Introduction: About Digestive Conditions & Issues

In Yoga for Wellness, Gary Kraftsow explains that the yogic perspective of imbalance includes categorizing issues as conditions of excess or deficiency. In the case of digestive issues, they are either “hyper functioning” associated with a digestive fire that is too strong or” hypo functioning” when it is too weak. Kraftsow explains further:

  • Hyper conditions include such conditions as stress-based excessive acid secretion, ulcers, heartburn, diarrhea, IBS and IBD conditions such as Crohn’s disease.
  • Hypo conditions include such conditions as lack of digestive enzyme, hypochlorhydria and constipation.

In Yoga Therapy, Mark Stephens categorizes digestive condition by anatomical area:

  1. Oral disease such as dental and periodontal infections, and oral cancers
  2. Esophageal disease such as GERD
  3. Stomach disease such as gastristis
  4. Intestinal disease such as IBS, celiac disease and Crohn’s disease
  5. Liver disease such as hepatitis
  6. Pancreatic disease such as pancreatitis
  7. Gallbladder issue such as gallstones

Chronic Stress

Chronic stress can lead to imbalances in the digestive system including

  • Decreased peristalsis (movement of food through the digestive tract) and digestion in the small intestine
  • Halted absorption of food
  • Build-up of stomach acidity, leading to indigestion and heartburn


Here we provide a brief description of the following ailments. Select from the link above for yoga practices that support digestive health.

  1. Constipation
  2. Acid Reflux & Mild Heartburn
  3. GERD / Persistent Reflux & Heartburn
  4. IBS
  5. Leaky Gut Syndrome
  6. Celiac Disease
  7. Ulcerative Colitis
  8. Crohn’s Disease