Yoga For GERD Disease – 6 Yoga Poses For Natural Relief

Anjali Jaiswal

Anjali Jaiswal
Jul 2023

2 min read
yoga for GERD disease

Table of content

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is a chronic digestive disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. Yoga for GERD disease occurs when stomach acid flows back into the esophagus, causing irritation and discomfort. 

The symptoms of GERD, such as heartburn, regurgitation, and chest pain, can significantly impact one’s quality of life. While medical treatments are essential for managing GERD, incorporating yoga into your daily routine can offer additional benefits. 

In this blog, we will explore the role of yoga in managing GERD and guide you through a series of yoga practices designed to soothe your digestive system and promote overall well-being.

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Understanding GERD And Its Causes

According to the American College of Gastroenterology, GERD is a chronic condition in which stomach contents, like acid, flow up into the esophagus.

GERD occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), a ring of muscle between the esophagus and stomach, weakens or relaxes abnormally, allowing stomach acid to flow back into the esophagus. Some common causes and risk factors of GERD include:

  1. Dietary Choices: Spicy, acidic, and fatty foods can trigger or worsen GERD symptoms.
  2. Obesity: Excess weight can put pressure on the abdomen, leading to increased reflux and overweight problems.
  3. Lifestyle Habits: Smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and lying down after meals can exacerbate GERD.
  4. Stress: High-stress levels may contribute to GERD symptoms.

GERD Symptoms

GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) can cause a range of symptoms, which may vary from person to person. Some common symptoms of GERD include

  1. Heartburn: You feel a burning sensation in your chest after eating, like spicy food, or when lying down.
  1. Regurgitation: Sometimes, the stomach acid or food comes back up into your throat, and it might taste sour or bitter.
  1. Chest Pain: You might feel discomfort in your chest that can be similar to a heart attack, but it’s caused by stomach acid.
  1. Difficulty Swallowing: It feels like food is stuck in your throat, especially when eating solid foods.
  1. Chronic Cough: You have a persistent cough, which can be worse at night or after eating, due to irritation in your throat.
  1. Sore Throat: Your throat feels sore and uncomfortable because of the acid from your stomach.
  1. Hoarseness: Your voice sounds rough or raspy because of the acid irritating your throat.
  1. A feeling Of Something Stuck In Throat: You might feel like there’s something stuck in your throat, even though there isn’t.
  1. Excessive Salivation: You have more saliva in your mouth due to the acid bothering your throat.
  1. Symptoms Get Worse When Lying Down: Your symptoms might get worse when you lie down or bend over because it puts pressure on your stomach, making the acid flow back up.

If you think you have GERD or experience any of these symptoms, it’s essential to talk to a doctor so they can help you manage it and feel better.

Yoga Poses For GERD Disease Relief

Before starting any yoga for GERD disease practice, it’s essential to warm up by taking a few deep breaths and gently stretching the body. Remember to move mindfully and avoid any poses that cause discomfort. Here is some beneficial yoga for GERD disease relief:

1. Sukhasana (Easy Pose)

  • Sit cross-legged with a straight spine and hands resting on your knees.
  • Close your eyes and take slow, deep breaths, focusing on the present moment.
  • Practice this pose for a few minutes to calm the mind and reduce stress.

2. Balasana (Child’s Pose)

  • Kneel on the floor, sit back on your heels, and extend your arms forward.
  • Rest your forehead on the mat and breathe deeply into your back.
  • Child’s Pose helps to relax the body and alleviate tension in the abdomen.

3. Ardha Matsyendrasana (Seated Twist)

  • Sit with your legs extended in front of you.
  • Bend your right knee and place your right foot on the floor outside your left knee.
  • Inhale and lengthen your spine; exhale and twist to the right, placing your left hand on your right knee and your right hand behind you.
  • Twists aid in digestion and can help alleviate GERD symptoms.

4. Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose)

  • Firstly, lie on your back with your knees bent and feet hip-width apart.
  • Then Inhale, press your feet and arms into the floor, lifting your hips towards the ceiling.
  • Hold the pose for a few breaths, stimulating the abdominal organs and improving digestion.

5. Viparita Karani (Legs-Up-The-Wall Pose)

  • Sit with one hip close to a wall and lie down on your back, extending your legs up the wall.
  • Relax your arms by your sides and close your eyes, breathing deeply.
  • This gentle inversion promotes blood flow to the digestive organs, helping to alleviate GERD symptoms.

6. Diaphragmatic (Breathing Exercises)

  • Lie on your back with your hands on your abdomen.
  • Inhale deeply through your nose, feeling your abdomen rise.
  • Exhale slowly through your mouth, feeling your abdomen fall.
  • Then Practice diaphragmatic breathing for a few minutes to calm the nervous system and aid digestion.

Remember, always listen to your body, and don’t push yourself too hard. Give these poses a try and see how they make you feel. They can be a fantastic way to find relief from GERD discomfort!

How Yoga Helps With GERD Disease

yoga for GERD disease can be a valuable aid in managing GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) by providing various benefits for your overall well-being and digestive health. Here’s how yoga helps with GERD:

  1. Stress Reduction: Yoga promotes relaxation, reduces stress, and helps manage GERD symptoms exacerbated by stress.
  1. Improved Digestion: Specific yoga poses stimulate and massage the digestive organs, aiding digestion and reducing discomfort. There are many yoga poses for better digestion that supports the proper functioning of the system.
  1. Posture Improvement: Yoga encourages proper posture, reducing pressure on the abdomen and minimizing the risk of acid reflux.
  1. Weight Management: Regular yoga practice can contribute to weight management, potentially alleviating GERD symptoms in overweight individuals.
  1. Mind-Body Connection: Yoga fosters awareness of physical and also emotional sensations, helping identify triggers that worsen GERD symptoms.
  1. Breathing Techniques: Yoga incorporates deep breathing exercises that activate the body’s relaxation response, reducing stress and supporting healthy digestion.

By incorporating yoga for GERD disease into daily life, individuals can experience these benefits and effectively manage GERD, leading to improved digestive health and overall well-being.

Foods To Eat With GERD

Foods that tend not to trigger GERD symptoms include:

Oats and oatmealSoothing and gentle on the stomach
Whole grainsFiber-rich food, aiding digestion
Non-citrus fruitsLow acidity, less likely to trigger GERD
Vegetables, especially leafy greensNutrient-rich and easy to digest
Lean proteins, including seafoodLess likely to cause reflux
FennelMay help alleviate digestive discomfort
Healthy fats (olive oil, avocado, nuts, seeds)Nourishing without triggering GERD
Low-fat dairy products (yogurt, kefir)Provides protein and calcium for those without lactose intolerance

Foods To Avoid With GERD

While GERD triggers can vary from person to person, common foods that make symptoms worse include:

FoodsReasons To Avoid
Tomatoes and tomato sauceHigh acidity may trigger GERD symptoms
Garlic and onionsCan contribute to increased reflux
Citrus fruitsHigh acidity and may worsen heartburn
Acidic fruit (pineapple)Tend to aggravate GERD symptoms
ChocolateMay relax the lower esophageal sphincter, allowing acid to reflux
CaffeineCan relax the LES and lead to reflux
AlcoholTriggers acid production and weakens LES
Spicy foodsIrritate the esophagus and stomach
High-fat foods in large amountsDelay stomach emptying, leading to reflux
Large mealsOvereating can cause pressure on the LES and increase reflux

Incorporating these GERD-friendly foods and adopting these behavioral strategies can help manage GERD symptoms and promote better digestive health. But it is always better to choose your health first and add easily digestible foods to your diet. Remember that individual triggers may vary, so it’s essential to pay attention to your body and consult with a healthcare provider if you have specific concerns or dietary restrictions.

