A Kundalini Yoga Practice for Healthier Digestion

Use this Kundalini Yoga sequence to support ideal digestion and overall health by increasing energy at the navel point and keeping the digestive organs strong and flexible.

The quality of our digestion is the key to health in Ayurveda as well as yogic theory. If digestion is slow and imbalanced, the body is more vulnerable to disease (not to mention uncomfortable due to gas, bloating, constipation, and the like). Most colds and other illnesses are believed to be caused by energy imbalances beginning in the digestive tract.

Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan supports ideal digestion by increasing the fire energy at the navel point and evenly distributing it throughout the body. It also works to keep the digestive organs strong and flexible, allowing for easier elimination.

“In many exercise traditions, the abdomen is held rigid,” says Sat Jivan Kaur Khalsa, co-director of Kundalini Yoga East in New York City. “In Kundalini Yoga, the goal is to have a flexible abdomen that’s also strong, which has a significant beneficial impact on your digestion.” Try the following Kundalini Yoga exercises as taught by Yogi Bhajan to promote optimum health.

5 Kundalini Exercises for Better Digestion

  • Breath of Fire

    Breath of Fire

    This pillar of Kundalini Yoga plays a key role in many kriyas that aid digestion. The quick breathing exercise strengthens the diaphragm, brings balance to all digestive organs, and stimulates elimination. “Working the diaphragm with Breath of Fire benefits the esophagus, stomach, and intestines,” Sat Jivan Kaur says. “All of these organs are close together and intimately involved in the digestive process.”

    Sit cross-legged in Easy Pose with both hands in Gyan Mudra (index fingers and thumbs touching with other fingers straight). Close your eyes. Focus at your third eye at the root of your nose. Begin to breathe rapidly and rhythmically through your nose with your mouth closed, approximately 2–3 cycles per second.

    To exhale, expel air powerfully through your nose by pressing your navel point back toward your spine. To inhale, relax your upper abdomen and allow the breath to come easily. Your inhale should be equal in length and strength to your exhale. Keep your chest relaxed and slightly lifted throughout the cycle.

    CONTINUE FOR 1–3 minutes. As you familiarize yourself with the exercise, you can work up to 10 minutes.

    See also Yoga Style Profile: Kundalini Yoga

    Image courtesy of Kundalini Mobile

  • Tuck Pose

    Tuck Pose

    Tuck pose targets the digestive organs and provides gas relief. “Tuck pose is great to do first thing in the morning,” Sat Jivan Kaur says. “It sets the navel point and stimulates the apana, which helps your digestive system relax and release.”

    Lie on your back. Bend your legs and bring your knees to your chest. Wrap your arms around your knees. Raise your head and bring your nose between your knees. Begin Breath of Fire.

    CONTINUE FOR 1–3 minutes

    TO END Inhale, hold briefly, and relax.

    See also Is a Kundalini Awakening Safe?

    Image courtesy of Kundalini Mobile

  • Stretch Pose

    Stretch Pose

    “In many healing modalities, including Ayurveda, centering the pulse at the naval point is really important because it affects all of the energy systems in the body,” Sat Jivan Kaur says. “It speaks to how well you were fed and your ability to breathe in utero, at the beginning of life.” Stretch pose strengthens the navel point and abdomen, purifies the blood, and resets the entire nervous system.

    Lying on your back, place your heels together, point your toes forward, and lift your heels six inches off the ground. Raise your head to the same height, eyes focused on your toes. Point your fingertips toward your toes. Begin Breathe of Fire.

    CONTINUE FOR 1–3 minutes

    TO END Inhale, hold, exhale, and relax.

    See also Kundalini Yoga for Better Digestion

    Image courtesy of Kundalini Mobile

  • Sitali Pranayam

    Sitali Pranayam

    Sitali pranayam soothes and cools the spine in the area of the fourth, fifth, and sixth vertebrae, which in turn regulates sexual and digestive energy. When practiced regularly, this breath leads to rejuvenation and detoxification. Your tongue may taste bitter at first, but becomes sweet as you continue with the breath.

    Sit in Easy Pose with a straight spine. Roll your tongue and extend it slightly past your lips. Inhale deeply and smoothly through your tongue and mouth. Exhale through your nose.

    CONTINUE FOR 5 minutes

    TO END Inhale, hold your breathe, and pull in your tongue. Exhale and relax. Repeat for two more 5-minute periods.

    See also 8 Detoxifying Poses + Kundalini Kriyas

    Image courtesy of Kundalini Mobile

  • Sat Kriya

    Sat Kriya

    Sat kriya stimulates your navel point, or third chakra, while balancing your first and second chakras. This act stabilizes your lower triangle. “All three of the lower chakras need to be in harmony so one doesn’t dominate another,” Sat Jivan Kaur says. “When the navel point is balanced and stimulated, the sense of self can resurrect. It grounds you, allowing for better digestion and elimination.”

    Sit on your heels with your knees together. Stretch your arms over your head with elbows straight, until your arms hug the sides of your head. Interlace all of your fingers except your index fingers. Men cross the right thumb over the left. Women cross the left thumb over the right. Stay firmly seated on your heels and keep your spine straight throughout the kriya.

    Begin to chant "Sat Naam" with a constant rhythm of about eight times per 10 seconds. As you pull your navel in and up toward your spine, chant "Sat" from your navel point. As you relax your belly, chant “Naam.” Keep your eyes closed and focus at the third eye point at the root of your nose.

    CONTINUE FOR 3 minutes with a steady rhythm. Let your breath regulate itself.

    TO END Inhale and gently squeeze your muscles from your buttocks all the way up along your spine. Hold it briefly as you concentrate on the area just above the top of your head. Exhale completely. Inhale. Exhale totally and hold your breath out as you apply a firm Mahabandh (contract your anus and sex organs drawing them up while drawing the navel point in toward the spine, lift your diaphragm, lift your chest to lock in your chin, and squeeze all the muscles from your buttocks up to your neck). Hold your breath out for 5–20 seconds. Inhale and relax.

    See also 30-Minute Kundalini Practice to Rev Up Your Metabolism

    Image courtesy of Kundalini Mobile