Easy Yoga Poses to Manage Chronic Kidney Disease CKD

Table of Contents

How This Helps

Yoga may boost immunity

If you have chronic kidney disease (CKD) and want other choices of exercise, yoga might be worth another look. Yoga can help strengthen your immune system and help relieve stress that’s quite beneficial for those who are fighting a disease. Yoga is one way to help support the kidneys. Yoga is helpful in managing chronic kidney disease by detoxifying the body and relieving back pain from kidney dysfunction. Yoga also helps reduce stress hormones in the body that lead to hypertension, inflammation, and increased heart rate, which aggravate the condition of patients with chronic kidney disease.
Here are some additional reasons why yoga helps kidney health:
• The most common functions of the kidneys are, filtering toxins and wastes from the blood, regulating the fluids within the body, and producing hormones that regulate blood pressure. It improves the function of the kidney, and may improve the quality of life for those with kidney disease, while reducing the risk of kidney cancer.[1]
• Yoga combines both physical and spiritual elements which helps restores the body and revitalizes the mind.
• Being cautious with yoga is wise. Even though it’s known that yoga is good for kidney disease that does not mean it is suitable for everyone.
Yoga poses stimulate and massage various organs that help bring the body to an optimal condition. Start off with simple yoga poses to guarantee the health of your kidneys. These poses affect other areas of the body as well.  Yoga asanas are also known to increase relaxation. They also assist in managing water retention in your system. This enables sound sleep schedules and better rest. A well-rested body is better able to perform functions such as regulation of water in the body and strengthening the pulse.
Yoga keeps the inner organs healthy, balances the different systems in the entire body, and effectively controls the stress of their human body and mind. Some of the Yoga asanas and pranayamas facilitate internal cleansing rituals that guarantee the flushing out of toxins in the body. This also ensures that blood flows to various parts of the body, keeping it fresh and energetic.

See: Yoga For Diabetes Type 2


Yoga asanas for kidney health

These yoga asanas are helpful in stimulating and massaging your kidney region.

1. Supported matseyasana: (fish pose)  (sit on the floor and roll up a blanket into a long, skinny roll. Place the blanket under the tips of your scapulae horizontally (the mid back at the level of the bra line). Lie down on the blanket either with your head on the floor or supported by a block or pillow. Extend your legs out and breathe slowly and deeply, relaxing completely.

Practice matsyasana for 10 minutes daily before bed

2. Jathara paritvartanasana:  (Belly Twist pose) Lying on your back, hug your knees into your chest and rock side to side, giving your back a gentle massage. Let the knees rock all the way to the floor on the left. Reach your right arm out to the side, resting it here and gaze to the right. Relax into this gentle spinal twist. Switch sides after 10 breaths.

Practice jathara parivartanasana for 10 breaths on each side daily before bed

3. Ardha Matsyendrasana (Sitting Half Spinal Twist)

The Sitting half spinal twist stimulates the liver and kidneys. Additionally, it boosts the body’s resistance level.

4. Salamba Bhujangasana (Sphinx Pose)

The sphinx pose stretches and strengthens the abdominal organs. Additionally, it increases the resistance level of the human body.

5. Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)

The Cobra pose also stimulates the abdominal muscles and alleviates the body of tension and fatigue. Additionally it is proven to boost immunity.

6. Paschimottanasana (Two-Legged Forward Bend)

The Two-legged forward bend stimulates the kidney, improves digestion, and relieves one of menstrual distress.

7. Naukasana (Boat Pose)

The boat pose strengthens and stimulates the abdominal organs. Additionally, it helps enhance digestion and alleviates stress.

8. Setu Bandhasana (Bridge Pose)

The Bridge pose stimulates the abdominal organs. It also helps bring high blood Pressure in check and relieves the body of anxiety.

See: Yoga For Erectile Dysfunction & Sexual Health


If deep twisting causes extra pain to the kidneys, support the knees with a blanket or block to ease the twist. If the blanket position is uncomfortable in supported matseyasana, place it vertical under the spine or make a looser, softer roll for improved comfort.  Be sure that any yoga practice implemented for chronic kidney disease is gentle and does not activate the stress response in the body.

See: Yoga For GERD

Science and Research

Yoga research in CKD

Scientific clinical research has shown that yoga is helpful in reducing painful symptoms of chronic kidney disease, and can be used as an effective adjunct in prevention and management of chronic kidney disease.

1. In a 2017 study aimed to study the effect of 6 months yoga program in patients suffering from chronic kidney disease (CKD), researchers concluded six months yoga program is safe and effective as an adjuvant therapy in improving renal functions and quality of life of CKD patients. [1]

In a yoga group of 54 People with CKD, a significant reduction of systolic and diastolic blood pressure, significant decrease in blood urea and serum creatinine levels, and significant improvement in physical and psychological quality of life metrics were observed after 6 months. Except for inability of some patients to carry out certain yogic asanas, no negative side effects were found in the research.

2. In another study done in 2014, researchers reasoned that while additional RCTs are required to explore the use of yoga in CKD, Yoga provided a noninvasive, cost-effective therapeutic intervention for CKD that functions at physical and mental levels. It’s an effective intervention to decrease the blood pressure, heart rate and inflammatory markers both in healthy people and in patients with chronic ailments. [2]

Hypertension and diabetes are well known risk factors for CKD. Yoga assists in keeping the blood glucose, blood pressure and lipid levels in such states. Yoga also reduces overall symptoms like tiredness, pain related to CKD it also boosts the hematocrit levels. Hence yoga has potential function as an adjunct in management and prevention of CKD.

Scientific clinical research has shown that yoga is helpful in reducing painful symptoms of chronic kidney disease, and can be used as an effective adjunct in prevention and management of chronic kidney disease.

See: Yoga For Heart Disease Prevention


1. Pandey RK, Arya TV, Kumar A, Yadav A. Effects of 6 months yoga program on renal functions and quality of life in patients suffering from chronic kidney disease. Int J Yoga. 2017;10(1):3–8. doi:10.4103/0973-6131.186158

2. Role of Yoga in Chronic Kidney Disease: A Hypothetical Review

Kashinath GM*, Hemant B, Praerna C, Nagarathna R and Nagendra HR http://www.omicsonline.org/open-access/role-of-yoga-in-chronic-kidney-disease-a-hypothetical-review-2161-0959.1000167.php?aid=26109

See: Yoga For Immunity & Immune System


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