Yoga & Crohn's Disease

Crohn's disease is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation of the intestines, causing symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea and malnutrition. Yoga can help reduce the severe symptoms of Crohn's disease and increase overall quality of life for those living with the disease.

  1. Types

    • When practicing yoga for Crohn's disease, choose a style that is gentle and relaxing, such as Iyengar, Kripalu or restorative. Always tell the instructor about your condition.

    Stress

    • Stress can aggravate Crohn's disease and trigger troublesome symptoms. Mayo Clinic recommends meditation and yoga to reduce stress and regulate the digestive process.

    Poses

    • In "Light on Yoga," BKS Iyengar twisting yoga poses for Crohn's such as marichyasana 3 and ardha matsyendrasana (seated spinal twist), core-strengthening yoga poses such as navasana (boat) and mahamudra (great seal) and inversions such as sirsasana (headstand) and sarvangasana (shoulder stand).

    Pitta Imbalance

    • According to ayurveda, the sister science of yoga, inflammatory disorders are an imbalance of pitta constitution. Pitta-pacifying yoga poses include forward bends such as uttanasana, paschimottanasana and janu sirsasana.

    Effects

    • Twisting yoga poses stimulate digestion and remove toxins. Forward folds are calming and reduce stress. Inversions stimulate the endocrine systems. All of these effects are beneficial for those with Crohn's disease.

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