In this Article : Relaxing Your Nervous System, Alleviating Gas, Stimulating Abdominal Organs
Whether you’re simply bloated and gassy after a large meal or have a chronic condition that causes it, bloating can be uncomfortable or even embarrassing. While medications can help ease the symptoms, it also is possible to debloat using yoga. Yoga breathing and poses can help relax your nervous system, alleviate gas, and stimulate your abdominal organs to help improve your digestion and make bloating less uncomfortable and less likely to happen in the future.
Practice breathing deeply. Deep breathing has a relaxing effect on your whole body and also can help stimulate digestive processes to relieve cramps, gas, and bloating. It’s most effective to take some time to get in touch with your breath both before and after you practice yoga.
Come to a comfortable seated position with your back straight, heart over pelvis, shoulder blades melting down along your spine. Relax your face and neck and close your eyes or soften your gaze.
Begin by inhaling deeply through your nose, lifting your chest and expanding your belly to take in as much air as possible.
Pause after your inhale, then exhale slowly through your mouth, making a whispered “”ha”” sound in the back of your throat. With practice, you’ll be able to make this relaxing sound while exhaling through your nose.
Try to clear your mind and focus on your breath. Let your awareness of the sounds around you slowly fade. Stay here for at least 5 minutes. Recognize that your focus may waver, but you’re building your mental muscles as you attempt to focus on your breathing.
Calm your nerves with a seated forward bend. The seated forward bend can help relax your body, which aids with digestion and may help reduce bloating.
Start from a seated position on the floor with your legs extended in front of you. You may want to place a rolled blanket, towel, or bolster under your hips to help keep you in alignment or to cushion your sitting bones.
On an exhale, raise your arms over your head and slowly hinge forward from your hips, keeping your back straight and flat. Lower yourself as far as you comfortably can to your legs.
Ultimately, you may get to the point where you can recline fully with the top of your head resting against your legs and your forearms and palms against the floor. Until then, rest your forearms and torso on a pillow or bolster.
Hold the fold for 5 to 10 deep breaths, then slowly raise your torso to a seated position on an inhale.
Transition between cat and cow. The cat-cow flow stretches and relaxes your spine as well as stretching out your torso. It compresses and expands your abdominal region, which may help stimulate digestion and relieve bloating. This relaxing exercise is done as a vinyasa flow, with a breath for each movement.
Start this pose on all fours, with your knees directly below your hips and your ankles in line with your shoulders. Roll your shoulders back, allowing your shoulder blades to melt back alongside your spine.
As you inhale, arch your back, drawing your navel towards the floor and opening your chest. This is the “”cow”” position.
When you exhale, reverse the movement starting with your tailbone. Drop your tail bone towards the floor and your navel toward your spine, curving your back upward and lowering your head slightly. This is the “”cat”” position.
Repeat this flow for 10 to 15 breath cycles, feeling the stretch in your spine.
Rest in child’s pose. Child’s pose is considered a resting position, and will give you full body relaxation to calm your nervous system and help ease digestive troubles. You may want a block or pillow for your head.
Start by sitting on your knees, legs wide apart and big toes touching. On an exhale, reach forward and fold over your thighs, resting your forehead on the floor and reaching out ahead of you. Keep your hips lowered against your heels. If necessary or desired, use a chair or bolster to support your torso.
If you’re coming from all fours, slowly lower your hips back to your heels on an exhale, reaching forward with your hands as you lower.
Hold this position for at least 5 deep breaths. If it feels good, you can hold this gentle pose as long as you want.
If you have abdominal cramps, adding a twist to child’s pose may help to ease them. Simply walk your hands to the left, hold for 10 to 15 breath cycles, then slowly move back to center and repeat on the other side.
Use downward facing dog to warm yourself up. Downward facing dog engages your whole body to get your circulation flowing, while the inversion can help relax your nervous system and encourage improved digestion.
