Yoga Practice for Stomach Pain and Constipation

VIDEO | 09:45

Clare Patterson, a yoga instructor at MSK Kids, introduces a routine to diminish abdominal pain and discomfort.

Show transcript

Hi, everyone, welcome to Yoga for Gut Health. My name is Clare Patterson and joining me today is Tina and Rocco. So, let's get started by taking a cross-legged seat. And you can do this practice on the floor, on a mat, on a chair, or even in a bed. I'm going to take our hands to our belly to begin. Then as you breathe in, let your belly expand forward like a balloon. And as you breathe out, let your belly deflate just like a balloon. Breathe in and feel that balloon; and exhale, balloon deflates. Breathing and balloon gets big; and exhaling, balloon deflates.  And do this a few more times, you can make your balloon as big or as small as you like, keep the hands on the belly, that’s it. Breathe in through the nose and out the nose.

And then we're going to take this into a bigger balloon shape on the next inhale. Open up the arms nice and big, exhale, deflate the belly, give yourself a hug, inhale, arms open up, exhale, give yourself a hug. Inhale arms lifted high, exhale, hug, squeeze. Inhale arms up high; exhale, hug and squeeze. Inhale, reach the arms up, as you exhale drizzle the fingertips down like rain. Bring your hands back to the floor, coming back to your seat.

Now we're going to take the soles of our feet together to form the shape of a butterfly. And then just like butterfly wings, you're going to flap your legs up and down, holding on to your ankles or shins, flying, flapping like a butterfly. And then the legs of the butterfly are going to get still, we're going to open our wings, inhale, reach them up; exhale, give yourself a hug and squeeze; inhale, open up; exhale, give yourself a hug and squeeze. Two more times. Big, beautiful breath in, exhale, hug; inhale, arms up; exhale, hug. Good. Inhale, arms up and then drizzle those fingertips down like rain da-da-da-da-dud and come back to your seat. Okay.

So, moving into frog pose, you're going to take your feet to the floor. So, Rocco is going to keep his bums on his blanket. We're going to lift up and take our arms inside our knees, either press our hands together like fist or keep the hands on the floor, just like a froggy sitting down nice and low. And you can stay here for five breaths, maybe bouncing a little up and down where we're going to take froggy hops. Start to lift up, reach up high, sit down low, hop like a frog. Here we go. And one ribbet, two ribbet, three ribbet, four ribbet, five ribbet. Okay, frog’s done hopping.  Go ahead, extend the legs, give them a bump and a roll, and then starting to quiet down, draw your right knee in, give it a hug, take it to the left. Arms lift up, turn to the right, arms lift up and turn to the right. One more time. Arms lift up, turn to the right. Stay here.

And now imagine you're a deer in the forest. Calm, cool, and still. Keep your eyes wide like a deer. Breathing in and breathing out.

Come back to center, give both legs a little shake. Hug your left knee in, take it to the right. Lift the arms up and turn left, come back center and turn left. Back to center, arms lifted high, turn to the left and stay. Now imagine you are a deer, calm, cool doe-eyed in the forest, nice and still. Breathing in and breathing out. Coming back to center. Arms lift up, legs come forward. And now we're going to find our way onto our backs. And once you get down to your back or on your side, just like Rocco's doing, hug your knees into your chest, give them a squeeze. You might rock a little bit up and down, side to side. And now imagine that you're a dead bug and extend your legs, extend your arms, give a shake, give a wiggle. Sigh out, huh.

And then we’re going to draw the knees in holding onto the backs of the legs, some of us might be able to take the toes, big toes, just like Tina is doing over there. And now imagine you're a sea otter lying on your back in the water, nice and happy, happy as a sea otter. And maybe you have some food on your tummy. Maybe you just had a nice big lunch, happy sea otter. And then we're going to take the feet down to the floor and give ourselves a little tummy massage to help with the digestion. Lift up your right hand, take it to your belly, draw it up the right over belly button, down the left. (00:07:00) Up the right, over belly button, down the left.

We're drawing the shape of a rainbow, up the right, arching over belly button, down the left. Like a rainbow moving up the right-side belly, over the belly button, down the right-side belly. Nice tummy massage, you can draw the shape of a rainbow or maybe to you this is a smile, drawing the shape of a smile on the belly. Up the right, over belly button, down the left. Up the right, over belly button, down the left. Up the right, over belly button, down the left. Do that one more time.

Now getting ready to rest, we're going to extend our legs, let the arms be loosey-goosey by your sides, looking towards the sky, finding stargazer pose, look up to the sky, see stars, close your eyes and see the stars behind your eyes. Take your breath in, exhale, sigh, and rest. After you've rested about five to seven minutes, when you're ready to come up, you'll bend the knees, roll onto your favorite side, and come on up to sit. Thank you so much for practicing with me today. I know that these poses can be done any time you're feeling a little off in the tummy or a little backed up. Stay safe, be well, I'll see you soon.