Feel More Confident When You Have IBS with These 8 Yoga Postures

How to Feel More Confident When You Have IBS with These 8 Yoga Poses

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) may be more common than you think. In fact, receiving a diagnosis of IBS happens to 1 in 4 Americans. What is exactly is it? IBS is blanket term for a wide array of uncomfortable and sometimes painful issues including: constipation, diarrhea, reflux, food intolerances, abdominal pain, bloating, cramping, gas, fatigue, difficulty sleeping and more. When an IBS flare up occurs, you not only feel uncomfortable, but your confidence may be down too. 

While there is no “cure” for IBS given the broad array or isolated issues that come with each individual’s diagnosis, which often is never addressed by medical professionals, there are some yoga postures to help ease a few of your IBS symptoms - particularly bloating and gas.

Additionally, IBS can be triggered by high levels of stress. Practicing yoga, coupled with intentional breathing, can help calm you mind, and reduce stress or anxiety. The relaxing nature of a yoga practice sends a signal to your body and mind that it is time to slow down, which calms your nervous system. 

To feel more confident when you are suffering from an IBS flare up, try these 8 yoga postures. 

1. Cobra Pose

Cobra Pose

Step-by-step instructions according to Yoga Journal: 

1. Lie prone on the floor. Stretch your legs back, tops of the feet on the floor. Spread your hands on the floor under your shoulders. Hug the elbows back into your body.
2. Press the tops of the feet and thighs and the pubis firmly into the floor.
3. On an inhalation, begin to straighten the arms to lift the chest off the floor, going only to the height at which you can maintain a connection through your pubis to your legs. Press the tailbone toward the pubis and lift the pubis toward the navel. Narrow the hip points. Firm but don’t harden the buttocks.
4. Firm the shoulder blades against the back, puffing the side ribs forward. Lift through the top of the sternum but avoid pushing the front ribs forward, which only hardens the lower back. Distribute the backbend evenly throughout the entire spine.
5. Hold the pose anywhere from 15 to 30 seconds, breathing easily. Release back to the floor with an exhalation.

How Cobra Pose helps with IBS: 

Cobra tones your abdomen, aids in relieving stress and fatigue, improves your blood circulation, and stimulates the organs around your midline - boosting your energy levels. 

2. Downward Facing Dog

Downward Facing Dog

Step-by-step instructions according to Yoga Journal:

  1. Set up on all fours with your hands about 3 inches ahead of your shoulders and shoulder-width apart.
  2. Align your wrist creases so they are parallel to the front edge of the mat, then root down evenly through the whole of each hand.
  3. Press down firmly with your fingertips to pull your forearms toward the front of the room. Keep your knuckles grounded as you do this.
  4.  Spin your biceps forward while firming your triceps into your midline.
  5. Roll your inner upper arms toward the wall in front of you while engaging your outer upper arms.
  6. Inhale, and tuck your toes under; exhale, and press your hips back and up.
  7. Glance back at your feet to make sure they are hip-width apart and parallel.
  8. Let your head hang freely so there is no tension in the neck; bring your gaze toward your feet.
  9. Allow your shoulder blades to spin out and up, away from your spine and toward your outer armpits (upward rotation) in order to maintain the articulation of the bones of your shoulder and spaciousness at the base of your neck.
  10. Maintain the hand and arm actions from all fours to open your shoulders without overstretching or sinking through the armpits.

How Downward Facing Dog helps with IBS: 

This posture helps to give you energy throughout your body. Enjoy pine lengthening and toning and engagement of the abdominal muscles. Note: if one of your IBS symptoms is diarrhea, you can skip this pose.

3. Floor Bow Pose

Floor Bow PoseStep-by-step instructions according to Very Well Fit:

  1. Lie flat on your stomach. Keep your chin on the mat and your hands at your sides. Your hands should be palm up.
  2. Exhale while you bend your knees. Bring your heels as close as you can to your buttocks. Your knees should be hip-width apart.
  3. Lift your hands and take hold of your ankles. Be sure to grab the ankle and not the top part of the feet. Your fingers should wrap around the ankles, but your thumb does not. Keep your toes pointed.
  4. Inhale and lift the heels away from the buttocks, keeping a hold of your ankles. Simultaneously, lift your head, chest, and thighs away from the mat. As you lift, rotate your shoulders safely and comfortably. At this point, only your core should touch the mat, while the rest of your body is lifted towards the ceiling.
  5. Draw your tailbone into the mat to deepen the stretch. You should feel the stretch in your back as the weight and balance shifts to your core. Your chest and shoulders should feel open.
  6. Look straight ahead and hold the pose for about 15 seconds while you focus on stretching, breathing, and balancing.
  7. Exhale and release the pose. Lower your head, chest, thighs, and feet back towards the mat. Let go of your ankles and return to your hands to your side. Relax for a few seconds and repeat the pose as needed or continue to your next pose.

    How Floor Bow Pose helps with IBS: 

    This posture stretches and strengthens your abdominal muscles and core. This pose helps promote digestion and you can even feel relieved of constipation.

    4. Gate Pose

    Gates Pose

    Step-by-step instructions according to Very Well Fit:

    1. Come into an upright kneeling position with your thighs perpendicular to the floor and your hips over the knees. Place a blanket under your knees if they are sensitive.
    2. Straighten your right leg as you extend it out to the right side, keeping the knee and ankle in line with your right hip.
    3. Turn your right toes forward so that the right foot is parallel to the side of your mat.
    4. Inhale and reach your left arm up next to your left ear.
    5. Exhale and lean your torso to the right, stretching the left arm over your head. Let your right arm come down and rest on your right leg.
    6. Bring your gaze up under your extended left arm.
    7. Stay for several breaths, extending your spine on your inhales and deepening the side stretch on your exhales.
    8. Bring your torso upright and return your right knee next to the left one.

      How Gate Pose helps with IBS: 

      This pose improves circulation to the abdominal organs which can ultimately improve your digestion.  


      5. Bridge Pose or Supported Bridge

      Bridge Post Step-by-step instructions according to Very Well Fit: 

      1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and the soles of your feet flat on the floor.
      2. Extend your arms on the floor with your fingers reaching toward your heels. You should be able to just barely touch the backs of your heels with your fingertips.
      3. Keep your feet parallel. Maintain that position throughout the pose.
      4. Press down into the soles of your feet to lift your hips off the floor.
      5. Slide your yoga block under your back directly under your sacrum, letting it rest securely on the bolster. Your arms can stay outstretched on the floor next to your body.
      6. This should be a comfortable position. You may want to stay here several minutes as your body settles into the stretch and gets the benefits of a passive backbend. If the pose causes your back to hurt, remove the block and come down.
      7. To come out, press down into your feet and lift your hips again. Slide the block out from under your sacrum and gently lower your back to the floor.

      How Bridge Pose helps with IBS: 

      Bridge is restorative with your neck being lower than the heart. This suppresses  promotes the parasympathetic nervous system, giving you a greater sense of calmness - relieving you from stress. 


      6. Half Spinal Twist

      Half Spinal Twist Step-by-step instructions according to Yoga15:

      1. Sit up straight with both legs out in front of you.
      2. Cross your right foot to the outside of your left thigh and bring your left foot back beside your right hip. Place your right fingertips behind you and hug your left knee into your chest. Inhale, sit up tall. Exhale, twist to the right from the base of your spine.
      3. To increase the intensity of the pose, bring your left elbow to outside of your right knee. Inhale, lengthen your spine. Exhale, twist a little deeper.
      4. Hold the pose for 3 breaths on each side.

      How Half Spinal Twist helps with IBS: 

      If you're suffering from diarrhea, this pose helps calm your nerves, relaxes you and helps to promote digestion.


      7. Legs Up The Wall

      Legs Up the Wall Step-by-step instructions according to Heathline: 

      1. Sit with your right side against the wall, with bent knees and your feet drawn in toward your hips.
      2. Swing your legs up against the wall as you turn to lie flat on your back.
      3. Place your hips against the wall or slightly away.
      4. Place your arms in any comfortable position.
      5. Stay in this position for up to 20 minutes.
      6. To release the pose, gently push yourself away from the wall.
      7. Relax on your back for a few moments.
      8. Draw your knees into your chest and roll onto your right side.
      9. Rest for a few moments before slowly moving into an upright position.

      How Legs Up The Wall helps with IBS: 

      This gentle inversion can help release gas and ease any abdominal discomfort. This pose also helps promote Lymphatic drainage - the movement of lymph fluids around your body for natural cleansing. 


      8. Supine Twist

      Supine Twist Step-by-step instructions according to Yoga Basics: 

      1. Lying on your back, bring your arms out to the sides with the palms facing down in a T position. Bend the right knee and place the right foot on the left knee.
      2. Exhale drop the right knee over to the left side of your body, twisting the spine and low back. Look at the right finger tips.
      3. Keep the shoulders flat to the floor, close the eyes, and relax into the posture. Let gravity pull the knee down, so you do not have to use any effort in this posture.
      4. Breathe and hold for 6-10 breaths.
      5. To release: inhale and roll the hips back to the floor, and exhale the leg back down to the floor.
      6. Repeat on other side.

      How Supine Twist helps with IBS: 

      If you're feeling gassy or bloated, this pose helps relieve gas from the body and helps ease indigestion. 

       

      To Wrap It Up

      IBS is all too common and if you're suffering, know that you are not alone. In addition to these relieving yoga postures, you can also take your Confidence digestive enzymes to help you get back control.