Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a physical disorder that causes prolonged abdominal pain or discomfort, bloating, and abnormal bowel movements including constipation and diarrhea. People suffering from IBS are often suggested to reconsider their diet as they might have intolerance towards certain type of foods. And to include yoga for irritable bowel syndrome (1).
It is known that there is a link between the mind and the digestive tract, so stress and feelings of depression and anxiety are likely triggers to make any existing condition or symptoms much worse.
IBS sufferers experience a cycle of bloating, constipation, gas and diarrhea and for those who suffer it more severely; it can make socializing difficult and even the thought of eating can be off-putting.
It’s known that the digestive tract has millions of nerve cells which receives important information from the brain in relation to your emotional and physical well-being (2).
Yoga for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (Yoga for IBS)
1Ananda Balasana (Happy Baby Pose)
Happy Baby Pose helps to ease the allied symptoms of this condition by relaxing the mind. This pose also boosts blood flow to the abdominal organs.
- Lie on your back.
- Bend your knees and draw them close to the chest.
- Grab the outside edge of your feet with your hands.
- Spread your knees shoulder width apart.
- Push your shoulders to the ground. Lengthen your spine.
- Ensure that your ankles are placed directly above your knees.
- Hold this pose for at least 60 seconds.
2Jathara Parivartanasana (Reclined Abdominal Twist)
Reclining poses have a calming effect on the body and mind. Because it is also a reclining twist, this asana releases the tensions and emotions that we carry in our back body, especially the shoulders.
- Lie down straight.
- When you exhale bend your right leg towards the left side.
- Hug your belly by this leg.
- Hold this right leg with your left arm. Now hold few breaths here.
- Then spread your right arm across the body.
- Put your shoulder blade on the floor and palm up position.
- Feel the spiral from your legs to the pelvis, spine, ribs and chest. Feel the stretch.
- Hold 5 to 10 breaths and then lie back to your position. Try with the left side.
3Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half spinal twist)
Ardha Matsyendrasana opens your chest and increases the air supply to your lungs. It cleanses your internal organs by removing toxins from them. It stimulates your kidneys and eliminates fatigue. The pose stimulates the digestive power of your stomach and increases your appetite.
- Sit down with your legs stretched out in front of you.
- Keep your back straight and feet together.
- Now, bend the right leg, take it over your left hip, and place the heel of your right foot beside the left hip.
- Then, place your left hand on your right knee and take your right hand behind to your mid-back.
- Twist your waist, shoulders, and head towards the right and look over your right shoulder.
4Marjariasana (Cat Pose)
It enhances digestion and tones the vital abdominal organs. This pose helps to release pent up stress and tensions, which helps to mitigate the symptoms of IBS.
- Kneel on the ground.
- Next place your palms on the floor shoulder width apart.
- Ensure that your hands are directly below your shoulders while your knees and below your hips.
- With an exhalation arch your spine towards the ceiling.
- With an inhalation ensure that your back becomes a convex.
- Lift your head towards the ceiling.
- Push your tailbone up.
- Concave and convex your back repeatedly. Repeat this process five to seven times.
5Pavanamuktasana (Wind Relieving Pose)
This pose helps to release gas and relieve the symptoms of indigestion. So this is one of the best yoga for Irritable Bowel Syndrome. It also eases the allied symptoms of this digestive disorder by giving the abdominal organs and intestines a gentle massage.
- Lie down comfortably on your back.
- Bend both your knees and draw them close to your abdomen.
- Push your chin towards your chest.
- Encircle your knees with your hands.
- Press the shoulders, spine and tail bone to the floor.
- Press the knees further into the abdomen.
- Breathe deeply and evenly. Hold this pose for at least one minute.
Tips for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Eat one small portion every four hours. If you feel hungry between the meals snack on fruits, salads or something healthy.
- Place a hot-water bag on your abdomen 10 minutes after dinner. This will help in digestion and it’s also soothing and comforting.
- Consume sweets, chilies and hot spices in a moderation.
- Drink two glasses of warm water as soon as you wake up in the morning.
- Do not sit continuously at one place for an extended period of time. Get up every one hour and take a walk around.
- Try yoga for irritable bowel syndrome, to go for morning walk for at least 30 minutes a day.
Acidity and flatulence (gas formation) are both common problems. Sometimes this could be due to worm infestations. It is very important to pay attention to hygiene and the quality of food we consume. As a rule, one should have fresh seasonal vegetables and fruits. Packaged & processed food should be avoided. Sweets, sweetmeats, refined foods and food ingredients like refined flour such as biscuits, pizzas, cakes and pastries could cause problems. Tell us and share your views about these poses of yoga for irritable bowel syndrome.