Yoga Poses to Ease Constipation

Note from Joy: I’ve written extensively about digestion and constipation on Joyous Health, but one aspect that I haven’t addressed and often think about when teaching Eat Well Feel Well is yoga for constipation.

That’s when it dawned on me to ask the lovely Michelle to write a guest post with photos of her favourite poses to get you on-the-regular. Aside from diet, reduction of stress and high quality supplements, yoga is just as important to clear out the clutter from the mind AND the bowels. I’m so thrilled Michelle of Sol Glo Wellness graciously put together this AMAZING post — enjoy!

By: Michelle

I am so honoured to be a house guest over here on Joyous Health and to hang out with all of you like-minded health nuts.  Joy is some kind of awesome and I am so blessed to be able to call her my friend and one of my mentors.  Joy is a health guru and she has helped guide me along my own wellness path in becoming a Holistic Nutritionist myself. Holla for health!  I am also a Yoga Instructor and so Miss Joy asked me to write this post since so many health issues can be resolved with a regular yoga practice.

Yoga has many health benefits.  Here are some of the many benefits of a regular yoga practice:  releases stress, improves mood, lowers blood pressure, increases strength, flexibility, balance, stamina, and energy.

How does YOGA affect your bowel movements?  As mentioned, yoga can help reduce stress which greatly affects digestion. Yoga also helps to aid the digestive system, and helps to relieve gas, cramping, and bloating. When practicing yoga we become more present and in tune to our bodies.  Knowing how your body works and how it feels is key in recognizing whether or not you have digestive issues, such as constipation.

Many asanas will help with constipation, especially twists, forward folds, and inversions.  Hit your mat and try these yoga poses that can be done in the comforts of your own home {where a bathroom is near ;) } to prevent constipation, to aid in digestion, and to get things flowing.

Baddha Konasana (photo below). From a seated position, bring the soles of your feet together letting your knees drop open gently to the sides.  Draw your heels as close towards your groin as you are comfortable.  Interlace your hands around your feet, sit tall in the spine, and relax shoulders down.  Flutter your legs quickly to help stimulate the lymphatic system.  Finish fluttering after a few rounds of breath.  Inhale and lengthen your spine, exhale and fold forward with a flat back.  Hold for 5-10 breaths.


Ardha Matsyendrasana (photo below): From a seated position, cross your right foot to the outside of the left thigh (or to the inside which is less intense).  Bend left knee and draw heel towards you, sitting down between both feet (or keep left leg extended out straight on the floor which is less intense).  Hook your right arm around your right knee and hug it in close to stretch the right outer hip and glute.  Release your left hand to your mat behind your back.  Inhale and lengthen your spine, exhale and twist, looking over your back shoulder.  Hold for 5-10 breaths and repeat on other side.


Pavanamuktasana (photo below): Also known as the “Wind Relieving Pose”.  From a reclined position, draw your right knee towards your chest.  Extend your left leg to your mat and keep it actively strong and pressing down.  Flex both feet, tipping toes towards knees.  Hug right knee up higher as you relax the right hip crease, and stretch left leg further away.  Hold for 5-10 breaths and repeat on other side.


Halasana (photo below): From a reclined position come into a supported shoulderstand.  With your hands supporting your lower back, slowly let your legs drop overhead until your feet rest on the floor, a block, or the wall behind you.  Hold for 5-10 breaths and slowly roll your spine down.


Uttanasana (photo below): Fold forward hinging from the hips.  Relax your head, looking to your legs.  Reach for your mat, trying to bring your hands along side of your feet, or grasp the backs of your legs.  Hold for 5-10 breaths.

Malasana (photo below): Squat down, feet hip width or slightly wider, toes angled slightly out.  Press elbows to inner thighs bringing hands together in prayer position {anjali mudra}.  Let tailbone drop heavy, lengthen spine, and press thighs open.  Hold for 5-10 breaths.

Savasana (photo below): Relax in a reclined position.  Legs the width of your mat, feet flop open.  Arms away from the sides of your body, palms facing upwards, fingers naturally curling.  Close your eyes.  Soften your body from the top of your head to the bottoms of your feet.  Breathe organically.  Surrender.

