5 Yoga Poses to Ease Occasional Gas and Bloating
Tummy feeling like a hot-air balloon, now and then? Whether it's that time of the month or just something you ate, it's no fun to walk around feeling puffy and gassy. Next time you feel the dreaded belly bloat coming on, here are some gentle Maharishi Yoga Asana poses that can help.
Why does yoga help with occasional gas and bloating?
Yoga is more than just stretchy poses! In Sanskrit, the word "yoga" means "to draw together" or "to unite." This ancient practice spans many different techniques, from physical postures and breathwork to meditation and more. At Maharishi AyurVeda, we recommend incorporating Maharishi Yoga Asanas into your daily routine. This calming set of poses progresses from dynamic to more restful and helps to prepare your mind and body for meditation. That being said, yoga is also very beneficial for your body and digestion.
Slow twists and gentle poses like balasana (also known as Child's Pose) can ease occasional gas by helping it move and pass through the intestines. Core-strengthening poses like Plank Pose tone the stomach muscles and help to strengthen digestion overall.
Maharishi Yoga Asana poses for a bloated stomach
These simple poses tone the body and breath while calming the mind, promoting relation, and improving your overall sense of well-being. Note: it's best to avoid doing yoga poses and postures on a full stomach. Wait at least a few hours after a meal to avoid occasional acid indigestion.
Vakr-Asana - Spinal Twist Pose
Sit comfortably on your mat with your legs stretched out before you. Bend your left knee, tucking it toward you with both hands, and rest the sole of your left foot on the mat. Cradle your left knee in the crook of your right elbow, and slowly begin to twist your torso to the left. Place your left hand onto the mat and gently turn your gaze to the left. Hold for 5-10 seconds before releasing the pose. Repeat on the other side.
(Note: Women can start with the left leg, men with the right, and those who are gender-fluid can start on either side.)
Benefits: Aids digestion, tones digestive organs, helps to ease occasional gas, reduces belly fat, improves spine flexibility.
Shashank-Asana (Hare Pose)
Enter this pose with your palms resting on your thighs and your upper body straight and relaxed. Place your palms on the floor in front of you and, in a relaxed manner, slide them forward until your arms are stretched in a comfortable position. Place your forehead on the floor, or bend your head forward as far as is comfortable. Hold for 5 to 10 seconds. Raise your head, keeping your back flat, and return to a kneeling position. Unfold your legs and stretch them in front of you on the mat. Repeat all steps each time this asana is performed, up to 3 times.
Benefits: Calms and relaxes mind and body. Helps relieve fatigue. Stretches lower back and helps to gently ease occasional intestinal bloating.
Pavan-Mukt-Asana (Knee-to-Chest Pose)
Slowly tuck your left leg into your chest and gently hold for about 10 seconds, keeping both hands folded together. Release the left leg, tuck the right leg in and hold for 10 seconds. Repeat 1-3 times on each side. (Note: Women can start with the left leg, men with the right, and those who are gender-fluid can start on either side.)
Benefits: Stretches the lower back, helps to gently relieve occasional gas and wind.
Pad Sanchalan (Bicycling Pose)
Using your abdominal muscles to keep your lower back on the floor, gently bicycle your legs, keeping your palms resting comfortably on thighs. Alternate 3-5 times per leg.
Benefits: Strengthens digestion and lower back muscles, aids hip and knee joints.
Vajr-Asana - Thunderbolt Pose (or Diamond Pose)
Sit comfortably with your legs stretched forward. Your spine should be straight and your hands resting on your thighs. Bend your left knee and pull your left ankle towards your seat with your left hand. Place your left foot under your left side. Lift your body with both hands flat on the floor. Bend your right knee and pull your right ankle with your right hand towards your seat. Keep your knees together. Sit between your heels (not on your heels) with your left big toe on top of your right toe. Rest your palms comfortably on your thighs. Hold this asana for 10 seconds to 1 minute, Then, unfold your legs and stretch them in front. Repeat 1-3 times.
Benefits: Aids digestion, calms the mind. Learn more about how to balance your digestion with yoga asanas.
Sometimes the simplest things really are the most powerful. Next time you're feeling a bit of wind, try these five easy stretches and see how you feel.
Movement in general can be beneficial when you're feeling a bit gassy. Taking a walk after a meal is a great way to aid your digestion, metabolism, circulation, and mood. You can also try Organic Triphala Rose if you're experiencing occasional constipation (learn more about triphala and elimination).
And for more easy ways to balance your digestion, check out our Digestion Wellness Hub.
What is the cause of too much gas in the stomach?
A little gas happens to everyone now and then! Many things can cause it--from eating something that doesn't agree with you to incompatible food combinations. Learn more about the Ayurvedic perspective on occasional bloating.
What does trapped gas feel like?
If you know, you know! The odd bout of gas can make your stomach look and feel a bit puffy, like a balloon. You may also feel some pressure in your intestines, and a strong urge to toot.