9 Yoga Poses To Try For Better Digestion

Don't worry: None of them are inversions.

Fitness pros share the best yoga poses for digestion.

Yoga melts away stress, improves your mobility and flexibility, and works as a moving meditation. If you choose the right poses, it can even be good for your digestion, says Kate Lombardo, yoga director at YogaRenew Teacher Training. “You wouldn't want to eat a big meal and then jump into a sweaty vinyasa class focused on inversions,” she tells Bustle. “But taking time to move through poses that aid in digestion can be very beneficial.”

Yoga can be good for your gut in two ways. First, “it helps to reduce stress and bring more balance to the body, which allows for all systems — including the digestive system — to work at an optimal level,” Lombardo says. Do yoga on the regular, and you’ll likely notice that you have better digestion — and less bloating, constipation, cramps, etc. — as a result.

Some poses can also play a role in, uh, moving things along. “Certain yoga poses, especially twists, can help acutely treat symptoms of poor digestion like gas or bloating,” Lombardo says. “These poses help to stimulate the organs that are part of the digestive system to move food through the body more smoothly and relieve the effects of digestive issues.”

Lombardo recommends doing these yoga poses first thing in the morning as a way to set your digestive system up for a good day. You can also do them later on in the day, whenever gut issues strike. “If you're experiencing any discomfort or signs of poor digestion after a meal, then moving through some gentler twists about 30 minutes after eating can help the body to digest food,” she says. Scroll through for some of the best yoga poses for better digestion.


Sukhasana Twist


Try this pose in the morning to kickstart your digestion or whenever you feel bloated, Lombardo says. “By sitting up tall to start, you create length and space in the side body by stretching the abdominal muscles,” she says. “Then you also target the digestive organs through the twist.”

- Sit comfortably with your legs crossed in front of you.

- Keep your spine straight over your hips.

- Inhale and lift your arms up overhead.

- Exhale and twist to the right.

- Bring your arms down and place your right hand on the floor and your left hand on your right knee.

- Hold the twist as you take 3 to 5 breaths, twisting a little deeper with each exhale.

- Get a bit taller in your spine with each inhale.

- Come back to center and repeat on the other side.


Happy Baby


“This pose helps to relieve any bloating or gas by putting gentle pressure on the abdomen,” Lombardo says.

- Lie on your back.

- Bend your knees and bring them towards your armpits.

- Move your arms to the inner part of your legs.

- Grab onto your feet and gently guide your knees closer to your armpits.

- Rock a bit side to side or move around in a way that feels good.

- Take 5 to 7 deep breaths into your core.


Child’s Pose


Lombardo recommends this classic yoga stretch to give your organs a gentle massage.

- Start in a tabletop position on all fours.

- Touch your big toes together as you open your knees out wide.

- Shift your hips back to sit your heels.

- Reach your arms long in front of you.

- Lower your head.

- Stay in the pose for 3 to 5 breaths.

- For a deeper variation, keep your knees together and/or place a rolled blanket just below your navel.

- Inhale and send your breath into your abdomen and lower back.


Camel Pose


Jason Deutchman, a yoga pro and founder of Yoga Strong, says camel pose will give you a great stretch through the abdomen.

- Kneel with knees hip-distance apart.

- Engage your glutes.

- Push your hips slightly forward.

- Lift your chest up and back as you look towards the ceiling for a backbend.

- Bring your hands to your low back or place your hands on your heels.

- Keep pushing your hips forward as you keep your chest tall.

- Hold for 3 to 5 deep breaths.


Bow Pose


“This pose is good for digestion because it opens up the front side of the body and increases blood flow to internal organs,” Deutchman says.

- Lie on your stomach.

- Bend your knees to kick your heels to your butt.

- Roll your shoulders up and back.

- Reach your arms back.

- Take a deep breath in.

- As you exhale, kick your feet into your hands.

- Pull your chest up and off the mat.

- Continue to breathe deeply into the belly.

- Push your frontal hip bones down while you pull your belly button up and into the spine to keep your core engaged.

- Hold for 3 to 5 controlled breaths.


Locust Pose


Yoga instructor Jessica Mahler suggests trying the locust pose to improve digestion.

- Lie on your stomach.

- Keep your arms alongside your body, palms facing down.

- Point your toes as you squeeze your legs and glutes.

- Lift your head and shoulders off the mat. Your arms and hands will reach straight back.

- Hold for 3 to 7 breaths.

- For a challenge, lift your feet off the mat as you keep your toes pointed.

- Bend your knees, kick your feet up, and grab your ankles as you lift your chest even more.

- Press your core into the ground.


Bridge Pose


Mahler also likes this move for a digestive system boost.

- Lie on your back with your knees bent.

- Keep your heels close to your hips.

- Rest your arms alongside you.

- Inhale and press into your hands and feet to lift your hips up.

- Squeeze your inner thighs toward one another.

- Hold for 5 breaths.

- Lower hips and repeat two times.


Cobra Pose


“Cobra pose lengthens your abdominal wall, which can stimulate more efficient digestion and relieve bloating,” Deutchman says.

- Lie on your stomach with your legs extended back behind you.

- Place your forearms onto the mat with your elbows directly underneath your shoulders to create a 90 degree angle in your arms.

- Lift your chin off your chest and hold for 5 to 10 breaths.


Supine Twist


Yoga instructor Anita Perry calls this her favorite pose for aiding digestion.

- Start on your back.

- Bring both knees into your chest.

- Inhale.

- As you exhale, let both knees drop to the right.

- Your head can stay stationary or turn towards the left.

- Hold the pose for a few breaths.

- Return the knees to center.

- Repeat on the other side by letting your knees fall to the left as you turn your head to the right.

- Repeat as needed.

Studies referenced:

Kavuri, V. (2015). Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Yoga as Remedial Therapy. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. doi: 10.1155/2015/398156.

Mari, A. (2018). Bloating and Abdominal Distension: Clinical Approach and Management. Advances in Therapy, 36(5), 1075-1084.

Pascoe, MC. (2015). A systematic review of randomised control trials on the effects of yoga on stress measures and mood. J Psychiatr Res. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2015.07.013.

Shree Ganesh, HR. (2021). Role of yoga therapy in improving digestive health and quality of sleep in an elderly population: A randomized controlled trial. J Bodyw Mov Ther. doi: 10.1016/j.jbmt.2021.04.012.

Woodyard, C. (2011). Exploring the therapeutic effects of yoga and its ability to increase quality of life. Int J Yoga. doi: 10.4103/0973-6131.85485.


Kate Lombardo, yoga director at YogaRenew Teacher Training

Jason Deutchman, yoga pro, founder of Yoga Strong

Jessica Mahler, yoga instructor

Anita Perry, yoga instructor