YES, you can find relief and even prevent the burn by trying yoga for acid reflux! Gentle, soothing yoga stretches help improve blood flow while also decreasing stress.
Oh my GERD!
Combat the burn with simple stretches you can do anytime, anywhere 🙌
You’ve heard and read about a lot of the benefits of a regular yoga practice. Like other bodyweight exercises, yoga can help you build strength, develop a greater aerobic capacity, and increase flexibility. In addition to its physical benefits, yoga can do wonders for your mental health. It can even take the edge off pain in your hips, neck, and back.
But we’re always looking for opportunities to uncover even more of yoga’s benefits to share with you — and the more unexpected, the better!
So here’s a new one: yoga can help reduce your acid reflux!
That’s right, bulldoggers. If you’re sick of dealing with the symptoms of acid reflux and heartburn, it might be time for you to spend a little more time on the yoga mat.
What is acid reflux, anyway?
First, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page about what acid reflux is. If you experience some of the symptoms below, you might just have acid reflux, which is all the more reason to take a few more online yoga classes.
According to Healthline, acid reflux is what happens when the contents from your stomach move up into your esophagus. Some people experience it only occasionally, while others have the symptoms multiple times per week. People who fall into the second category might have a condition called gastroesophageal reflux (GERD).
Here are a few common symptoms of acid reflux and GERD:
- An uncomfortable burning feeling radiating from your chest to your neck, which is also known as heartburn
- A sour or bitter taste at the back of your mouth
- Regurgitation of food or liquid from your stomach into your mouth (sorry — we know it’s kind of gross!)
- Difficulty swallowing
- Chest pain
- A dry cough
- A sore throat
- The feeling of a lump in your throat
People who experience acid reflux and/or heartburn infrequently — possibly triggered by eating certain foods — can usually deal with it by taking over-the-counter antacids. If antacids are no longer doing the trick and you’re struggling with acid reflux so often that it’s impacting your life, you should consider seeing a doctor so they can diagnose and treat you for GERD.
You can prevent acid reflux before it starts by managing your diet. Here are a few foods that trigger heartburn and acid reflux, according to WebMD:
- Alcohol, especially red wine
- Black pepper
- High-fat foods
- Raw onions
- Spicy foods
- Citrus fruits and products
These foods have all been proven to relax the muscles that are responsible for keeping stomach acids moving in the wrong direction.
In addition to minimizing these triggering foods in your diet, you can also manage acid reflux and heartburn symptoms by eating five or six small meals throughout the day instead of two or three large meals and by allowing your body at least two hours to digest before you go to bed. Lying down can make digestion harder on your body.
But what happens when you’ve done everything you can do to prevent acid reflux and you’re still feeling the burn? Or what happens when you just can’t resist these trigger foods?
Well, there are other ways to help you take the edge off — and yoga is one of them!
Yoga for acid reflux
Experts have recommended yoga for people who deal with acid reflux on a regular basis. Keep reading to learn more.
How does yoga help acid reflux?
The connection between yoga and acid reflux is actually more mental than it is physical. According to Healthline, nearly half of the people observed in one study about GERD identified stress as a lifestyle factor that seemed to impact their acid reflux symptoms. Another study referenced by Healthline found that more stress tends to lead to the secretion of more acid in the stomach, which can then move into the esophagus and cause pain and discomfort.
Enter yoga! Yoga’s ability to reduce stress has been well-documented. Per the Mayo Clinic,
“A number of studies have shown that yoga may help reduce stress and anxiety. Yoga can enhance your mood and overall sense of well-being. Yoga might also help you manage your symptoms of depression and anxiety that are due to difficult situations.”
Starting a regular yoga practice will reduce your stress and, in the process, may reduce your acid reflux. That sounds like a major quality of life upgrade to us!
Put that fire out ❄
No equipment required!
What are the best yoga poses for reducing acid reflux?
Healthline notes that there are a few poses that are especially well-suited for treating acid reflux.
Reclining Bound Angle
Start seated on the mat with your legs extended in front of you. Bend your knees and pull your heels in toward your pelvis. Press the soles of your feet together and let your knees fall to your sides. Lean back until your elbows, then your back are on the floor. Draw your shoulder blades gently together and let your arms relax.
Reclining Easy Cross-Legged
Sit with your legs extended in front of you. Bend your knees and cross your right shin in front of your left shin. Then, move your knees closer together until your feet are directly below them. Lace your fingers together, extend your arms overhead, and stretch up. This pose has been known to benefit your digestive system.
Stand at the top of your mat with your feet approximately four feet apart. Rest your hands on your hips. Turn your left foot to a 45- to 60-degree angle to the right and your right foot out to the right to 90 degrees. Keep your heels aligned in a straight line. Turn your right hand outward. As you exhale, rotate your torso to the right, squaring your pelvis as much as you can with the front edge of your mat. Press your outer thighs inward, as if you’re squeezing a block between your legs. Slightly arch your upper torso. Exhaling again, lean your torso forward over your right leg until it’s parallel to the floor. Press your fingers to the floor on either side of your right foot. Lengthen the torso forward. Hold for a few breaths, then switch to the other side.
Stand with your feet hip-width apart at the top of your mat. Keep your arms at your sides. Step your right foot straight out in front of you so that your feet are 4 to 5 feet apart. Turn your back left foot out 90 degrees. Align your front heel with the arch of your back foot. Press your weight through your right heel. Your shin should be perpendicular to the floor. Reach up strongly with your arms. Gently tilt your head back.
Again, you’ll start by standing with your feet hip-width apart at the top of your mat. Keep your arms at your sides. Step your feet about 4 to 5 feet apart. Keep your heels in line with each other. Turn your right foot out 90 degrees so your toes are pointing to the top of the mat. Pivot your left foot slightly inward. Lift through the arches of your feet while staying rooted through your ankles. Raise your arms so they are parallel to the floor at shoulder height. Exhale and reach through your right hand in the same direction as your right foot is pointed. Shift your left hip back and fold at your right hip. Keep your palms down and reach actively with your fingertips. Rest your right hand on your outer shin or ankle. Turn your head to gaze up at your right thumb. Hold for a few breaths, then switch to the other side.
If you’re new to yoga, you can start slowly with any of the basic poses listed above. Practice them when you’re experiencing acid reflux, or — better yet! — get more proactive with limiting your stress and hit the mat even when you’re not struggling with symptoms to help prevent them.
You can really fight stress — and acid reflux! — by taking any of our online yoga classes. No matter how much experience you have with yoga or what kind of workout you’re looking for, there will be a perfect class for you.
Find these simple stretches and more …
De-stressing is hot … your throat no longer has to be!