If you’ve ever suffered from a bad bout of acid reflux, you are already well aware of how horrid that searing pain of acid traveling back up the esophagus and into your mouth feels like! The burning sensation in your chest, nausea and an acrid acidic taste can make anyone reach for a quick-relief antacid. But why not try a holistic approach that will offer a permanent solution to acid reflux? We’re talking about yoga for acid reflux!
Yoga is an ancient practice that brings about a sense of balance and helps to strengthen and tone muscles, while at the same time alleviating tension and stress. Some yoga poses do a fabulous job of gently massaging abdominal organs to boost the digestive system and also improving blood flow. Regularly practicing these yoga poses strengthens the digestive system and the improved blood circulation increases the supply of oxygen and better nutrient absorption. Yoga, along with a healthy diet and lifestyle modifications, is effective at keeping GERD at bay.
Studies have shown that acid reflux sufferers identify stress as a major contributor to their reflux symptoms. According to a study published in the International Journal of Yoga, practicing yoga, when coupled with acid reflux medication, is helpful in controlling and/or alleviation of symptoms related to digestive diseases, such as acid reflux. The study explored the relationship between yoga and stress and found that yoga works wonders because it may help lower the body’s stress response. Physiological changes in this relaxation response include simultaneous lowering of heart rate, blood pressure, and respiratory rate. All of these changes are signs of reduced physiological stress.
Yoga alleviates symptoms of stress, and certain poses are especially helpful for GERD. Yoga for acid reflux focuses on relieving tension in the neck and spine, improve breathing, and balancing the body. These gentle poses work on the muscles of the abdomen to boost blood flow and aid in digestion.
Forms of Pranayama (a practice of controlling breath) can also ease the symptoms of severe GERD.
Here’s a look at some yoga poses that are effective at keeping acid reflux at bay.
Also known as the Plough Pose, Halasana improves flexibility, strengthens the spine as well as abdominal muscles. It’s also effective in relieving stress in the shoulders and back muscles.
Lie on your back in Shavasana (Corpse Pose) with your legs joined together and arms on the side. Breathing normally, press your palms on ground and raise both the legs upwards straight, then bend them backwards to touch the ground just behind. Hold the pose for 1 minute. Release slowly and return to Shavasana. Repeat 3 to 5 times.
Also known as the Camel Pose, Ushtra asana helps improve digestion by stimulating the abdominal organs. It improves flexibility in chest, abdomen and neck and boosts blood flow to the pelvic region.
Sit on your knees and bend backwards. Hold the right ankle/heel with the right hand, and the left ankle/heel with left hand. Bending your neck and head backwards as much as you can, push the waist out to form a ‘D’ with your body. Hold the pose for 15 seconds, breathing normally. Repeat 3 to 5 times.
Also known as the Diamond Pose, Vajrasana is a simple asana which can be practiced after eating a meal to boost digestion. It’s also the best pose for practicing Pranayama and meditation. Calms the mind and brings relief from constipation, acid reflux, and stomach ailments.
Sit on the flat floor and fold your legs to tuck your feet underneath the hip. Keep your spine straight and close your eyes. Place your palms on your knees, and breathe normally. Hold the pose for 5 minutes.
Also known as Wind Removing Pose, Pawana muktasana helps cure flatulence and poor digestion. It stimulates bowel movement by gently massaging the abdominal organs, resulting in relief from all gastrointestinal problems, including acid reflux.
Lie flat on your back with your legs straight. Inhale slowly; bend in the knees to bring them upwards to the chest with your thighs touching the stomach. Tightly hug your knees and lock your fingers. Raise your head to touch the knee with your nose tip. Hold this position for 20-30 seconds. Repeat 3 to 5 times.
Also known as Cat Stretch Pose, Marjariasana offers a complete stretch for the core to benefit the spine and abdomen. This asana boosts blood circulation and massages digestive organs to bring relief from acid reflux.
Start in table-top position where you’re on all four. Inhale, look up, and raise your hips up towards the roof and push your stomach towards the ground. Hold for a few seconds. Then exhale, drop your chin to your chest as you arch your back and relax your buttocks. Hold for few seconds. Repeat 5 times.
Also known as Warrior II pose, Virabhadrasana II is a powerful yoga pose for acid reflux relief. It strengthens the digestive system, ensures proper functioning of digestive organs and can give relief from most stomach-related problems.
Stand straight with your legs hip-distance apart and arms on your sides. Spread your legs wide apart. Turn your right foot outwards and push out the right knee, and make a 45-degree angle with your left leg. Keep your body centered and bring your arms parallel to the floor, stretched wide apart. Hold for a few seconds. Repeat on other side.
Also known as Half Spinal Twist Pose, Ardha Matsyendrasana flushes out toxins from the digestive system and increases blood circulation. This pose oxygenates your digestive system and reduces reflux symptoms.
Sit straight with your legs stretched out. Bend the left leg, with left foot touching the right hip. Now, place the right foot next to the left knee by taking it over the knee, resembling a half ‘A’. Twist your waist, neck, and shoulders towards the right, and look over your right shoulder. Hold the pose for a few seconds. Repeat on the other side.
Also known as the Child’s Pose, Balasana is a restorative pose that relaxes the body to ease out tension. This asana massages and strengthens abdominal organs and is also good to bring instant relief from reflux symptoms.
Start in Vajrasana. Inhale, bend forward and lay your torso between your thighs as you exhale. Settle down on the inner thighs, stretch your arms forward and touch the floor by your forehead. Close your eyes and focus on your breath. Hold the pose for as long as you can.
Can yoga be used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease? – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3734640/
Lifestyle Factors and Efficacy of Lifestyle Interventions in Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease Patients with Functional Dyspepsia: Primary Care Perspectives from the LEGEND Study – https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/internalmedicine/54/7/54_54.3056/_pdf
The Relationship between Stress and Symptoms of Gastroesophageal Reflux: The Influence of Psychological Factors – http://web.b.ebscohost.com/abstract?direct=true&profile=ehost&scope=site&authtype=crawler&jrnl=00029270&AN=16008678&h=pUOj7E5k%2fjzqPkNE0maEStMV5ZVSveoThyZipWObZwWBN9KbmQNzWbgBpvCzSgG1cFe7s5QwGdjy5bDon246lg%3d%3d&crl=c&resultNs=AdminWebAuth&resultLocal=ErrCrlNotAuth&crlhashurl=login.aspx%3fdirect%3dtrue%26profile%3dehost%26scope%3dsite%26authtype%3dcrawler%26jrnl%3d00029270%26AN%3d16008678