10 Best Yoga Poses for Constipation

To offer you this article for free we receive a small affiliate commission if you chose to buy through our links. Click here to learn more.

If you aren't well acquainted with your digestive systems, you're sure going to learn a lot about it when you start yoga.

When you start twisting, folding, and inverting, your stomach and intestines are washed with blood, stimulating both organs to work more efficiently.

When you're suffering from constipation, your body needs more than improved circulation to the intestines to get a kickstart.

If you're a bit...backed up, throw some of these yoga poses for constipation into your practice to help your body get things moving again.

1. Baddha Konasana or Cobbler's Pose

Baddha Konasana or Cobbler's Pose

via julielw00d on Instagram

Why it works:

This pose isn't just a phenomenal hip opener. If you add a forward fold, you get great pressure on your abdominal organs, increasing their bloodflow and encouraging better digestion.

How to do it:

Sit down and put the soles of your feet together. Draw your heels closer to your groin until you feel a stretch in your hips.

You can bring them closer to your body so your legs are in the shape of a triangle, or, if your hips are super tight, push your heels away from your groin until your legs are in a diamond shape.

Grab your feet and slowly start to bend forward, keeping your spine long and your back flat. When you've hinged forward a comfortable amount, hold the pose for five to 10 breaths.

2. Pavanamuktasana or Wind Relieving Pose

Pavanamuktasana or Wind Relieving Pose

via bikramyogame on Instagram

Why it works:

This asana was given its nickname for a reason! It isn't uncommon to get into this pose and experience a bit of relief flatulence-wise, and no yoga teacher will bat an eye if one of their students make a little noise during this pose.

The pressure of your leg on your lower belly gently massages your intestines and encourages them start moving their contents along.

How to do it:

Lie flat on your back with your legs extended straight in front of you. Lift your right leg and draw your knee in towards your chest so your thigh is resting on your belly.

Clasp your hands right below the knee and hug the leg in tightly. Keep both feet flexed to protect your knees, and keep your extended leg active and pushing firmly into the mat.

If you have really tight hips, you might not get your leg directly on your abdomen, but the act of pulling that leg into you is enough to give your intestines a good squeeze. Hold for five to 10 breaths and repeat on the other side.

3. Malasana or Garland Pose (Squat)

Malasana or Garland Pose Squat

via catbradleyyoga on Instagram

Why it works:

Malasana is an outstanding hip and chest opener, but it's also pretty effective for the digestive tract, too.

When you squat, you're encouraging the flow of energy known as apana vayu, which according to certain yoga beliefs, assists the body in eliminating waste.

Whether you believe this aspect of the pose or not, everyone could use some extra hip opening.

How to do it:

From a standing position, place your feet hip-width apart and slowly lower yourself into a squat. Your knees will point in opposite directions, and your heels should be flat on the floor. If they don't touch the floor, roll a towel, blanket, or your mat beneath them until your heels are flat.

 Drop your tailbone towards the ground, lengthen your spine, and place your triceps against your inner thighs. Put your hands into prayer position and push them together, opening your chest.

4. Uttanasana or Standing Forward Fold

Uttanasana or Standing Forward Fold

via temescallion on Instagram

Why it works:

When you're hinging forward at your hips, your organs are going to be compressed and massaged.

Since your head is lower than your heart, it's technically considered an inversion, so the blood is going to rush from your feet up to your head, passing through your digestive organs on its way up.

How to do it:

If you're a new yogi, you have back problems, or your hamstrings are really tight, keep your knees bent. Fold forward, hinging at your hips, keeping your legs straight (but not locking your knees) or bent.

Relax your neck and look at your shins. If you're a more experienced or flHow to do it: exible yogi, you can wrap your arms around the backs of your legs for a deeper fold.

If this isn't accessible, simply place your hands next to your feet. Breathe deeply into your abdomen for five to 10 breaths.

5. Balasana or Child's Pose

 Balasana or Child's Pose

via tiffanystover on Instagram

Why it works:

When you're tired or just don't want to twist, bend, or move, child's pose can be modified to improve your digestion. Your abdomen is compressed and your organs are gently massaged.

