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Home > News > Yoga Postures > 7 Yoga Poses to Help You Poop

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7 Yoga Poses to Help You Poop

Can yoga poses really help?

Movement in general is important for stimulating the bowels to help move the food bolus, gas, and, ultimately, waste, through your system. Yoga is beneficial also in terms of stress reduction, which is important in treating many GI disorders, but particularly in Irritable Bowel Syndrome, where the mind-body connection is of central importance.”

Here are seven yoga poses that just might help relieve constipation, alleviate digestive issues, and generally make your time on the toilet a little more pleasant.

SEATED MEDITATION

How to do it: Sit cross-legged on a blanket, or on a yoga block, so your hips are higher than your knees (A). Then, set a timer for five minutes—and chill (B). Focus entirely on your breathing, take your attention off any thoughts that come in, and keep bringing your attention back to your breath. In other words, try not to think about the fact that you’ve been constipated for the past three days.

When you’re wound up and stressed, you resemble a tense, jittery ball. It’ll be virtually impossible to have a healthy elimination in that state.”



STANDING FORWARD BEND

STANDING FORWARD BEND
How to do it: Stand with feet hips-width distance apart (A). Hinge at the hips to fold forward, drawing the chest toward the thighs, bending your knees if necessary. Stack the hips over the ankles and let the back of the neck relax.  (B). Drop your arms towards the floor, or grab opposite biceps to draw deeper into the pose (C). Press into the soles of the feet without gripping the toes, and firm up the legs (D). Take 10 deep breaths.

Why it works: This pose calms the nervous system and causes compression in the abdomen area, which will aid digestion.

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DOWNWARD-FACING DOG

DOWNWARD-FACING DOG
How to do it: Start on the ground on all fours, then tuck your toes under, straightening your legs, and pressing into the hands, ending in an upside-down “V” (A). Hands should be shoulder-width distance apart or a little wider, and feet should be hips-width distance apart (B). Press firmly into the palms of the hands, bend the knees slightly, and tilt the tailbone toward the ceiling. Take 10 deep breaths.

Why it works: Down Dog allows for traction of the spine and creates space in the body where there’s usually compression,” says Lyons. “It’s a full-body stretch that allows a release of tension, contributing to a build-up in the digestive tract.

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WIND-REMOVING POSE

WIND-REMOVING POSE
How to do it: Lie on your back with both legs extended straight (A). Draw the right knee into the chest with both arms. Hold for 20 breaths (B). Return to the start position and then reach the right arm overhead to stretch the length of the right side of the body (C). Hold for 10 breaths, then repeat on the other side.

Why it works: This is the pose for bloated bellies, as it helps eliminate gas—as the name of the pose so boldly claims. It stimulates the ascending, descending, and transverse colon, as well as the stomach and small intestines. The order in which it is performed—right side, then left—can help stimulate the bowels and ease constipation.

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TRIANGLE POSE

TRIANGLE POSE
How to do it: Begin in a wide stance on the mat, with your front toes pointing to 12 o’clock and your back toes to 9 o’clock. Face the front of the mat, arms raised to 90 from your sides (A). Keep both legs engaged and straight as you surf the upper body toward the front of the mat. Deeply bend at the front hip crease, and let the front hand come to a block or the floor on the outside of the front ankle (B). Reach the opposite hand straight up toward the ceiling. Hold for 10 breaths. Come back up to standing and pivot the feet to repeat on the other side.

Why it works: Side bending energizes the digestive juices through stimulation of the gallbladder and liver. The inherent twisting motion tones the obliques and energizes abdominal organs.

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SEATED TWIST

SEATED TWIST
How to do it: Begin seated with legs straight out in front of you (A). Bend the right knee and cross your right leg over your left, placing the right foot outside of the left knee. Keep the left leg long (B). Wrap the left arm around the right leg, placing the right hand on the ground behind the sacrum (low back) (C). Lengthen on the inhale, and deepen the twist to your right on the exhale. Take 10 breaths, then repeat on the other side.

Why it works: This pose is like wringing out a wet rag, the twisting massages the digestive tract to stimulate detoxification.

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SUPINE TWIST

SUPINE TWIST
How to do it: Lie flat on the ground and hug the right knee into the chest (A). Draw the right knee across the body toward the left, “T” the right arm out toward the right side, and look at the right hand (B). Gently press the right thigh toward the floor with the left hand or arm. Or “T” both arms and let gravity do the work (C). Hold for 10 breaths, then repeat on the other side.

Why it works: This pose is like the final wringing out of the body in a relaxed state. Twisting on the right first and then the left will increase the movement of the bowels.