Overview: Yoga and Digestion — Energy & Subtle Body Connections

There are a number of connections that are often made between digestion and the functioning of what yoga philosophy refers to as subtle body anatomy. For example:

  • Nadis are the name given to the subtle pathways that channel pranaIda nadi is linked to the parasympathetic nervous system, which has a direct effect on digestion.
  • Prana vayus describe the movements or functions of prana and may be called the energetic winds. Apana vayu is the name given to the wind that governs elimination and downward movement. Samana vayu is connected with the absorption of food.
  • Chakras are the name given to centers that collect and transmit energy and healthy function of the chakras are said to relate to digestion, particularly the manipura chakra.

In addition, Ayurveda, the sister science of Yoga addresses digestion both as a general foundation for health and in terms of subtle body digestive “fire.”

Yoga can aid digestion, elimination (constipation) and bloating by increasing the circulation and energy to these areas. — Fiona Tuck

Yoga also works on a deeper energetic level, stimulating the energy systems or meridians of the body. By choosing asanas that stimulate the stomach, small intestine, large intestine and liver meridians we can create harmony and balance within the body by aiding digestion and bloating. — Juliette Steen