Yoga therapy for IBS is a set of posture and breathing techniques to increase suppleness, calm the body & mind, and boost health & well-being.
Why Yoga for IBS?
Yoga is an ancient Indian technique works on physical as well as psychologically and relieves ailments including Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Yoga massages the internal organs, strengthens them, restore its optimal function, and help overcoming the disorder. Yoga can relax you and thus alleviate anxiety, depression, and stress.
The following yoga postures help strengthen intestinal muscles and nerves, expel gas, restore intestinal function, and normalizes bowel movement.
- Marjariasana (Cat pose) strengthen the spine, abdominal organs and thus improves digestion, absorption and elimination. It relaxes your mind, help overcoming emotional stress bring in by IBS.
- Pavanamuktasana (Wind-relieving pose) massages the abdominal organs and releases intestinal gas, the most common problems in IBS.
- Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-facing Dog pose) can lengthens the spine, tones abdominal muscles, and rejuvenates the body by improving blood circulation.
- Supta Matsyendrasana (Supine Spinal Twist Yoga Pose) stretches the spine, tones internal organs, and improves digestion.
- Bhujangasana (Cobra pose) tones the abdomen, alleviate stress & fatigue, and improves blood circulation.
- Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend Yoga pose) tones abdominal organs and relives digestive disorders such as constipation, stomach pain, and headache. It activates nervous system, calm mind, relieves stress, anxiety, anger, and irritability.
- Dhanurasana (Bow pose) can strengthen abdominal muscles, relieve body stress and effectively overcome menstrual discomfort common among women with IBS.
Marjariasana - Cat pose
Marjari means cat and asana means posture. Marjariasana is an effective yoga posture for acid reflux. This pose provide flexibility to spine, strengthen wrists & shoulders, strengthen digestive organs, improves digestion, relaxes mind, and improve blood circulation.
Stand on your knees & hands with spread fingers. Keep hands directly beneath shoulders and knees directly beneath hips. Inhale, raise your chin by tilting your head back, arc your spinal by pushing your navel downwards, raise your tailbone and hold at this stage for few seconds with normal breathing. On exhale, gently pull the abdominal muscles backwards towards your spine, down your tailbone & head by looking at the floor between knees so that the spine should rounded upwards and hold at this stage for few seconds with normal breathing. Release by sitting backwards on your heels with your torso upright.
Pavanmuktasana (Wind-Relieving Pose)
Pavanmuktasana, wind-relieving pose, wind removing pose, or wind liberating pose; this Sanskrit words pavan means wind, mukta means relieve and asana means posture. Pawanamuktasana is an effective yoga posture for constipation; help improve digestive system function, get rid of the intestinal gas accumulation, cures gastrointestinal problems, strengthens back muscle, cures back pain, and good for menstruation disorder.
Lie down on your back, stretch your legs straight. Bend your right knee and holds it with hands, press it towards the abdomen. Breathe out, lift your head and touch the knee with chin. Breathe in, stretch your legs straight. Repeat the same with the left leg. Repeat the same with both legs, in this pose swing the body back and forth for 5 to 10 times, then swing body from left to right and swing body from right to left. This is one round, practice three or four rounds.
Adho mukha svanasana
Adho mukha svanasana is Sanskrit words adhas means down, mukha means face, svana means dog, and asana means posture; literally, downward facing dog Pose. This asana stretches the shoulders, legs, spine and whole body, thus builds strength to the entire body. This asana relieves fatigue (i.e. energizing), rejuvenates the body, strengthen immune system, enhances digestion, promotes circulation, built bone density (useful for osteoporosis), relieves back pain, calms the mind (stress buster), and lifts the spirits.
Stand on your knees & hands; keep hands directly beneath shoulders and knees directly beneath hips. As you exhale, lift the hips up, straightening the knees and elbows, form an inverted V-shape with the body and look towards the navel. Hands should be shoulder width apart, feet are hip width apart, parallel to each other and toes pointed straight ahead. Lengthen the neck by touching the ears to the inner arms. Take long deep breath and stay for about 1 minute in this pose. Exhale, bend the knees, return to original position (stand on knees & hand) and relax.
Supta Matsyendrasana is a Sanskrit word; supta means supine, matsya means fish, indra means ruler, and asana means pose. Literally, it means supine spinal twist yoga pose. This pose stretches & relaxes the spine, tones abdominal muscles, detoxifies internal organs, improves digestion, rejuvenates the body, and improves blood circulation.
Perform this yoga by lying on your back with straightened leg. Raise your right knee up to the chest and hug it. Place your left hand on outer right thigh to guide right knee to the left until reaches the ground. Strengthen you right arm to the right side over the floor. You can strengthen your left arm to the left side over the floor or just stay over right thigh. Turn your head to look right side or be neutral (straight). This is the final pose, stay for five deep breaths and repeat on the other side.
In Sanskrit, “bhujanga” means serpent or snake and “asana” means pose; literally called cobra pose. Bhujangasana is useful in relieving muscular discomfort of the back, neck and abdomen. It stimulates abdominal organs, improves digestion, and normalizes its function. Cobra pose can alleviate stress, anxiety and depression, which is more common among people with IBS.
Lie down on your stomach with hands on the sides, toes touching together. Bring hands to the front at the shoulder level with palm resting on the ground. Slowly lift your head and trunk from the ground with palms support alone. The arms should bent at the elbows. Arc your neck slightly backwards similar to a cobra with raised hood. Take normal breathe by pressing the stomach against the floor. This is the final pose, stay for few seconds in the beginning and slowly improve up to 2 minutes. Come out of the pose by placing the hands under your head as pillow and breathe normally.
Paschimottanasana is a Sanskrit words paschima means back or back of body, uttana means intense stretch, and asana means posture. This posture makes the breath flow through the Brahma Nadi, Sushumna, and rouses the gastric fire. Paschimottanasana for the stimulation of abdominal viscera, such as kidneys, liver, pancreas, etc. It increases the peristalsis of the bowels. This Asana relieves constipation, removes sluggishness of liver, dyspepsia, belching and gastritis.
Sit on the ground with legs stretched out straight in front. Always keep the spine straight and toes flexed towards you. Inhale, raise both arms over your head and stretch it up. Exhale, bend the hip joints forward focusing towards the toes rather than down towards the knees. Place your hands on the leg where they reach without forcing too much. Inhale; slightly lift your head by lengthening your spine. Exhale; move the navel towards the knees. Repeat this inhale & exhale 2 to 3 times. Try to hold the toes with the thumb, index and middle fingers. Exhale and slowly bend until your forehead touches the knees. When you bend down draw in the belly back to facilitate bending. This is the final pose, retain for 5 seconds and gradually increase up to 10 minutes.
Dhanurasana in a Sanskrit word Dhanur means bow and asana means posture; literally means Bow Pose. This asana strengthens the back and abdominal muscles, help gastrointestinal problems, improves digestion & appetite, good stress and fatigue buster, cures menstrual discomfort & constipation, and reliefs headache. Improve the function of liver, pancreas, small and large intestine. Cures respiratory disorder like asthma.
Lie on the ground on your stomach, facing downward. Keep the arms relaxed and resting along the body sides. Bend the leg at the knees, raise the arms, raise the chest & the head, and hold the ankles with the hands. Inhale; fill the lungs with air. Straighten and stiffen the hands and legs. Attempt to keep the knees together. Now the body look like a bow. This is the final pose, hold this pose for 15 to 20 seconds by taking deep breath, and increase the duration slowly. To come out from the pose exhale slowly and come back to the starting position. Repeat this cycle for 4 to 5 times daily.