Ulcerative Colitis
25 Case Studies
23 Member Stories
17 Research

How can Yoga help Ulcerative Colitis?

Yoga for Ulcerative Colitis

Yoga might have some health benefits that include not just physical conditioning but also stress reduction. Some yoga poses target specific areas of the body, including the digestive tract. Living with a chronic illness like IBD is associated with a certain amount of anxiety. IBD has been linked to anxiety disorders and depression. For all these reasons, yoga has been studied as a complementary treatment for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. 

Some extra-intestinal manifestations of UC, like joint pain, can be addressed through yoga. One study revealed that individuals with ulcerative colitis, who started yoga experienced less joint pain. Another frequent problem for folks that live with UC or other digestive ailments is stomach bloating or trapped gas. Most importantly, some poses, the end relieving pose that is accomplished by lying on one's back and bringing one knee to the chest, could be employed to assist with specific digestive troubles. A qualified yoga instructor can guide gut-friendly poses to a yoga routine.

See: Ayurvedic Treatment For Ulcerative Colitis

Beginner Yoga asanas for Ulcerative Colitis

Getting Started With Yoga for Ulcerative Colitis

There are numerous kinds of yoga, and choosing the perfect type, and an instructor will be an individual choice. Yoga can be done at home, which can be beneficial for those who have IBD that aren't able to head out to a course, but it is usually advised that novices first take some sessions with an instructor. An experienced instructor can help in establishing the fundamentals of yoga and learning how to perform poses correctly and efficiently.

Starting any new action brings a certain amount of anxiety, but beginning with a beginners' course should help get more comfortable with yoga. Yoga studios will often have all of the equipment that may be needed, but many people choose to buy their yoga mat, especially if planning on practicing at home. 

Yoga studios are a fantastic place to take courses with teachers who are experienced in helping beginners. It is very likely that for men and women who already belong to a gym, you will find yoga classes being taught there. Recreation facilities, senior centers, community centers, and libraries may also have yoga classes available.

There are various kinds of yoga, and specific styles might not be perfect for individuals with ulcerative colitis.

If you are experiencing some IBD-related symptoms, it is better to keep away from more strenuous types of yoga, such as power and Vinyasa yoga. And because many individuals with nausea also experience dehydration, you need to avoid all types of hot yoga. The safest bet, especially for beginners, is Hatha yoga, a comparatively mild form of yoga that incorporates physical postures and breathing exercises. Shoes comprise lunges and forward and backward bends, in addition to traditional, perhaps more familiar yoga poses, like "warrior" and "tree pose."

Iyengar yoga, a particular type of Hatha, which emphasizes movement and alignment, may benefit individuals with gastrointestinal problems, but more study is necessary. In Iyengar yoga, poses are held for extended periods, and props, such as straps, blocks, and blankets, are usually implemented during the course. These props can help students perform the poses correctly and minimize the possibility of injury.

In case you have ulcerative colitis and would like to try yoga, talk with your physician. If you are in remission, begin with a minimal yoga practice.

See: Yoga For Digestion & Gut Health

Yoga asanas for Ulcerative Colitis

Yoga asanas for Ulcerative Colitis

When the acute stage of the disorder is overcome, yoga practice can be practiced regularly to control and prevent additional issues. Regular practice of yoga will help to decrease tension and anxiety, improves the breathing process, gives comfort to your body. Some good yoga poses together with the Pranayama that helps to stretch and tone the muscles of the gut. These muscles support the lining of the digestive organs and also help to avoid stomach cramps.

- Seated Forward Bend Pose (Paschimottanasana)

This pose helps to increase appetite aids in the digestive process. Additionally, it lowers stress, anxiety, and stimulates your abdominal muscles. 

- Downward Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

This pose improves the circulation of blood and oxygen and eliminates fatigue and stress. Moreover, in addition, it stimulates abdominal organs and so improves digestion. 

- Kapalbhati Pranayama

This Pranayama helps to Stimulate abdominal muscles and cure diarrhea and constipation ailments. Additionally, it improves blood flow and oxygen supply to your system. 

- Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana)

This pose helps to increase digestion, metabolism, and calms your mind. 

- Half Seated Spinal Twist Pose (Ardha Matsyendrasana)

This pose helps to detoxify the internal organs and increases blood circulation. Additionally, it helps to calm the nervous system and tones abdomen. 

- Cat-Cow Pose (Marjariasana-Bitiliasana)

This pose helps to stimulate the abdominal muscles and improves digestion. Releases stress, anxiety, depression, and calm your mind. 

- Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)

As the adrenal glands are detoxified, you produce positive ideas. Depression, stress, and anxiety will decrease as you get upside down and smile will come to your face. 

