Happy Tummy: The Power Of Yoga For Constipation Relief

Happy Tummy: The Power Of Yoga For Constipation Relief

You know that feeling when you're waiting for a bus that seems never to arrive? Well, constipation is like that, but with your digestive system.

Constipation is a prevalent digestive condition characterized by infrequent bowel movements or challenges in stool passage. It occurs when the natural movement of stool through the digestive tract slows down, forming dry and hard stools. 

According to a systematic review and meta-analysis revealed that constipation is prevalent across all ages and populations [⁷], with an overall prevalence of 18.9% among older adults.

But what are the possible culprits of constipation?

Causes Of Constipation

The causes of constipation are diverse and can stem from various factors.

Some common contributors include:

1. Low-Fiber Diet

Inadequate dietary fiber [¹] intake in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can lead to constipation. Therefore, fiber increases stool volume, aiding its passage through the digestive tract. 

2. Insufficient Water Intake

yoga for constipation relief

Dehydration can result in harder and drier stools, making them more difficult to pass. In other words, ample water consumption is essential for balancing healthy bowel movements.

3. Sedentary Lifestyle 

Insufficient physical activity or extended periods of passive may slow down the gut's natural reduction, contributing the movement of stool through the digestive system.

4. Ignoring The Urge To Defecate

yoga for constipation relief

Ignoring the body's natural signals to have a bowel movement can contribute to constipation. Repeatedly avoiding these urges can disrupt the normal bowel rhythm.

5. Certain Medications

Certain medications, like specific pain relievers and antacids containing aluminum or calcium, and certain antidepressants or antipsychotics, may have  constipation as a side effect [³]. 

6. Medical Conditions

Health conditions [²] such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), hypothyroidism, diabetes, or neurological disorders may disrupt the typical operations of the digestive system, potentially leading to constipation

7. Changes In Routine Or Lifestyle

yoga for constipation relief

Travel, daily routine changes, or eating habits disruptions can impact bowel regularity and contribute to constipation.

It's tough, right?

But, we have a natural solution if you're seeking immediate relief from constipationExplore our straightforward guide to finding relief from constipation with yoga today.

Yoga's Role In Alleviating Constipation

Yoga transcends being just a physical activityIt’s a comprehensive practice that harmonizes the body, mind, and breath. 

It provides more than quick relief for constipation. It offers a long-term solution by enhancing blood flowstimulating the digestive system [⁵] and activating the parasympathetic nervous system [⁶] which is responsible for relaxation and digestion.

The gentle yoga poses provide a digestive massage to the internal organs, assisting them in functioning properly. In addition, yoga serves as a stress-buster. It soothes the mind, eases anxiety, and fosters relaxation with techniques such as yogic breathing and meditation.

Not only does yoga help directly stimulate your digestive system, but it also addresses one of the root causes of constipation- stress. Thus, regular yoga poses for constipation relief can significantly improve your bowel habits.

Yoga Poses For Constipation Relief

Yoga poses involving twists and forward folds are particularly effective for relieving constipation. These movements massage your abdominal organs, stimulating your digestive system and facilitating healthy bowel movements.

Having highlighted the vast potential of yoga for constipation relief, we’ll now examine some specific poses that can be beneficial. 

Here are some yoga poses known for their constipation relief benefits:

1. Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

Firstly, begin in a 4-point position with your hands beneath your shoulders and your knees under your hips, maintaining good alignment with your upper body. Secondly, bend and press your elbows to the floor and tighten your abdominal muscles.

Moreover, evenly distribute your weight across both elbows as you push back and straighten your legs, lifting your hips and stacking your heels over your toes. After that, hold this position for several deep belly breaths, in through your nose and out through your mouth. And then, relax and slowly return to the starting position. Repeat the movement as needed.

2. Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)

Lie on your stomach with your feet shoulder width apart, while keeping good alignment with your head, shoulders, hips, and legs. After that, place your hands at your sides at chest level. Breathe in, then press up and arch your back.

Moreover, use your back and core strength with minimal assistance from your arms. Afterwards, hold this position for several deep belly breaths, in through your nose and out through your mouth. Lastly, relax and return to the starting position.

yoga for constipation relief

3. Seated Forward Fold (Paschimottanasana) 

Firstly, begin this yoga for constipation relief in an upright sitting position on the floor, while maintaining good alignment with your head, shoulders, and hips. Secondly, extend both legs in front of your body with your toes pointing upward.

Contract your core and hinge through your hips to bend your upper body forward, reaching your shin with both hands. Lastly, hold this position for several deep belly breaths, in through your nose and out through your nose. Afterwards, repeat the movement as needed.

4. Cat-Cow Pose (Marjaryasana-Bitilasana) 

You can use a yoga mat to cushion your hands and knees for this exercise.

Firstly, begin in a 4-point position with your hands beneath your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Contract your abdominal area. Inhale and slowly raise your head as you arch your mid-back. Exhale and alternate the movement by lowering your head as you round out your mid-back. Repeat the sequence of movements for 5 repetitions.


 5. Seated Spinal Twist 

Firstly, Begin yoga for constipation relief in an upright sitting position on the floor, with both your right and left leg crossed in front of your body, while maintaining good alignment with your head, shoulders, and hips. Place one hand on your opposite knee.

Contract your core and twist your upper body to one side, reaching back with your other hand for a light stretch. Afterwards, hold the position for a couple of deep belly breaths, in through your nose and out through your mouth. Lastly, return to the starting position and repeat the movement on the opposite side.

Incorporating these yoga  poses for constipation relief is significantly effective in easing constipation and improving  blood circulation.

