What is the Importance of Yoga?

The pathways that led to the emergence of yoga are over 10,000 years old and lie immersed within the Indian civilization. Yoga is said to be derived from the Sanskrit word ‘yuj’, which means ‘to join’ or ‘to yoke’. It is an ancient systemic process meant to purify your thoughts and mind.

It also enhances breathing techniques, improves posture and should be accompanied by proper diet in order to provide one with a strong and healthy life. Yoga helps prevent diseases and keep stress at bay.

One is never too old to understand the teachings, wisdom, and techniques of yoga.

What is Heartburn?

Heartburn or acid reflux is medically termed as GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). The backflow of acid triggered by foods rich in fat, citrus foods, spices, caffeine, and alcohol, from the stomach into the esophagus (food pipe) is termed as acid reflux.

The result is due to malfunctioning of the valve that separates the stomach from the esophagus. Its symptoms include a sweltering pain arising from the stomach and reaching up into the throat and chest, coupled with an acidic taste in the mouth. This burning sensation that is created when the refluxed stomach acid touches the lining of the esophagus is called heartburn, or acidity (more commonly).

What is the Relation between Yoga and Heartburn?

Yoga breathing exercises cannot be used as a stand-alone measure for treatment but act as a part of a treatment plan. It improves blood circulation, allowing more flow of oxygenated blood, thereby leading to better nutrient absorption. Stress can worsen the acid reflux symptoms and involving yourself in a regular practice of yoga can delay the necessity of invasive procedures and strengthen the digestive system.

What are the Yoga Poses for Heartburn Relief?

Yoga asanas have proven to be an effective measure in preventing symptoms of heartburn and their progression. If you want to stop popping pills every alternate day, try the following yoga asanas for heartburn that have proven quite effective.

Warrior II or Virabhadrasana II – This position helps to stretch muscles in the chest and helps to ease heartburn.

To perform Warrior II,

  • Stand tall with both feet on the floor
  • Slowly take your left foot back approximately two feet behind your body and angle your foot to 45-degrees
  • Drop your right knee until your right thigh is parallel to the ground
  • Slowly rotate your midsection such that your shoulders are over your knees
  • Raise your arm to shoulder height and extend them from your body
  • Hold on to this position for thirty seconds before switching to the other side.
Virabhadrasana Helps Ease Heartburn

Side plane pose

  • Start by turning your body so that you are resting on your right side
  • Put your elbow on the floor and hold your head in your right hand
  • Align your left leg on the top of right leg
  • Take deep breaths in this position
  • Carefully lift your body off the ground, such that you are resting on your right shoulder and feet
  • Make sure your body is in a straight line from your feet up to your shoulder
  • Extend your left arm reaching it up to the sky
  • Hold on to this pose for 30 seconds before switching to the other side

Corpse pose or Shava Asana- It is recommended to conclude the sessions of yoga with shava asana to relax and rejuvenate the body and mind.

To start with this pose,

  • Lie flat on your back. Keep your legs together without touching
  • Rest your arms by your side with palms facing up
  • Keep your eyes closed with facial muscles relaxed and breathe deeply and slowly through the nostrils
  • Remain in this position for 3 – 5 minutes.
Corpse Pose Asana For Heartburn

Apart from asanas, pranayama (breathing exercises) can also help in relieving heartburn and acidity. It is believed that the reverse action of acid is triggered by anxiety and stress. There are a variety of breathing techniques known to reduce stress and anxiety, aid in digestion, and increase the overall mental and physical health. Here are few of the breathing techniques that are worth practicing on a daily basis

Nadhi Sodhana or Anuloma Viloma

  • Sit in a comfortable position with your spine straight and close your eyes
  • Close the right nostril with the right thumb
  • Inhale slowly through the left nostril. Inhale the oxygen as much as you can
  • Release your thumb from the right nostril and exhale
  • Use your middle finger to close your left nostril when you exhale then inhale with your right nostril and remove thumb from right nostril and then exhale
  • Repeat this process for 5 minutes
Nadhi Sodhana Asana for Heartburn Relief

Kapalbhati pranayama

  • Sit in a comfortable position with your spine straight
  • Now take a deep breath through your nostrils, pulling your navel in towards your spine
  • Exhale through both the nostrils forcefully, such that your stomach goes deep inside.
  • Repeat this process for 5 minutes
Kapalbhati Pranayama for Heartburn Relief

Bhastrika pranayama

  • Sit with your spine straight and eyes closed
  • Now take a deep breath through your nostrils as much as you can
  • Gently breathe out
  • Make sure the time span while inhaling and exhaling is same. 2.5 seconds to breathe in and 2.5 seconds to breathe out

Regular practice of controlled yoga asanas and breathing exercises under expert guidance will provide calmness to mind, improve the immune system, purify blood and will flush toxins out of the body.

Try at home with utmost care: It is practically possible to cool the fire of heartburn by practicing yoga asanas at home. Before you decide to go on a yoga mat, make sure you go slow and set a gentle routine to start. Perform early morning yoga on an empty stomach. Avoid postures that give you pressure or stress. Go easy and remember to breathe.

People suffering from any health disorder related to heart and blood pressure, pregnant women, and patients recovering from any surgery should refrain from doing this alone and must practice under expert guidance.

Health Tips

Inadequate stomach acid leads to weak digestion. To keep acid in place and to prevent acid reflux follow a few rules

  • Switch to healthy and fresh food products
  • Lose weight and manage your weight according to your age and height
  • Drink fluids and water to dilute stomach acids
  • Do not lie down soon after having meals
  • Wear loose-fitting clothes to reduce pressure on the stomach
Tips to Prevent Acid Reflux


  1. Can yoga be used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease? - (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3734640/)
  2. Yoga and GERD - (https://www.yoga-teacher-training.org/2015/05/14/yoga-and-gerd/)
  3. Yoga: Way of Life - (https://www.artofliving.org/in-en/yoga)
  4. Yoga made easy. A primary short book on yoga and Pranayama by Sant shree hari - (http://www.aryasamaj.org/newsite/files_newsite/YOGA_Manual.pdf)

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