If you’re moving from child’s pose, rise up to all fours with your legs about hip-width apart and your wrists in line with your shoulders. Your knees should be directly in line with your hips, so you make a tabletop shape.
Tuck your toes slightly under, and on an exhale lift your hips up to the ceiling. Straighten your legs as much as possible, pressing your heels towards the floor. Make sure your neck is not crunched. You can gaze through your legs or toward your navel.
Stay in downward facing dog for 4 or 5 breath cycles, thinking about lifting with each exhale and pressing down with every inhale. You can walk out your heels or knees if desired.
Release spinal tension with a standing forward bend. A standing forward bend may help stimulate digestion and ease bloating, as the intestines are massaged and abdomen compressed in this pose.
Start this position from a standing position, big toes together and heels slightly apart. You also can have your feet about hip-width apart if you find that is easier for you.
On an exhale, fold forward from your hips, engaging your core and maintaining a flat back as long as possible before you fold into yourself. You can bend through your knees first and/or use a chair for support if hinging forward at the hips is difficult for you.
Ideally, you will end with your palms flat on the ground, fingertips in line with your toes. If you aren’t that flexible yet, just fold as far as you comfortably can and rest your palms on a block, chair, or wall, or on your shins or knees.
Hold this fold for 10 breath cycles, then on an inhale slowly rise and return to stand.
Try the ‘Apanasana’ pose. The word “”Apanasana”” means “”wind-relieving”” in Sanskrit, so this may become your go-to pose to debloat using yoga, particularly if you’re feeling gassy. You may want to make sure you have some privacy before you attempt this pose.
Lie on your back with your legs extended. Slowly draw your knees up and into your chest. You can hold your knees with your hands and rock from side to side to give your lower back and spine a good massage.
Lower and extend your left leg, keeping your right knee against your chest. Flex through your left foot, pressing the top of your left thigh towards the ground. Breathe deeply for 10 to 15 breath cycles, then switch legs.
You also can hold this pose with both knees against your chest at the same time.
Do a supine twist. Twists increase circulation to your abdomen, stimulating digestion and encouraging the release of gas to ease bloating. This twist can be done directly from Apanasana, or you can create a flow between the two poses.
On your back with your right knee against your chest as in Apanasana, roll your hips to twist your right knee to the left. You can put your left hand on top of your right knee to deepen the stretch, but don’t force it.
Extend your right arm out to your side from your shoulder and hold the twist for 10 breath cycles. Use props to support your right shoulder if you find it difficult to keep it pinned to the floor. If needed, use a bolster or blanket to support your right knee. Slowly return to center and repeat on the other side.
Use the eagle twist to help your stomach relax. The eagle twist can increase the side-to-side flexibility in your spine, as well as loosening up your stomach and other abdominal organs to ease cramps as well as bloating.
Start by lying on your back with your knees up, feet flat on the floor. Cross your left leg over your right, wrapping your left toes around the back of your right ankle to twist your legs together. Squeeze your knees together toward the midline; it’s okay if you cannot get your toes to wrap around your ankle.
Your arms should be extended out to the sides from your shoulder, with your palms facing up and your elbows at 90-degree angles, so your hands are on either side of your head.
On an exhale, lower both knees to the left slowly. Try to rest them on the floor, but take care to keep your shoulders pressed to the floor. Turn your head to the right.
Hold the twist for at least 10 breath cycles. With every exhale, try to deepen the twist a little more. Feel the stretch in your spine.
When you’re ready, engage your core to lift your knees back to center, then repeat in the opposite direction.
Rest in “”burrito”” pose. While this clearly isn’t a Sanskrit word or traditional yoga pose, the burrito pose is a gentle, calming pose that can help ease gas, cramps, and bloating. It also gives you a chance to relax your whole body.
Roll a blanket or towel into a burrito shape and place it on the floor. Lay down over the roll, with the blanket under your navel. Make sure the roll isn’t so thick that it presses into your ribs or your hip bones.