Yoga For IBS And Other Digestive Issues

Besides being a form of exercise that promotes flexibility and relaxation, yoga also offers benefits for various other digestive disorders, including Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

IBS is a prevalent gastrointestinal condition [³] marked by abdominal discomfort, bloating, and irregular bowel habits. The stress-relieving properties of yoga, combined with the gentle massage of the digestive organs during certain yoga poses, can significantly alleviate IBS symptoms.

Moreover, yoga postures incorporating twisting movements can stimulate and massage internal organs such as the liver, pancreas, and spleen, which play a role in detoxification. Thus, yoga helps manage constipation and IBS and aids in overall gut health and digestion.

Lifestyle Changes For Healthy Bowel Movements

In addition to yoga practice, several natural remedies and lifestyle changes can complement efforts to improve digestion and alleviate constipation.

Consider building the following into your routine:

1. Hydration

    Ensure you drink enough water throughout the day. Staying hydrated helps soften stools and supports smooth bowel movements.

    2. High-Fiber Diet

    Include fiber-rich foods such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes. In addition, fiber increases stool volume and supports regular bowel movements.

    3. Probiotics

      Include foods abundant in probiotics, such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi, in your daily meals because these foods help maintain a harmonious gut bacteria balance, enhancing digestive health.

      4. Prunes And Fiber-Rich Foods

        Prunes and other fiber-rich foods, such as figs and chia seeds, have natural laxative properties and aid in alleviating constipation.

        5. Regular Exercise

          To stimulate bowel movements, exercise regularly beyond yoga. In addition, engaging in activities such as walking, jogging, or other aerobic exercises can improve your digestive health holistically.

          6. Warm Lemon Water

            Begin your day by enjoying a warm glass of water enhanced with lemon because this can help stimulate the digestive system and promote bowel movement.

            7. Peppermint Tea

              Peppermint tea has been associated with relieving digestive discomfort. In addition, this tea may help in the relaxation of the muscles within the gastrointestinal tract.

              8. Healthy Fats

                Enhance your dietary intake by including nutritious fats from avocados, nuts, and olive oil. In other words, these fats can help lubricate the guts and ease stool passage. 

                9. Regular Meal Times

                  Set consistent meal schedules and refrain from missing meals. In conclusion, consistent eating patterns can promote a expected bowel routine.

                  10. Mindful Eating

                    Pay attention to your dietary patterns. Chew food thoroughly, eat at a moderate pace, and avoid over eating. In addition, mindful eating supports proper absorption.

                    11. Adequate Sleep

                      Ensure sufficient and quality sleep. In addition, sleep disturbances can affect the digestive system, and a well-rested body is better equipped for optimal functioning.

                      12. Stress Management

                        Practice stress reducing techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, or mindfulness. Chronic stress can negatively impact gut's health.


                        Incorporating specific yoga exercises into your routine offers a natural and holistic approach to finding relief from constipation and nurturing a happy tummy. Therefore, these yoga poses target the physical aspects of constipation relief by massaging the abdominal organs and emphasizing relaxation and mindful breathing. Remember, it's crucial to practice mindfully, listening to your body's needs and enhancing the poses accordingly. However, if necessary, seek guidance from healthcare professionals. Coupled with hydration, a high-fiber diet, and other healthy lifestyle choices, regular yoga practice becomes a valuable tool for maintaining digestive well-being.

                        You know how discomforting menstrual periods are. Many women find that their menstrual cycle significantly impacts their day-to-day activities and routines.

                        Try 10 Yoga Poses to Decrease Menstrual Discomfort and stay pain-free even during the discomforting months.

                        Frequently Asked Questions

                        How do you stimulate a bowel movement quickly?

                        To stimulate bowel movement quickly, you can drink coffee, increase fluid intake, consume fiber-rich foods, and try squatting when using the bathroom. These methods can help promote healthy digestion and regular bowel movements, for instance.

                        Does yoga clear your bowels?

                        Yes, yoga can help clear your bowels by promoting the movement of stool or gas through the digestive tract, thus alleviating the discomfort of digestive troubles, including constipation. Twisting poses, in particular, can help move the stool through the digestive system.

                        What yoga poses can help relieve constipation?

                        Yoga poses such as Seated Forward Fold, Wind-Relieving Pose, Plow Pose, Bow Pose, and Child's Pose can help relieve constipation. Practice these poses regularly to experience relief.

                        1. Catanese, L. (2024). Foods high in fiber: Boost your health with fiber-rich foods. Harvard Health Publishing. https://www.health.harvard.edu/nutrition/foods-high-in-fiber-boost-your-health-with-fiber-rich-foods
                        2. Cleveland Clinic (2023). Constipation. Health Library: Diseases and Conditions. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/4059-constipation
                        3. Healthwise Staff (2023). Medicines That Can Cause Constipation. HealthLinkBC. https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/health-topics/medicines-can-cause-constipation
                        4. Jain, K.H. (2022). How Yoga Can Improve Digestion – 8 Yoga Poses for Better Digestion. Arhanta Yoga. https://www.arhantayoga.org/blog/yoga-poses-for-better-digestion/
                        5. Long, C. (2021). How the Parasympathetic Nervous System Can Lower Stress. Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS). https://www.hss.edu/article_parasympathetic-nervous-system.asp
                        6. Salari, N., Ghasemianrad, M., Ammari-Allahyari, M., Rasoulpoor, S., Shohaimi, S., & Mohammadi, M. (2023). Global prevalence of constipation in older adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Springer Link.
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