Yoga is a science beneficial to young and old alike when performed the right way. The exercises can help you in managing several conditions; constipation is one among them. Spend 10-15 minutes every day, do a few easy yoga poses, and get relief from constipation in a few days.
Before getting into the yoga poses, let’s do a quick fact-check on constipation, shall we?
Are You Constipating?
Constipation is an annoying, less pleasant, and a common problem. The frequency of bowel movements may vary anywhere between three times a day to three times a week. So, it doesn’t mean that you are constipating if your bowel movements aren’t happening every day.
In general, when your bowel movements are less than three times a week, you might be constipating.
Why Does Constipation Occur?
The reasons for constipation are many.
However, when you are not of advanced age, do not have any chronic medical condition, and are not taking any specific medication, the principal reasons might be your diet and lifestyle choices.
Too little fibre and too little exercise can induce constipation. Stress may also cause constipation.
Thus, if you look after your gut health and mental health, you will be less prone to constipation.
Apart from eating a fibre-rich diet, what else can you do?
You can practice yoga! Spending as little as 15 minutes a day and doing specific yoga poses can help you get relief from constipation. The asanas make your digestive system work better, and thus make your bowel movements regular and effortless. Also, yoga is a de-stressor!
The Reasons Why Yoga Can Help In Constipation
Certain yoga poses can help gently massage the internal organs in the abdominal region and promote digestion, and hence, such poses can provide you relief from constipation.
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So, ready to learn the yoga poses that can get rid of constipation? Here are they.
Yoga Poses For Constipation Relief
The following is a yoga sequence that can help you get back regular bowel movements.
Note: A yoga sequence is a group of yoga asanas done in a particular order.
If you feel any discomfort while practising asanas, you must stop; and, discuss preventive measures with your doctor.
1. Child’s pose
- Start with your hands and knees on the floor in a tabletop position, breathe comfortably
- Spread your knees mat width apart with the top of your feet resting on the floor and the big toes of both feet touching each other
- Then, slowly exhale, lean back, bring your torso to rest between your thighs and release your forehead to the floor
- Your hands may remain outstretched in front of you, or you can bring them beside either side of your body, palms facing up
- Relax and stay here for a couple of minutes breathing slowly and deeply
2. Seated twist
- From child’s pose, very slowly (to avoid a head rush) inhale and come back to tabletop position
- Sit back down in a simple cross-legged position and breathe normally
- Also, root down on your sit bones, keep the left leg bent and place your right foot on the outside of the left knee
- Take your right arm behind and place the palm or the fingertips on the floor and reach your right arm straight up on an inhalation
- You should feel your spine lengthening and sitting erect without leaning back onto your right arm
- Exhale and twist your torso to your right side, bend the raised left arm and bring the elbow to rest on the outside of your right knee
- Meanwhile, relax, breathe easy and on an exhale try to twist some more
- Stay here for a couple of breaths and then repeat the same on the other side
3. Seated forward fold
- Once you are done with the seated twist on both sides, return to the simple seated position and rest easy
- Once you are ready to proceed, straighten your bent legs in front of you with foot flexed at the ankle
- On an inhalation raise both your arms up and sit tall
- Exhale, bend at your hips to release your torso towards your legs and catch hold of your flexed foot(or any part of the legs accessible to you) without rounding your upper back
- Be here and breathe comfortably for a few breaths
- Exhale and proceed to fold further when you feel your body lengthening and relaxing at the same time that you are able to release forehead and allow it to rest on your legs
- Breath in and out slowly and simultaneously stay in your seated forward fold for a few breaths
4. Bow pose
- Slowly inhale, get back up from the forward fold position and proceed to lie down on your mat in the prone position
- Bending at your knees, bring your both legs up with toes pointing upwards; reach your arms back and catch hold of the ankles with your hands
- On an inhale, attempt to lift your thighs off the floor. Simultaneously, lift your upper body such that your belly rests on the floor and supports your body
- Stay for a few breaths in this position, with your gaze set in front of you and heart shining forward
5. Supine twist
- Exhale and lower down your body to the floor from the bow pose and rest
- Slowly turn yourself to lie down on your back in a relaxed supine position
- Meanwhile, spread your arms wide on both the sides in line with your shoulders
- Bend your knees, lift both the feet off the floor such that the shins (lower part of your leg, below your knees) are parallel and thighs perpendicular to the floor
- Then, exhale and slowly release the bent legs together to your right and rotate your neck to look towards your left
- Your left shoulder may lift. If so, breathe, relax and get it to rest on the floor
- Stay here for a few seconds with your spine in a twisted position
- Once done, lift the legs on an inhale while bringing your neck to the neutral position and then repeat on the other side
- Repeat for 3 to 5 times.
6. Wind relieving pose
- After completing the supine twist, lie down in supine position for a few breaths
- On an inhale, bring your legs close together; and then, bend your knees and bring your legs up
- Then, wrap your hands around the legs and on an exhale, bring the thighs closer to your torso literally hugging your legs, with each of your palm clasping the other hand elbow
- Once you get comfortable in this position, you can lift your head while inhaling to bring your close to your knees and release while exhaling
7. Leg up the wall pose
- After completing wind relieving pose, gradually ease back into supine position to lie down on your back for a while
- Slowly get yourself up and move closer to a wall, lie down again on your back with bent knees so that your butt touches the wall
- Lift both your feet up and let it rest on the wall with your torso perpendicular to it resting comfortably on the floor
- Relax your entire body, close your eyes and stay in this pose comfortably even up to 5 minutes as it is a restorative one
- Or if you feel a tingling sensation or feels like your feet going numb earlier, you can start to release the pose anytime
- Then, come out of the pose by bending knees towards your chest, letting them roll on to your right and slowly push yourself up using your hands to a seated position
In addition to incorporating a fibre-rich diet, practising the mentioned yoga poses every day will provide relief from constipation. However, if you suffer from chronic constipation, consult your physician and seek advice.
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