat, and for a deeper front-body stretch almost a heart-opener, bring your chest to the block or the floor instead, resting your chin on the mat.
3# Malasana (Garland Pose)
Although most of us have forgotten, Malasana, what is known as the yogi squat or garland pose, is one of the healthiest ways for us to evacuate our bowels.It allows for the intestines to be in an optimal position, making the process a bit easier.
- Try practicing this great yoga pose for relieving gas with a little support by either leaning against a wall or sitting on a yoga block.
- Keep your spine long, and breathe, imagining the energy of releasing downward.
4# Apanasana (Wind Relieving Pose)
This pose helps to massage the digestive organs and move gas out of the body, and as its name indicates, Apanasana, or wind relieving pose, is one of the most accessible yoga poses to relieve gas.
- To practice it, lay down on your back and start to bring your knees toward your chest, or to make more space for your tummy, take your knees a bit wider toward the shoulders.
- Bring your hands to catch underneath your knees or over your sheens, and stay there for a few breaths, or gently rock your body side to side, massaging the intestines a bit.
5# Ananda Balasana (Happy Baby)
Another one of the supine yoga poses to relieve gas is happy baby, especially if you choose to move a little side to side like in Apanasana, which can help you find comfort.
- Start in the same way as wind relieving pose, but instead start to face the soles of your feet toward the ceiling, flexing your feet and continuing to widen your knees.
- Thread the arms to the inside of your knees and either catch your sheens, ankles, or outer edges of your feet, keeping your head on the ground and your spine long.
- Breathe in stillness or rock gently from side to side.
6# Supta Matsyendrasana (Supine Spinal Twist)
When practicing supine spinal twists as yoga poses to relieve gas, consider in which direction you twist first.
- In order to follow the natural flow of how your intestines are placed and how digestion flows within your body, when you’re laying on your back, twist by taking your knees to the left first, making space for the ascending colon.
- Then twist to the right, making space for the descending colon.
- Use props to support yourself, such as a block or bolster under your knees, and only go as deep as feels good.
7# Parivrtta Sukhasana (Seated Spinal Twist)
When it comes to seated yoga poses to relieve gas, you can simply shift your supine twist to seated. Depending on how you feel, you may rather sit up than lay down.
Give yourself permission to explore what you need at any given time.
8# Prasarita Padottanasana (Wide-Legged Forward Fold)
Wide-legged forward fold is one of the best yoga poses to relieve gas that you can do on the ground, and at the same time get a good stretch for your legs, hips, and lower back, which can have a tendency to tighten when you’re in pain.
- To make the posture more restorative, bring your upper body to rest on a bolster placed on top of blocks, building a little ramp for you to relax.
9# Bhastrika Pranayama (Bellows Breath)
Although breathing techniques are not exactly yoga poses for gas, we didn’t want to finish this section without mentioning at least one pranayama technique that can help you find relief.
Breath can be a great substitute for yoga poses for gas when moving your body is not an option and you need to adapt your practice.
To learn more about Bhastrika pranayama, bellows breath, and how to use it for digestive health here.
A yoga class for intestinal health
If you would like to practice a few pranayama techniques as well as some of the yoga poses for gas that we have included in this article, check out this Youtube class for constipation, bloating, and improved digestion.
There are many causes for having gas or flatulence, and the most common ones are dietary choices as well as digestive disorders, some occasional, some chronic.
Gas can be very uncomfortable, embarrassing, and even painful, and there are yoga poses for relieving gas that can support you in feeling a bit better combined with other treatments that you may discuss with your doctor.
Practicing pranayama techniques can be another one of the many accessible ways when practicing yoga poses for relieving gas may not be possible.
If you want to learn more poses for supporting your digestion, take a look at our pose library for this section: