Yoga Asanas To Help With Digestion And Appetite

Yoga is often considered a holistic exercise, because each of the asanas work on different parts of the body. Indeed, there are exercises that help with digestion and appetite. Whether it is constipation you suffer from, or flatulence, or even indigestion and lack of appetite, yoga has an asana for it.

Traditionally, Ayurveda believes that agni, or fire, is the driving force of digestion.1 Asanas for digestion aim to increase the ‘fire’ in the belly, figuratively, so as to help with smoother digestion and an increase in appetite. Here are some asanas you can practice.

1. Naukasana For Insulin Secretion

An Insulin Regulator

The boat pose, as any Yoga guru will tell you, is very taxing on the abdominal muscles. Internally, this pose stimulates the pancreas to secrete more insulin.2. As we know, insulin has a role to play in regulating blood sugar, which in turn regulated metabolism. Metabolism is responsible for everything in our body, digestion included.

2. Paschimottanasana For Better Intestinal Movement

A Pose For Better Bowel Movement

Food waste can stay in your intestines, most commonly because of constipation. Sometimes, you may just not get the right combination of fiber and water to help pass stool easily which in this case, paschimottanasana can help. The seated forward bend entails touching your head as close to the knees as possible, while you bend from the lower back. This asana can help food waste move easily through the bowels.3

3. Trikonasana For Acidity

Acidity Regulator

Those with a pitta (fire) composition often suffer from upper gastrointestinal issues such as reflux and

acidity. Trikonasana or the triangle pose causes the diaphragm and esophagus to be moved slightly upwards, this relieving symptoms of reflux and acidity. They also help cool the heal in the solar plexus. Both trikonasana and parivarta trikonasana (revolved triangle) poses have the same effect.4

4. Pawanmuktasana For Flatulence

The 'Wind' Relief Pose

When the name itself means ‘wind liberating pose’, what doubt can there be about its application? When done correctly by pressing the folded legs against the stomach, and loosening the muscles of the pelvis, it can help release flatulence to a great degree. Pawanmuktasana also has a host of other benefits such as stimulating the digestive system and strengthening abdominal muscles.5

5. Matsyasana For Increased Liver Function

Posing For Better Liver Function


There is some reason to believe that a person’s appetite depends on how well their liver performs. Matsyasana or the fish pose helps increase appetite. In this pose, the liver and spleen are gently massaged, stimulating bile secretion.6 This is a slightly complex pose, and is best when done under supervision.

6. Bhastrika Pranayama For Improved Digestive Health

Overall Digestion Function

Bhastrika pranayama is the practice of taking a deep breath and exhaling the air by force. It helps stimulate blood circulation to all parts of the body. Bhastrika pranayama helps improve overall digestive health, as well as helps with blood purification and detoxification. Since most toxins in our body come from what we put in it, bhastrika can make a good accompaniment to asana practice.7

Remember, yoga is not just one asana over

another. It is an integrated practice. Some of these asanas offer maximum benefit when done one after another in a certain sequence. This is why it is important to learn from a good yoga instructor.