yoga poses for constipation: 15 best yoga poses for constipation relief

Though yoga poses for constipation may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you feel constipated.

However, when it comes to constipation, there is evidence that suggests yoga poses for constipation relief can help alleviate it.

In addition, a 2015 study of people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) determined that yoga could be a cost-effective alternative therapy for the predominant symptoms of the condition, which are constipation and diarrhea.[1]

Moreover, the researchers added that yoga might also help other symptoms that IBS may bring, such as anxiety and fatigue.

What causes Constipation? 

Constipation is a common complaint and being constipated means your bowel movements are tough or happen less often than normal. 

Some of the common causes include:

Improper Diet or Bad Eating Habits 

Improper diet is one of the leading causes of chronic constipation in adults. 

Bad eating habits include not eating on time and indulging in processed foods and refined food products.

Not drinking Enough Water or Liquids

Dehydration is also a cause of constipation. Moreover, 75% of your body is made up of water. 

Additionally, water helps to keep the feces or the stool soft and advances bowel movements. 

However, in the absence of enough water, the intestines tend to absorb more water and this leads to hard and dry feces.

IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)

Although, the precise reason for IBS is unknown. 

Yet bloating, abdominal pain and constipation symptoms can be seen in IBS.

Diabetes

Uncontrolled Diabetes where the increase in blood sugars damages the nerves may also lead to constipation.

Hypothyroidism

Now, the thyroid gland is situated at the front of the neck and controls the metabolic activities (BMR) in the body. 

Under-active thyroid or hypothyroidism are the conditions associated with problems like constipation and weight gain.

Overuse of Laxative

Overuse of laxatives increases your dependency on them. 

Moreover, this practice makes your intestinal movements weak and leads to constipation.

Constipation Due to Pregnancy

Now, this is common because of hormonal changes and the bowel movement becomes slow. And, increased intake of fibrous foods will help you in that.

Medications

Sometimes due to overuse of certain medicines like – Calcium tables, Iron supplements, etc. causes constipation.

Unhealthy lifestyle

Reasons can be many like Inappropriate work hours, less time for rest, too much junk food.  

Or, diet low on fresh fruits and green leafy vegetables are the leading causes of constipation in adults.

Symptoms of Constipation

Some general symptoms of constipation include:

  • Difficult or Painful Bowel Movements.
  • No Bowel Movement for more than 3 Days
  • Dry and Hard stools
  • Excessive Strain or effort to pass stools
  • Feeling Bloated
  • Swollen Abdomen
  • Feeling Lethargic
  • Flatulence or Gassiness

Pain in the lower abdomen

How yoga poses for constipation relief help?

Yoga poses for constipation relief can help ease the pain and discomfort of such digestive troubles. 

Additionally, this alleviates constipation in two ways…

Digestive massage

These yoga poses for constipation relief benefit your digestive system through twisting poses, inversions, and forward folds. 

Moreover, these poses massage your digestive organs, increase blood flow and oxygen delivery, aid the process of peristalsis, and encourage stools to move through your system.

By managing stress

These yoga poses for constipation relief help manage your stress response, which can improve the functioning of your digestive system. 

You may have noticed that you’re more likely to get “blocked up” when you’re stressed out. 

In addition, simple meditation and breathing deeply can help move things along.

15 best yoga poses for constipation relief

If you’re looking for a natural way to relieve your constipation, the yoga poses described below may help. 

1. Vajrasana or Adamant Pose 

This Yoga Asanas to ease constipation improves blood circulation in your abdominal region, helps improve digestion. 

Moreover, this yoga enables flexibility of lower limbs and strengthens your digestive system.

Additionally,  this is beneficial in various conditions like chronic constipation, stomach disorders, and digestive problems.

Yoga instruction

  • Begin with kneeling on the floor. 
  • Now, Pull your knees and ankles together and point your feet in line with your legs. 
  • The bottoms of your feet should face upward with your big toes touching each other.
  • Now, Exhale as you sit back on your legs. 
  • Make your buttocks rest on your heels and your thighs will rest on your calves.
  • Get your hands on your thighs and adjust your pelvis slightly backward and forward until you’re comfortable.
  • Breathe in and out slowly as you position yourself to sit up straight by straightening your spine and eyes closed.
  • Make your head pull your body upward and press your tailbone toward the floor.
  • Gaze forward with your chin parallel to the floor and position your hand’s palms down on your thighs with your arms relaxed.
  • Hold this yoga posture for 60-180 seconds.

