5 Yoga Poses That Promote Good Gut Health

Updated: Nov 24, 2021

Deep breathing and twisting poses may ease the pain and promote good gut health. You may not know this, but there is a two-way street from your gut to the rest of your body. In fact, your gut is constantly chatting with your brain, bones, and central nervous system. So, it makes sense that having good gut health is essential to your overall health.

plates and bowls of delicious healthy superfoods
Brooke Lark | YOGA.HEALTH™

Your gut does so much more than just digest yesterday’s lunch. It’s the core of wellness and when you put good gut health first, you’ll notice that you’ll sleep better, feel less anxious, and of course you’ll also have a flatter stomach to show off on the beach.

Gut discomfort? Pulling out your mat may ease the pain

Ancient wisdom and modern day studies both show that yoga promotes good gut health. Try for yourself and add a quick flow to your daily routine that focuses on breathing, strengthening, and stretching. It might sound like a lot, but all you need is fifteen minutes a day to promote a better gut environment and a feeling of overall well-being.

Increase Good Gut Bacteria with Parivrtta Trikonasana

stand legs apart, feet perpendicular bending to grab one ankle with other hand in air
Triangle pose | art by YOGA.HEALTH™

Twisting yoga poses have long been known to accelerate the body’s waste removal process. Scientists from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign noticed that 30-60 minutes of regular exercise was enough to alter the gut microbiota and increase the removal of waste and fat within the bodies of lean and obese adults.

According to ancient Ayurveda wisdom, twisting poses gently massage the internal organs such as the intestines, colon and kidneys to encourage toxins to be flushed out. One Medical’s Daniel Dinenberg, MD. said, “Some movements increase peristalsis - the movement of food through the intestines.” Try Parivrtta Trikonasana (revolved triangle pose) to stimulate the movement of toxins trapped in the colon.

Get Stress Relief with Standing Forward Bend

bend forward to touch the floor, keep knees bent but not too much
Uttanasana pose | art by YOGA.HEALTH™

Good gut health means less anxiety and less anxiety means good gut health. That’s because, the gut sends information to your brain about which stress hormones it should produce. In turn those hormones have been shown to alter the bacteria in your gut.

For instance, the stress hormone and neurotransmitter norepinephrine is released into the bloodstream during stressful situations to increase the feeling of alertness. It has also been shown to alter the good bacteria in your gut

Yoga supports deep breathing through the nostrils and relaxing the mind. The National Health Interview Survey showed that 85% of people believed that yoga reduces stress. Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend) releases tension in your shoulders and hamstrings while promoting deep exhalations for a feeling of calmness.

Build Stronger Bones with Virabhadrasana

A healthy gut means better nutrient absorption. Alternatively, inflammation in the gut can inhibit the body’s absorption of calcium, vitamin D, and magnesium, which build healthy bones. Yoga has been shown to improve our body’s ability to send nutrients to our bones by strengthen the muscles through low impact movements.

man performing the yoga pose in front of a water wall
Karthik Thoguluva | YOGA.HEALTH™

Studies at the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons have shown that a 10-minute yoga routine that included the pose Virabhadrasana contributed to bone growth in the spine and hip in patients’ suffering from osteoporosis or osteopenia. Loren Fishman, Medical Director of Manhattan Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in New York City, Author, 'Healing Yoga, said the pose was beneficial because, “The pull of muscle on the bone is the single major factor of bone strength.”