solar plexus chakra

How Yoga + Chakra Balancing Boost Gut Health | By Ram Jain

Last Updated: March 5, 2024By

How often have you silenced a digestion pain with a pill or “miracle” tonic? While we’d all like to remedy our sensitive stomachs with a quick, over-the-counter fix, the truth is, these rarely work and can sometimes do more harm than good to your gut.

However, as scientists explore the complexities of our digestive systems, we’re discovering that there’s more than one path to a balanced and healthy gut — and yoga is one of them. Through gentle yoga practice and energy healing techniques like chakra meditation, many are regaining control over their gut and bringing harmony back to their minds and bodies.

You’re probably wondering how exactly yoga poses and chakra healing can improve your digestion? There is, of course, a spiritual element to it, but scientific studies now show that gentle yoga practice can relieve common digestive issues by decreasing stress, increasing circulation and promoting gut motility. Taking a holistic approach to treatment, these practices target deep within your gut, removing physical and energetic blockages and restoring the natural function of your internal organs.

One of the most notable benefits of yoga is its stress-relieving qualities. Gentle and passive yoga poses are known to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for your rest and digest responses. This natural relaxer reduces your heart rate and blood pressure, promoting digestion and even relieving more severe issues like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Along with less stress, yoga practice helps move food through the digestive tract. Twisting poses can be especially effective for constipation, while inversions are known to remove pressure on the bowel for waste to flow freely. Movement of the diaphragm during yoga and breathing exercises can also tone the stomach muscles and mobilize digestive organs.

The seven chakras — energy centers in the astral body — play an important role in your overall health and well-being. Located four fingerbreadths above the navel, the solar plexus chakra (manipura chakra), is responsible for your digestive health. If this energy center is blocked or unaligned, it can manifest as a range of digestive issues, including constipation and irritable bowel symptoms, as well as emotional challenges.

The next time you have an achy or irritable stomach, consider the many benefits yoga can bring to your gut. There are several asanas (yoga poses) and meditation exercises you can practice to activate the solar plexus chakra and revitalize your digestive system, no matter your skill level. Give them a try and experience the power of intention and dedicated movement.

Yoga Poses + Chakra Meditation for Better Digestion  

  1. Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana
seated forward bend

Photos courtesy of Arhanta Yoga Ashrams

Settle into your yoga mat, legs extended out in front. Feel free to keep your legs together or apart, whichever feels right. Sit up tall, grounding yourself. Inhale deeply and lift your arms up high, stretching towards the ceiling, arms by your ears. On your exhale, fold forward gently. Reach towards your toes, but it’s okay if you can’t touch them. Grab onto your ankles, shins or knees instead. Aim to bring your nose closer to your knees, but don’t push if it feels uncomfortable. Let each breath help you ease deeper into the pose and remember to listen to your body and respect its limits.

  1. Bow Pose (Dhanurasanabow pose

Lie flat on your stomach, forehead resting on the floor and knees shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees to grab your ankles from the outside, keeping your arms straight. With an inhale, push your feet against your hands to lift your chest and knees off the ground, directing your gaze slightly upwards. Allow your breath to lead the movement and stay here for as long as you feel comfortable.

  1. Half Spinal Twist (Ardha Matsyendrasana

hlaf spinal twist

Sit down and stretch your legs out in front. Bend your right leg, pulling the heel towards your left hip, ensuring both hips stay grounded. Then, cross your left foot over your right knee, setting it firmly on the floor. Place your left hand behind you, palm down for support (if possible). Lift your right hand and, if you can, hook your right elbow outside your left knee or grab your left ankle. Gently twist towards the left, turning to look over your left shoulder. Move within your flexibility range, keeping the twist comfortable. When you’re ready, return to center, and repeat on the other side.

  1. Cobra Pose 

cobra pose

Begin by lying face down, legs together with your forehead resting on the ground. Position your palms on the floor beside your chest, keeping your elbows tucked in close to your body. Take a deep breath in, pressing your belly button into the floor as you lift your head and chest upwards. Hold this position, breathing naturally and comfortably throughout.

  1. Solar Plexus Chakra Meditation  

solar plexus chakra

Settle into a comfortable seated position with your shoulders relaxed, eyes closed and hands resting on your legs. Place your hands in the agni mudra just above your belly button, or simply rest your right hand into your left palm. Focus on the blocked solar plexus chakra, directing energy to your navel while softly chanting the mantra “rangm.” Continue chanting for a few minutes, observing the vibration and warmth that builds in your belly. When you feel ready, gently open your eyes and take a moment to notice any shifts in your energy or awareness.


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