2. Paschimottanasana or Seated forward bend

This asana for constipation is excellent for digestive disorders and strengthens and stimulates the back muscles and the abdominal organs.

The intra-abdominal deep compression massages the abdominal viscera and provides relief in conditions related to constipation, weak digestion, and sluggish liver.

Yoga instruction

  • Sit down on the floor and get your legs stretched out straight in front of you.
  • Keep your spine erect and your toes flexed toward your side.
  • Now, breathe in as you raise both your arms above your head and stretch up.
  • Breathe out and bend forward and also extend your torso over your legs, keeping the spine erect.
  • Get hold of the big toes using your fingers.
  • Breathing-in, slightly lift your head, and elongate the spine.
  • Breathing-out, bring your navel towards the knees.
  • Stay in this position for 120-180sec.

3. Adho mukha svanasana or Downward-facing dog

This yoga poses for constipation relief helps to tone your muscles, energizes and rejuvenates the body.

Yoga instruction

  • Start with getting your feet together, bring your hands down next to your feet.
  • Now, step your legs back toward the end of your yoga mat.
  • Make a V-shape form with your body.
  • Now, press your chest towards the thighs.
  • Draw your hips up and the heels down.
  • Stay for 5-10 breaths.

4. Balasana or Child’s pose

This yoga pose will relieve constipation, calming down the nervous system, and deeply relaxing for the back.

Yoga instruction

  • Sit back on your heels and by keeping your hips on the heels, bend forward, and lower your forehead to the floor.
  • Get your arms alongside or to the front of your body with hands on the floor.
  • Now, press your chest on the thighs.
  • Hold the pose for 120- 180sec.

5. Baddha Konasana or Butterfly Pose

This yoga poses for constipation relief helps your intestine and bowel movement. 

Moreover, it also relieves menstrual discomfort and menopause symptoms. 

Yoga instruction

  • Start with a comfortable sitting position and be seated straight.
  • Now, get the soles of your feet together and slide away from the body.
  • Make arch your back and fold it forward gently holding the soles with your hands.
  • Now, rest your hands on the feet or on the floor by the side of the body.
  • You can also lower your head in a down hanging position
  • Hold the position for 120-180 seconds.

6. Bhujangasana or Cobra Pose

This yoga poses for constipation is effective and beneficial for improving the function of the digestive system. 

Moreover, it strengthens the abdominal muscles and cleans the entire digestive tract, which helps cure constipation and indigestion problems.

Yoga instruction

  • To start Lie down flat on the floor on your stomach and keep your palms flat on the ground directly under your shoulders. 
  • Now, inhale to lift your chest off the floor by rolling your shoulders back and keeping your lower ribs on the floor. 
  • Make sure your elbows are still hugging your sides. 
  • Keep your gaze upward and hold the pose for 20-60 seconds

7. Wind-relieving pose or Pawanmuktasana

This is an easy pose for beginners that strengthens the back and abdominal muscles and can help alleviate gas and constipation.

Yoga instruction

  • To start, lie on the back with the knees pulled up toward the chest.
  • Now, place the hands-on or around the shins.
  • Tuck your chin in and now gently press them back into the floor, gently pulling the knees toward your chest.
  • Hold the pose for 30-50sec.

8. The bow pose or dhanurasana

This yoga poses for constipation relief strengthens all the abdominal muscles and puts pressure on the abdomen. 

Yoga instruction

  • Start by lying flat on your stomach and bend the knees.
  • Now, reach your arms back and clasp your ankles.
  • And raise the chest off the floor as far as is comfortable.
  • Now, using the tension between the arms and legs, try to lift the thighs and upper body off the floor.
  • Hold there for a few seconds.

9. The Plough Pose or Halasana  

Now, this yoga pose will help you strengthen your back muscles and reduce stress. Additionally, it stimulates the abdominal viscera and the organs and aids in better digestion.

Yoga instruction

For Halasana benefits and How to do it please read our article…

9. The Garland Pose or Malasana

This yoga pose will stimulate your digestion while stretching the ankles, groins, and back.

Yoga instruction

  • To start, stand on the mat with your feet wide apart.
  • Now, bend your knees and lower your butt to come into a squat position.
  • And also bend your elbows to bring the palms together and take your arms inside your knees to press your elbows against your inner knees.
  • Make sure to keep your spine neutral, neck straight, and shoulders relaxed.
  • Breath normally and stay in this pose for 4-5 breaths and then relax.