A regular yoga practice combined with a healthy lifestyle of whole foods, proper sleep, exercise, relaxation, and hydration will help you find your Sol Glo, ease your constipation woes, and keep you pooping in a Joyous fashion!

Light and Love!

Namaste,

Michelle xo

Ps. Do share what YOUR favourite yoga pose to ease constipation is below….

 


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24 Comments

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  1. Gillian Oct 2, 2012 at 1:58 pm #

    Great post! Michelle is wonderful, hope to take one of her classes one day!

  2. Kate Lumsden Oct 2, 2012 at 2:03 pm #

    Horse Pose or Goddess Pose held for a long time (at least 10 breaths) is a great way to encourage downward movement and help move bowels along. Works like a charm!

    • Joy McCarthy Oct 2, 2012 at 3:17 pm #

      I don’t think I know what goddess pose is… or at least not off the top of my head but I like the sound of it!

  3. Aubrey Oct 2, 2012 at 3:22 pm #

    I love this didn’t know a few of these! I did a whole post on it too here with a few more!

    http://recoveringmylifeforce.wordpress.com/2012/03/21/yoga-to-help-you-go/

    Thanks!!!

  4. Wholesome Hedonist Oct 3, 2012 at 9:45 am #

    I never thought of yoga to help with constipation…I often forget that simple movement can help with bodily problems! I will definitely try these – they are great to keep you moving while travelling. Are there any poses that are good to relieve headaches?

  5. Michelle Vogiatzis Oct 3, 2012 at 2:08 pm #

    @Wholesome Hedonist YES! Viparita Karani (aka Legs Up The Wall Pose), Balasana (Child’s Pose), Supported Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Butterfly, passively opens chest and drops shoulders), Gomukasana Arms or Garudasana Arms (release neck and shoulder tension), Savasana!!!! :)

  6. Michelle Vogiatzis Oct 3, 2012 at 2:13 pm #

    Gillian, luv you! Can’t wait to practice with you! xo

  7. Michelle Vogiatzis Oct 3, 2012 at 2:14 pm #

    @Kate Lumsden Yes, those are fabulous too! There are so many, I just picked a few that anybody could try even if they don’t normally practice yoga. Thanks for sharing!! xx

  8. Michelle Vogiatzis Oct 3, 2012 at 2:15 pm #

    @Aubrey Awesome, thanks for sharing! :)

  9. Liz (formerly VeggieGirl) Oct 18, 2012 at 6:20 am #

    Great poses and information! Michelle is definitely awesome.

  10. mary Oct 18, 2012 at 9:11 pm #

    Great post…Would LOVE to hear about some yoga moves for diarrehea….

  11. Healthpundit Oct 24, 2012 at 10:36 am #

    You use this yoga position in asian toilets.I think western toilets contribute to constipation.

  12. how to do yoga balance poses Mar 23, 2013 at 3:58 pm #

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I really appreciate your efforts
    and I will be waiting for your next post thank you once again.

  13. Reddy May 14, 2013 at 12:19 pm #

    Thanks for posting. That’s a very useful information. Do they need to be followed in the same order as posted ? And what time of the day they need to be practiced ?

    Thanks again

  14. wes Nov 4, 2013 at 10:24 am #

    this helped so much! within a few moments I could tell i would be able to go! thank you for your help making me a very happy camper!

  15. JH Jan 15, 2014 at 10:33 pm #

    I finally felt relief after doing these poses. I was told I had an infection in my bowels and haven’t been able to get relief. I did these poses twice and now I finally have the relief I needed. The laxative prescribed to me didn’t even help after two days of 4 doses. It’s been 3 days since my last movement. I am so happy!

    • Joy McCarthy Jan 16, 2014 at 11:24 am #

      Amazing, so glad to hear this!

  16. Dave Jan 18, 2014 at 10:31 am #

    Great post! very useful information

  17. Michelle D Mar 5, 2014 at 12:45 pm #

    Thank you so much for the photos of the poses! I’m starting this with my son today who is having ongoing constipation issues. He loves yoga, so this will be a good thing for him all around!

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