- Headstand (Sirsasana)

In this posture, because the blood flows into the brain, it calms the nervous system, enhances concentration and memory, and releases stress. 

- Wind Relieving Pose (Pawanmuktasana)

This pose helps to massage the abdominal muscles, intestines, and internal organs of the digestive tract. Releases the trapped gases, improves digestion and alleviates constipation, acidity, and bloating issues. 

- Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)

This pose helps to enhance the intestine issues and successful in diabetes. Furthermore, it improves blood circulation and relieves tension and anxiety. 

See: Laughter Yoga or Hasya Yoga Health Benefits

Studies in Yoga for Ulcerative Colitis

What does the research say on yoga for Ulcerative Colitis?

Living with ulcerative colitis (UC) can be extremely stressful. Handling the flare-ups and daily fatigue that have the autoimmune disorder can zap your energy and leave you feeling tired. Research shows that yoga, a mind-body technique that incorporates physical postures, breath control, and meditation to promote health and comfort, may help reduce stress, anxiety, and pain. It may also enhance the quality of life for individuals with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) such as ulcerative colitis.

- One study was performed on 100 individuals with IBD, 60 of whom were diagnosed with ulcerative colitis and 40 who had been diagnosed with Crohn's disease. The writers were looking at how stress and anxiety may be reduced by practicing yoga. Specific forms of arthritis and joint pains are additional extra-intestinal manifestations of IBD. After eight weeks, fewer patients with ulcerative colitis reported they had pain in their joints. Stress levels in patients with ulcerative colitis were also diminished. The researchers noted that patients in the control group, which didn't participate in any yoga within the eight weeks, reported more pain.

- A research study on 77 people with ulcerative colitis was done to find out whether yoga was safe and effective for those who have ulcerative colitis. The majority of the patients in this study (75%) were girls.

For 12 weeks, half of those patients went into a weekly, 90-minute yoga session. Researchers found that the group practicing yoga reported that their quality of life was enhanced compared to the group that obtained composed self-care materials.

- Another research study was done on nine teenagers who had IBD. In a review published in April 2017 from the journal Children, researchers discovered several studies demonstrating that yoga significantly improved gastrointestinal disorders and quality of life for pediatric and adolescent patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The researchers wanted to determine how practicing yoga often fit into people's lives and how well patients received it.   Patients reported that their anxiety has been reduced and that it was easier to comprehend and handle IBD symptoms. Researchers study using mind-body interventions, including yoga, on children living with inflammatory bowel disease. Many patients who have IBD have IBS overlay, and it is known that yoga works for IBS. The authors concluded that yoga might be an excellent complementary treatment for adolescents with IBD but that more extensive studies are required to learn if it has any effect on disease activity.

See: Triangle Pose in Yoga - Trikona Asana for Digestion & Anxiety

Precautions & risks

Before beginning a new exercise program, it is essential to speak with a gastroenterologist and other doctors. While it's true that exercise is usually a part of a wholesome lifestyle, at particular points in the IBD journey, it could be necessary to prevent certain types of actions. Additionally, it is crucial to understand that while yoga may have some advantages, it is not thought of as a treatment for IBD, and a physician should be consulted prior to making any changes to an IBD management program. In light of the findings, yoga seems to be a valuable activity for most people with IBD.

See: Ulcerative Colitis is Healed for a 26 Year Old with Ayurveda and Yoga


Yoga may be a kind of exercise that could influence the quality of life for those who have IBD and ulcerative colitis. Research showed that individuals with IBD could incorporate yoga into their way of life and participate both at home and in in-person classes. There were few cases of adverse events in the study that's been done so far, and research writers generally concluded that the practice of yoga was safe for those who have ulcerative colitis.

See: Acupuncture for Ulcerative Colitis


1. Kizhakkeveettil A, Whedon J, Schmalzl L, Hurwitz EL. Yoga for Quality of Life in Individuals With Chronic Disease: A Systematic Review. Altern Ther Health Med. 2019 Jan;25(1):36-43. 

2. Sharma P, Poojary G, Dwivedi SN, Deepak KK. Effect of Yoga-Based Intervention in Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Int J Yoga Therap.2015;25(1):101-112. DOI:10.17761/1531-2054-25.1.101

3. Arruda JM, Bogetz AL, Vellanki S, Wren A, Yeh AM. Yoga as an adjunct therapy for adolescents with inflammatory bowel disease: A pilot clinical trial. Complement Ther Med. 2018;41:99-104. DOI:10.1016/j.ctim.2018.09.007

4. Cramer H, Schäfer M, Schöls M, et al. Randomised clinical trial: yoga vs written self-care advice for ulcerative colitis. Aliment Pharmacol Ther.2017;45(11):1379-1389. DOI:10.1111/apt.14062

See: Pranayama breathing exercises & poses

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