Can Yoga Help Soothe IBS?

IBS is a bowel syndrome located in your large intestine. Symptoms include stomach cramps, gas, diarrhea and constipation. It actually affects 25 to 45 million Americans, a much higher number than you’d think. It is most commonly found in women, especially those between their 20’s to 40’s. Although it is not life-threatening, it is a painful condition and has no known cure. IBS also increases the likelihood of getting colon disorders such as ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease or even colon cancer. This disorder can be managed by a healthy diet, exercise and medication.

Fast cardio and weight lifting are great forms of exercise, but not if you have an upset stomach to think about. Instead, light cardio is preferred, including aerobics and of course yoga.

The Benefits of Yoga

Yoga is a kind of exercise that originated in ancient India. It involves many different poses and holds to stretch your body, speed up your heart rate, and increase your blood flow to your internal organs. Therefore, many poses help ease digestion, diminish cramps and bloating, and even help relieve constipation.

Yoga is especially useful in decreasing IBS symptoms: it is a light aerobic exercise that doesn’t include jarring poses and sweat-soaked workouts. It doesn’t push you past your limit and allows you to center yourself with special breathing techniques, which help both relieve stress that IBS brings with it while easing IBS symptoms. Please note that some poses are not beneficial to you if you have loose bowels, so if you have diarrhea, you can skip those poses.

Pose 1: Half Seated Twist

This pose is also known as the Half Lord of the Fishes. Twists bend the spine and help blood reach the intestines, helping digestions. It also assists liver and kidney function. If you are experiencing loose bowels, do not go into the twist as deeply.

Pose 2: Wind-Relieving Pose

Yes, this is an actual pose, and you may consider doing this pose in your own privacy. By clutching your knees to your stomach, gasses stored in your intestines are helped to be released. This pose is especially helpful with stomach cramps and pain associated with IBS. It also can reduce bloating after holding this pose for several minutes. Lying on your back helps deliver blood to the kidneys, increasing their functionality. This can lead to relief in reduction of stomach acid and indigestion.

Pose 3: Cobra

This pose does two things: it tones the muscles of your stomach while relieving any stress that you keep in your back and shoulder blades. Lying on your stomach is said to stimulate the blood flow in your abdominal organs.

Pose 4: Gate Pose

Get on your feet and try your hand at the Gate Pose. This pose stretches your abdominal muscles as well as concentrating your weight on your hips, which doesn’t strain your stomach too badly.