Yoga Asanas To Help Reduce Gastric Problems


Summary: When asked to a senior obstetrician and gynecologist of Odisha, “What would you choose in between Yoga and gym workout,” he chose yoga and said, “Gym workout mostly focuses on muscle building, which leads to hypertrophy (increase in muscle mass). But yoga benefits my inner body organs.” 

Yoga is an ancient art, believed to be several thousand years old. History says that the Adiyogi (the first yogi) and the Adiguru (the first guru) taught yoga to legendary Saptarishis or seven sages. The seven sages then propagated this art all over the world. The word “Yoga” derives its roots from the Sanskrit word “Yuj”, which means unity. Yoga focuses on uniting your mind, body, and nature. Yoga has proven as a solution for hundreds of illnesses like mental health, weight loss, bone disorder, brain functionality, etc. 

But do you know that yoga can solve your gastric-related health problems?

Ayurveda and Yoga are believed to be sister sciences. If followed together, it can result in a maximum impact on your health positively. According to Ayurveda, all our health issues are due to an imbalance between the three elements or Doshas. When these three Doshas, i.e., Vatta, Pitta, and Kapha, are in balance, you are perfectly healthy. But an imbalance or excess of either of them can have many health issues.

Gastric problems result from impaired digestion. And Ayurveda believes this is because of an imbalance in the Vatta Dosha (air element). Vatta Dosha regulates all our digestive organs. Calming our Vatta helps to get rid of gastric issues. Yoga comes to our rescue.

All types of Yoga focus on correcting these three Doshas. There are Yoga Asanas that calm our Vatta Dosha which cures our gastric problems. These yoga asanas benefit us by integrating proper breathing techniques that affect your gastrointestinal organs. 

#1 Pawanmuktasana

Pawanmuktasana - Yoga for gastric problemsPawanmuktasana - Yoga for gastric problems

Pawanmuktasana, also known as the wind release pose or the gas release pose. 

Pawanmuktasana, as the name suggests, derives itself from two words “Pawan”, meaning wind or gas, and “Mukta”, meaning release or relief. This asana helps by releasing the gas in our stomach. Gas often occurs due to food indigestion. And indigestion causes a lot of problems, more than stomach discomfort like migraine, joint pain, etc.

What are the benefits?

  • It helps in getting rid of the gas formed due to indigestion
  • It works on the muscles of the back, biceps, triceps, and hips

How to do it?

  • First, lie down supine on a mat. Stretch your arms, legs, and take a few breaths. This is the initial pose. The asana is named Savasana
  • Flex your knees so that your legs make a 90° angle with your thighs
  • With an exhale, bring your knees close to your chest
  • Simultaneously raise your head to bring it close to the knees
  • Hold on to this stance for a few seconds and then release
  • Keep the breathing normal while you hold the posture.

#2 Balasana

Balasana - Yoga for gastric problemsBalasana - Yoga for gastric problems

This yoga is also known as Garbhasana and Shashankasana. Balasana means child’s pose, where “Bala” means child, and “asana” means posture. Balasana is often done as end yoga; this yoga focuses on proper breathing techniques. The breathing should be long, thin, slow, and steady. The basic concept is you need to exhale while flexing and inhale while stretching.

What are its benefits?

  • It relieves fatigue, anxiety, and stress
  • Improves digestion
  • It cures back pain

How to do it?

  • Flex your knees and sit down on your heels in a kneeling position or Vajrasana
  • Start with an exhale. Stretch out your hands into the air, perpendicularly at the level of your shoulder
  • Flex at your hips and start bending forward so that your forehead touches the floor
  • Hold on to this for a few seconds with normal breathing, And retreat to the initial pose with an inhale

#3 Paschimottanasana


Paschimottanasana, also known as the seated forward bend pose, is one of the basic asanas done while sitting. And is one of the basic yoga poses. As the name hints, this asana mainly focuses on the mobility of the hip joint by flexing it.

What are the benefits?

  • As the body is stretched forward, there is increased pressure on the digestive organs. This Improves digestion and hence benefits gastric-related health issues
  • It relaxes and calms your whole body. It also reduces stress
  • Exercises the vertebral column and gives it a proper shape. It also aids people with back pain
  • It has proved beneficial for patients with diabetes and liver problems

How to do it?

  • Sit down over a mat, with your legs stretched out
  • With an inhale, raise your arms above your head so that it points out towards the ceiling
  • With an exhale. Bend forwards, flexing at your hips from the lower back. So that your hands close to your feet and chest close to your knees
  • Hold on to this position for a few seconds with normal breathing without lifting the knees or head up and get back to the initial position with an inhale

#4 Supta Matsyendrasana

Supta MatsyendrasanaSupta Matsyendrasana

The word Supta Matsyendrasana has its roots in Sanskrit, where the word “Supta” means to recline, “Matsya” means fish, and “Endra” refers to Lord Indra. Hence, the word “Matsyendrasana” collectively means Lord of the fishes’ pose. This asana is a modified form of Ardha Matsyendrasana, which is done in a sitting position. Supta Matsyendrasa mainly focuses on your spine and abdomen by twisting them. Hence, many people also use the term twisted spine pose to refer to it.