Behavioral Strategies To Reduce GERD Symptoms

Making some changes in how you eat can be a big help in managing GERD symptoms. Here are some easy ways to do it:

  1. Eat Smaller Meals: Instead of having big meals, try eating smaller ones more often. This reduces pressure on your stomach, making reflux less likely.
  1. Avoid Eating Before Bedtime: Give yourself at least two to three hours between eating and going to bed. Lying down with a full stomach can cause acid to come back up, so it’s better to let your food digest first.
  1. Sleep With Your Head Elevated: Raise the head of your bed a little by using a wedge pillow or putting blocks under the bed legs. This helps prevent stomach acid from flowing back into your throat while you sleep.
  1. Maintain A Healthy Weight: Being overweight puts more pressure on your stomach, making GERD symptoms worse. Try to keep a healthy weight through a balanced diet and exercise.
  1. Limit Or Avoid Alcohol And Smoking: Both alcohol and smoking can weaken the muscle which keeps stomach acid down, leading to more reflux. Cutting down on alcohol and quitting smoking can help improve GERD.
  1. Avoid Tight-Fitting Clothes: Wearing tight clothes, especially around your waist, can push on your stomach and cause acid to come back up. Wear loose and comfortable clothes instead.

By following these simple tips, you can make a big difference in managing GERD and feeling better. Remember, everyone is different, so find what works best for you. If you have concerns, talk to your doctor for personalized advice to help you with GERD.

A Word From Fitelo

Yoga offers a holistic approach to managing GERD symptoms by reducing stress, improving digestion, and promoting overall well-being. Incorporate these gentle yoga poses and breathing exercises into your daily routine, but remember to consult with your healthcare provider before starting any new exercise regimen, especially if you have any pre-existing health conditions. 

With regular practice and mindfulness, yoga for GERD disease can become a valuable tool in your journey to manage GERD and improve your digestive health. Embrace the healing power of yoga and enjoy a healthier, more balanced life!

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Frequently Asked Questions

Which Yoga Is Good For GERD?

yoga for GERD disease that focus on diaphragm strengthening, stress reduction, and digestion improvement is beneficial for GERD. Poses, like Seated Forward Bend, Bridge Pose, and Supported Shoulderstand, can be effective in managing GERD symptoms.

Can Yoga Reduce GERD?

Yes, yoga can help reduce GERD symptoms. By promoting relaxation, improving digestion, and also reducing stress, yoga can be a valuable complementary approach to managing GERD.

What Is The Best Yoga For GERD Disease?

The best yoga poses for GERD include Seated Forward Bend, Bridge Pose, and Supported Shoulderstand. However, these poses target key areas related to GERD symptoms and can provide relief.

How Can I heal GERD With The Help Of Yoga?

To heal GERD with yoga, incorporate the regular practice of GERD-focused poses, practice deep breathing and mindfulness to reduce stress, and maintain a balanced diet and lifestyle.

What Are Some Yoga Poses For Acid Reflux?

Yoga poses like Seated Forward Bend, Bridge Pose, and also Extended Triangle Pose can be beneficial for managing acid reflux and GERD symptoms. To reduce this you have to avoid acid reflux foods.

Does Yoga Really Cure GERD Disease?

While yoga can be helpful in managing GERD and reducing symptoms, it’s essential to remember that it may not be a standalone cure. Combining yoga with medical treatment, diet adjustments, and lifestyle changes is the most effective approach to managing GERD.

How Often Should One Practice Yoga For GERD Disease?

For managing GERD, practicing yoga 3 to 4 times a week, alongside other lifestyle changes, can be beneficial. However, it’s essential to listen to your body and consult a healthcare professional for personalized recommendations.

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This blog post was written to help you to make healthy and better food choices altogether. So, be aware and take care. The important thing to consider is your own health before starting a diet that is restrictive. Always seek advice from a doctor/dietitian before starting if you have any concerns.

Eat Healthy, Live Healthy. Enjoy a long happy life.

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