When you’re feeling the bloat, or struggling with trapped gas, it can really throw you off course. But could yoga be the key to finding some relief?

It’s the sensation of your stomach feeling tighter, or more full than usual, often coming with excess gas – and it can be caused by certain foods or, notably, by psychological triggers such as stress and anxiety. It may cause nausea and can lead to general feelings of discomfort, frustration, and anxiety – which only makes matters worse. All that considered, bloating is enough to put a dampener on anyone’s day.

If bloating is impacting your life on a regular basis, it’s worth going to see your GP to rule out anything serious, or to uncover any potential allergies. For a lot of people, though, bloating is a part of life, with a study published in the journal ISRN Obstetrics and Gynecology finding that between 10% and 25% of healthy people experience bloating.

Over-the-counter medication, herbal teas like peppermint, and a balanced diet can go a long way to helping, but there is another tool worth having up your sleeve: yoga.

“You might be surprised to discover that you can find natural relief with the centuries-old practice of yoga,” says yoga teacher Donna Noble “Certain poses help to stretch the abdomen and kick-start the digestive system. Yoga aids in relaxing the entire body, including the bowels and intestines, so it can help to release trapped gas.”

Ready to give it a go? Try this yoga routine, exclusively created by Donna for Happiful readers, to help relieve bloating:

Wind-removing pose, pavanamuktasana

  • Begin by lying flat on your back with your legs extended out on the floor.

  • Pull one knee into your chest, holding your leg around the shin or kneecap. The back of your head should stay flat on the floor. Keep the other leg extended. Hold this position for between five and 10 breaths before switching sides.

  • Alternatively, you can pull both knees into your chest so you are curled into a ball. You can gently rock from side to side, raise your chin toward your knees, or alternate bringing your knees to your chest.

Child’s pose, balasana

  • Start in a tabletop position on your hands and knees. Bring your big toes together to touch and send your knees out a little wider than your hips.

  • Sink your hips back toward your heels, and extend your arms in front of you. Your belly will rest between your thighs. Your forehead can rest on the ground or on a pillow.

  • Hold this position for two to three minutes at a time.

Cat-cow pose, marjaryasana/bitilasana

  • Start in a tabletop position on your hands and knees on the floor. Keeping the knees and feet hip-width apart, and arms shoulder-width apart.

  • As you inhale, raise your head and tailbone toward the ceiling, gazing up towards the ceiling as you arch your back for cow pose.

  • As you exhale, round the head and tailbone down, dropping your gaze to the navel as you round your back with cat pose. Flow through these two poses as much as you need.


Standing forward fold, uttanasana

  • Stand with your feet hip-distance apart. Place your hands on your hips and take a deep inhale. As you exhale, hinge forward from your waist so that your torso is draped over your thighs. Allow your head and neck to dangle.

  • Your legs can be straight, or you can bend your knees to accommodate your body. Your hands can rest on the floor beside your feet, rest on top of your shins, or grab the opposite elbows, swaying gently from side to side. Stay here for six breaths.


Seated forward fold, paschimottanasana

  • Seated on the floor, stretch your legs straight out in front of you (or separate the legs to accommodate your body). Then, hinge forward at the waist, reaching toward your feet, keeping your spine as straight as possible.

  • Take a few deep breaths once you’ve reached as far as you can, and use your hands to slowly guide your way back into an upright position. Stay here for six breaths.


Spinal twist, supta matsyendrasana

  • Lay flat on your back with your legs extended out on the floor.

  • Pull your right knee into your chest by wrapping your hands around your shin or kneecap. Keep the left leg extended long.

  • Use your left hand to draw your right knee across your body to the left. Your knee may touch the floor (or it may hover – if so, you can place it on a block).

  • Extend your right arm out to the side and turn your head to look over your right hand. Your left hand can stay on the bent knee or you can extend that arm out to the left side. Try to keep the right shoulder connecting to the floor.

  • Hold this pose for 10 breaths. Roll gently on to your back and repeat on the other side.

Happy baby, Ananda balasana

  • Lie flat on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor. Pull both knees up toward your chest and press your feet toward the ceiling. Your knees will be bent.

  • Grab on to your shins, ankles, or feet (depending on what feels accessible for you). Gently pull your knees closer toward the armpits as your feet stay flexed up toward the ceiling and your legs move gently apart.

  • Keep head and neck pressed into the ground. If it feels good, you can rock from side to side four times.

Run through the whole sequence, or pick and choose which poses work for you. Whichever route you take, it’s time to beat that bloat.

Donna Noble is a body positive yoga teacher.Follow her on Instagram @donnanobleyoga.