What are the benefits?

  • Improves the flexibility of the spine and gives it a proper shape
  • Reduces the incidence of backache
  • It helps patients with insomnia by relieving body and mind fatigue, and eventually, inducing sleep
  • Improves digestion and cures gastric problems
  • It exercises your internal organs

How to do it?

  • Lie down supine over a mat on your back
  • Stretch out your shoulder laterally to your sides so that they lie in line with your shoulder
  • Start with an exhale. Flex your right knee close to your chest. And cross it over your midline so that your right knee touches the floor on your left
  • Simultaneously, stretch your neck to the opposite side so that your head faces the left
  • Hold on for a few seconds and get back to the initial pose
  • Repeat the same with your opposite legs
  • Inhale, come to the center and exhale, change to the opposite side, and hold with normal breathing

#5 Ananda Balasana

Ananda Balasana - Yoga for gastric related problemsAnanda Balasana - Yoga for gastric related problems

Ananda Balasana is a modified version of Balasana. Also known as the happy baby pose as the name suggests, where “Ananda” means content and “Bala” means baby. Some also refer to it as the dead bug pose, as the asana resembles a happy baby or a dead bug. But the comfortable baby pose is more accepted because of an optimistic approach. Ananda Balasana is often done as warm-up yoga to prepare oneself before doing more intense yoga asanas.

What are the benefits?

  • Stretches the muscles of hips, thighs (like hamstrings), biceps, triceps
  • Improves heart rate
  • Gives a proper shape to your spine and elongates it
  • Benefits patients with lower back pain
  • Improves digestion and cures gastric problems

How to do it?

  • Lie down on your back, supine over a mat
  • With an exhale, bend your knees close to your chest
  • Try holding your feet’ thumb with your respective hands
  • Hold on to this position for a few seconds with normal breathing and let loose
  • Inhale while setting yourself loose to get back to the initial stance

#6 Halasana


Halasana is made up of two Sanskrit words, i.e., “Hala”, meaning plough (a farming tool used widely by farmers in India to prepare the soil before sowing seeds), and “asana”, meaning pose. Hence, this is also referred to as the plough pose. Like the plough is used to dig into the deeper layers of the soil, this yoga also lets you delve deeper into your mind and attain peace. This is challenging yoga, and you might take some time to master it. To master this asana, you first need to master your breathing technique and have good flexibility. 

What are the benefits?

  • Improves flexibility and strengthens muscles of your back, hamstrings, neck, etc
  • This helps in weight loss
  • It also benefits our internal organs like the thyroid, pituitary, pancreas, and many others
  • Improves digestion and cures constipation
  • Also seen benefiting patients with insomnia, diabetes, cough, cold, asthma, headaches, sinusitis, etc

How to do it?

  • Lie down on your back, supine over a mat. Keep your palm flat on the ground
  • With an inhale, press the ground with your palm and raise your legs against gravity
  • Raise your legs and pull them back so that your toes touch the ground behind your head
  • Hold on to this position for a few seconds with normal breathing. Make sure the pressure is not coming on the neck
  • While releasing the pose, press the palms on the ground and slowly roll the back down using the core strength to avoid injuries

Yogas are an organic way of treating your health issues. There are no side effects if you do it properly following professional instructions. But the first thing you should do in case of any health issue is to consult an RMP (Registered Medical Practitioner). Do take your medications regularly and follow your doctor’s instructions. End of the day, spend at least 30 minutes on these measures to heal more effectively and quickly. Stay healthy, Stay safe.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. Is there any contraindication of Pawanmuktasana?

A. Yes, almost all yogas have some contraindications. People who have undergone a recent abdominal surgery should avoid doing this yoga. Also, people with a neck strain, hernia, piles, and pregnant women should not do Pawanmuktasana.

Q. I’m a patient with GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease). Is it okay if I stop taking medicines and do these yogas? Can these yogas cure my condition completely?

A. These yogas are adjuvant therapy. Always consult your doctor before making any changes in your medicines schedule. Especially in GERD, ignorance of medical therapy can lead to a cancerous condition called esophageal adenocarcinoma. Take your medications regularly and do practice these yogas for a better effect.

Q. Sometimes my knee aches while doing Balasana, is there anything I can do?

A. Like most other yogas, even Balasana has some limitations. Those with a knee injury, spondylitis, ankle injury, pregnancy, etc., should refrain from this Yoga pose. You shouldn’t perform this yoga if you’ve any such conditions. But if you don’t belong to these categories and still develop knee pain, you can instead go for its variation seated child’s pose. Here you sit down on a chair instead of kneeling on the ground. You can also keep a towel just below the ankles for the support & separate the knees and then bend forward this will reduce the tension in the knee joints.

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