10. Locust Pose or Salabhasana 

This is yoga poses for constipation relief increases abdominal pressure, which in turn ignites the digestive fire. Additionally, it relieves gastric troubles and constipation, and tones and balances the function of the liver.

Yoga instruction

  • To begin with, lie down on your abdomen and stretch your legs out.
  • Now, lengthen your spine, feel someone is pulling your hands forward, and then your leg back, stretch nicely.
  • Take a deep breath and lift your leg up, along with your head. 
  • Keep looking at your finger points.
  • Hold here for 5 to 6 breaths.

11. Peacock Pose or Mayurasana 

This yoga is best for helping your digestive system and relieving blockage and constipation. As your elbows and triceps push into your abdomen in this pose. 

Which helps activate your intestines and fire up the nerve endings, improving the gut-brain connection.

Yoga instruction

  • To begin with, from all fours, turn your hands so that your fingertips face back towards you.
  • And, get your hands next to one another underneath your belly button. 
  • Now, bend your elbows and press your pinky fingers together, making a connection all the way up to your elbows.
  • Try and engage your core and lean forward, setting your core onto your elbow and tricep shelf.
  • Shift your weight forward and keep looking forward.
  • Now, pressing your arms towards one another and lift your upper back up slightly.
  • Extend your legs back and engage the backs of your legs and squeeze your inner thighs together.
  • Get your balance, floating one leg at a time, until you can eventually lift and balance both legs in the air.
  • Hold here for 30-60sec.

12. Ardha-Matsyendrasana (Sitting Half Spinal Twist Pose)

This yoga poses for constipation stimulates the pancreas, liver, spleen, kidneys, stomach, and ascending and descending colons.

Yoga instruction

  • To start, sit with the legs straight out in front of the body.
  • Now, bend your right leg and place the right foot on the ground on the outside of the left leg, ideally near the knee.
  • Also, bend the left leg and place it under or close to the buttocks.
  • Now, place the left hand or elbow over your right knee and gently twist your face over the right shoulder.
  • Breath gently and hold the pose for a few breaths, then do for the other side.

13. Parivṛtta Aṅjaneyāsana (Revolved Crescent Lunge)

This yoga poses for constipation relief is a standing pose that requires a person to be in a lunge position. Additionally, it also involves twisting the torso, which may help promote a bowel movement.

Yoga instruction

  • To begin with lunge forward with the right leg bent and the left leg straight.
  • Now, place the hands into a prayer position and slowly bend the upper body toward the right knee, leading with the left shoulder.
  • Hold the pose for a few breaths, then return the initial position and start again with the opposite leg.

14. Legs Up the Wall Pose Viparita Karani

This yoga poses for constipation relief is an inversion pose. This means that part of your body will be upside down. Additionally, it boosts your energy, alleviates headaches, and relieves lower back pain.

Yoga instruction

  • To start, sit on the floor close to a wall.
  • Now, lower your back to the floor, and with the hips as close to the wall as possible, walk the legs up against the wall.
  • You can use a folded towel or blanket under the hips to relieve discomfort, if necessary.
  • Now get your head resting on the floor and place the arms wherever it feels comfortable.
  • Stay in this position for 2-4 min

15. Head to Knee Pose or Janushirasana

This yoga pose gently massages the internal organs (liver), abdominal organs, and spleen. Moreover, it is very beneficial in Constipation, seminal weakness, Dyspepsia.

Yoga instruction

  • To begin, stretch your legs forward.
  • Now bend your left leg, by your left leg heel press your anus and breathe in; Lift up your both arms over your head. 
  • Breathe out and bend forward holding your right feet big toe with your hands.
  • After that inhale in the upright position.
  • Again breathe out, during breath out bend forward, and try to touch your crown of the head (Forehead) to your knee. 
  • And, Pull your anus inward and draw your stomach and navel inward also.
  • Keep the right leg straight at the time. Hold the position for few seconds after that release the pose slowly.
  • Repeat the process with your other leg for 4 to 6 reps.

Conclusion

yoga poses for constipation relief postures can manipulate a person’s digestive tract and may help relieve constipation by encouraging the digestive tract to pass stool or gas.

As constipation is a very common complaint. While medications and over-the-counter treatments can help. Yet some people may be interested in alternative therapies, such as yoga poses for constipation relief.

Also, See… Yoga for beginners.