How to do it:

Kneel on your knees and rest your buttocks on your heels. Spread your knees wide enough to leave room for your abdomen to rest between them. Fold forward until your forehead is resting on your mat.

For extra compression, before you fold, make a ball with your fists and place them on your lower belly. When you fold forward, you'll get more pressure on your intestines.

This is one of the best yoga poses for constipation, and it's a lot easier to hold for longer periods of time than some other poses.

6. Halasana or Plow Pose

Halasana or Plow Pose

via alexisgirlnovak on Instagram

Why it works:

If you've gone into plow pose before, you know it's a fairly intense abdominal compression. Since it's an inversion, circulation to the pelvis and abdomen is increased.

How to do it:

From a shoulderstand, bend at the hips to slowly lower your legs over your head until your toes are resting on the ground behind you. Keep your legs extended and your back long.

Engage your thighs so they're lifted towards the ceiling and your tailbone is long. Your inner thighs should be drawn into the pelvis. Keep your chin pulled away from your sternum to keep your throat soft.

You can keep your hands on your lower back for support, pushing your back up and your arms into the mat. You can also straighten your arms out beneath you and clasp your hands.

7. Supine Twist

Supine Twist

via rhaenay on Instagram

Why it works:

Twists squeeze and lengthen the abdominal contents (muscles, organs, nerves, etc). There are a ton of twisting yoga poses, but when you're constipated, a revolved half-moon doesn't sound that appealing.

When you do a two-sided pose, always move from the right to the left because that's the direction the body shuttles out digestive waste.

How to do it:

Lie flat on your back and bend your knees so your feet are flat on the floor. Nestle your shoulders under you and ensure your back is long. Your chin should be pointed towards the sky with your throat open.

Extend your arms in a T-shape and drop your knees to the right. Your right thigh may or may not touch the floor. Look to the left and relax.

You can push your legs down by putting your right hand on your top thigh and gently push them down, or hook your left thumb into your hip crease as you steadily push your hip away.

8. Ardha-Matsyendrasana or Half Lord of the Fishes Pose

Ardha Matsyendrasana or Half Lord of the Fishes Pose

via sandrawooo on Instagram

Why it works:

This is a pretty intense twist. You're swiveling and compressing your abdomen, but your thigh is also pushing into your stomach.

This deep twist stimulates all of your digestive organs: the pancreas, stomach, and both the ascending and descending colons. Stimulating the entire digestive tract improves the frequency of your bowel movements.

How to do it:

Sit on your mat and extend your legs straight out in front of you. Bending your knees, place your feet flat on the floor, and bring your left food under your right leg.

Your foot will be outside of your right hip. Place the outside of your left leg on the floor. Your right foot will come over your left leg and sit next to your left hip. Your right knee points straight towards the ceiling. 

Sit up straight and put your right hand on the floor behind you. Twist to the left so your left upper arm on the outside of your right thigh.Push your right foot firmly into the floor and lengthen the front of your body.

Push your left arm into your right leg, opening the front of your body towards the right of the room. Hold for five to 10 breaths before repeating on the other side.

9. Paschimottasana or Seated Forward Fold

Paschimottasana or Seated Forward Fold

via barbylencinas on Instagram

Why it works:

Like child's pose, this puts pressure on the digestive organs, encouraging them to get moving again....

How to do it:

Sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you. Flex your feet, rotate your inner thighs in and down, and keep your entire leg active. Inhale, sit up straight, and slowly hinge forward from the hips.

If you can reach your feet, ensure your back is straight and has no rounding in it. If you can't reach your feet, you can use a strap and lasso the soles of your feet.

You may place your hands next to your legs as far as you can comfortably go for a less intense fold. Lengthen your back with each inhale and extend forward with every exhale.

1o. Knees-to-Chest Pose

Knees to Chest Pose

via crazyyogalove on Instagram

Why it works:

Knees-to-chest is very similar to the aforementioned wind relieving pose except you have both knees drawn to your chest. It works the same way as the one legged variation but there's more compression on the abdomen.

How to do it:

Lay flat on your back and draw your knees into your chest. Your thighs may not rest on your stomach; it depends on how flexible your hip flexors are.

Wrap your arms around your shins and gently pull your legs closer to your body. Breathe deeply into your abdomen for a deeper massage.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.