Lower yourself flat on the floor, placing a block or pillow under your head for support if necessary. Breathe deeply for 10 to 15 breath cycles or even longer, releasing all tension and feeling your body sink into the floor.
Stretch your belly with the seated heart opener. If you’ve had a large meal and are feeling bloated or overly full, the seated heart opener can help ease stomach cramps and give you more room for the food to digest.
Sit on your heels or on the edge of a chair. Lean back, placing your palms behind you with your fingertips pointed away from you. Press into the ground or seat of the chair with all four corners of your palms, arching your back and lifting your chest.
Hold this position for five breath cycles, then slowly return to center and place your hands on your thighs. If you want to deepen the stretch and open your chest further, drop your head back behind you, arching your neck.
Use the bridge pose to aid blood flow. The bridge pose increases blood flow to your abdomen and strengthens your abdominal muscles to ease cramps and aid in digestion. You can make a vinyasa of this pose or you can simply hold it for five breaths, then release.
Start by lying on your back with your arms down your sides and your shoulder blades tucked under and into your back. Your feet should be flat on the floor near your fingertips, knees bent. Engage your core and tuck your pelvis under to press your lower back to the mat.
On an inhale, press down through your feet and use your quads and glutes to lift your hips up. Press your knees toward the back of the mat and your chest up toward the front of the mat. Make sure your neck is soft and not crunched. On an exhale, slowly lower your hips to the floor.
If you need additional support, place a block or other prop beneath your sacrum. You also can alternate hips to better stimulate and massage your digestive system.
Twist and bend with open triangle pose. The twisting and bending detoxifies and stimulates your intestinal tract to help alleviate bloating. If you’re not as flexible, you may need to use a yoga block or other prop to maintain proper alignment in this pose.
Come to a stand and walk or jump your feet wide apart. Turn your right toes out to the right and straighten your right leg. Your left leg should remain facing forward. You may even want to turn your left foot inward so you’re a little pigeon-toed, for some extra stability.
On an exhale, extend your right arm out as far as you can. Hold it there, then rotate your arms. Take care to keep your back neutral and in line with your pelvis, rather than folding forward. You can rest your right hand on the floor, or on a block or your shin.
Lift your left arm up towards the ceiling, forming a straight line from the tips of your right fingers to the tips of your left fingers. Stay in this position for 5 breath cycles, rolling open through the left side of the body and extending through the crown with every inhale and deepening the twist with every exhale. Keep your neck long and soft.
On an inhale, slowly lift back to center and repeat on the other side.
Engage your abdominal muscles with bow pose. The bow pose will stretch your torso as well as strengthening your abdominal muscles to massage your intestinal organs and help you debloat. Do not do this pose if you cannot breathe through it.
Start this pose lying on your belly. Bend your knees and reach back to grab each of your ankles, making sure your knees aren’t wider than hip-width apart. Press your feet back toward your hands to lift your torso off the floor. The arch point should be your navel, not your pelvis. Curve your back and open your chest.
Hold this pose for 5 smooth, deep breaths if you can. If your breath is shaky or you find yourself holding your breath, allow yourself to recline back to your belly.
Create a flow with down dog, up dog, and bow pose. These 3 poses combined together with a breath for each movement will really get the blood flowing to your abdomen and massage your abdominal organs to get your digestion moving.
Start on all fours with your knees hip-width apart and your hands directly below your shoulders. On an exhale, lift your hips toward the ceiling and press up into downward facing dog.
As you inhale, lower back down to all fours and pull forward, lifting and opening your chest for a full breath so you are in upward facing dog.
As you exhale, move into bow pose. Bend your knees and lift your chest, reaching backward to grab your ankles. Press your shoulder blades down your back along your spine, keeping your shoulders back and flat, your neck long and smooth.
Lower yourself slowly to the floor as you inhale and return to all fours. Exhale and lift into downward facing dog to repeat the flow. Try to repeat it 4 or 5 times.