When you experience digestive issues, you might try pretty much anything for relief – whether it’s a specific diet, cutting down on dairy or maybe taking some probiotics. There are a lot of ways you can work to ease discomfort and get things moving more regularly. Exercise, for example, can offer a lot of relief; in fact, a 2015 peer-reviewed study in the journal Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine even found that yoga can help people manage the primary and secondary symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Big Toe Pose II (padangustasana)
“This posture is geared toward regulating the kidney meridian,” Monal says. “The kidneys are a vital organ for containing and filtering blood, and when regulated properly contribute to our overall energy levels.” We sure like the sound of that.
Monal adds that you can try this pose standing, or lying down. If you lie down while you do it, Monal suggests you “place a blanket, bolster or block beneath the lifted leg to support the lengthening of the inner leg from the inner arch of the foot, to the inner knee, to the inner groin.” She adds: “Your inhales and exhales should be sent toward the location of your kidneys in the lower back region, just below the diaphragm.”
Supported Headstand (Salamba Sirsasana A)
Monal recommends trying inversions, such as a headstand, for gut relief. She says they provide an “anti-gravity effect” to your organs and surrounding tissues, which can offer “physiological support and benefits for one’s visceral organs.” (The visceral organs are the body’s soft organs, such as the heart, lungs, and liver. Most visceral organs are housed within the body’s core – that is, the chest and abdomen.)