Liver disease comes with a number of unpleasant symptoms. While diet can help those who are suffering, yoga for the liver can also improve symptoms.
The liver happens to be one of the most important organs in our body. The liver plays a key role in all our metabolic processes. Common liver diseases include alcoholic liver disease, hepatitis, fatty liver disease, cirrhosis, and liver cancer. Yoga for the liver can stimulate the organ and help ease symptoms such as constipation, indigestion, depression, nausea, and brain fog.
Practicing different yoga poses for the liver can revitalize the liver. It is important to remember to breathe throughout the exercises and drink plenty of water to help flush toxins out of your body following the poses.
Yoga Poses for Liver Health
Whether you want yoga for liver detox or yoga for general liver health, there are a number of different poses considered to be effective. The following list includes some of the best yoga poses for the liver.
This is a breathing exercise that is also known as Yoga Skull Shining Breathing Exercise. It stimulates the liver and helps with spleen functioning. Many yoga experts consider it one of the best yoga for liver cirrhosis exercises. This yoga move involves sitting cross-legged on an even surface. You inhale deeply and breathe out forcefully through your nostrils. Your focus should be on exhaling. It’s recommended that you do this every day for at least 15 minutes. Those who practice this report that they can feel subtle positive energies when they are focused and sitting in complete silence.
Known as the King of the Fish Pose or as some call it, The Seated Twist, this yoga movement puts pressure on the liver, which strengthens and stimulates the organ that could be damaged by fibrosis, apoptosis, inflammation, and stress. Sit cross-legged and cross your left foot over your right foot. Your knees should be raised above the surface and pointing upwards. You then move your right hand over your left leg and hold your left foot. The next step is to press your left leg gently against your abdomen, turning your head to the right side at the same time.
Sometimes called the Cow Face Pose, it is also one of the better yoga for liver cirrhosis poses. Liver cirrhosis means that toxins aren’t getting removed from the body, but this pose stimulates the liver to get oxygen and blood flowing freely. You squat on the surface with one leg crossed over the other and allow your spine to stretch out. Place your hands on your back with one over your shoulder and the other over your rib area then clasp your hands at the back and hold the pose.
This pose is said to help with abdominal bloating, as well as fatigue. You sit on a mat with your legs extended out in front of you, tighten your core, and sit up straight. You then bend your left knee and put your left foot outside your right knee. Place your right hand on the ground right next to the right side of your butt. Your fingers should be facing away from your body. Place your left arm on the inside of your left knee. Now, carefully rotate your torso to the right. In order to deepen the twist, walk your right fingers out behind your body. Stop when you can’t twist any further and hold the pose for about 30 seconds before switching sides.
The cat stretch can massage the stomach and the spine, which are areas of the body that protect the liver. Here’s what you do: kneel on all fours. Place your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips. Relax your neck and head to the ground. Start with a straight back and slowly round your back and curve it towards the ceiling. Lower yourself to the start position and try repeating the pose about 10 times.
Bitilisana or Cow Pose
This is yoga for liver detox at its best. The cow pose allows the stomach muscles around the kidneys to relax and is known to warm up the spinal column. For this pose, you stay on your hands and knees and start with a straight back. Relax your hands and look at the ground. Lift your hips, tailbone, and chest towards the ceiling. At the same time, let your stomach relax towards the ground. As you lift your body, lift your head and look straight ahead of you. Return to the start position and try repeating up to 10 times.
Bhujangasana or Cobra Pose
With this stretch, you open up the chest and extend the abdominal muscles that sit over the kidneys. This is how it’s done: you lie face down on a mat and place your legs together then move your right palm next to your right shoulder and your left palm next to your left shoulder. Keeping your weight on your upper body at all times, slowly lift your chest towards the ceiling. Use your lower back to lift your body. Relax your head and neck back as you move into the stretch.
Padangusthasana or Big Toe Pose
Yoga for liver health can also include the big toe pose. It starts with spreading your legs half feet apart then inhale as you bend down and hold your big toes with the first two fingers and thumb of each hand. You slowly lift up your head. For the best impact, try to bring your head to your knees and let your spine curve just a little and hold for five seconds. Inhale lifting your head up and place your hand under your feet. Slowly come back to the starting position. If you are unable to reach your toes, don’t worry; you can just place your hands on your ankles or shins. Keep your legs straight or slightly bent.
Uttanasana or Standing Forward Bend
This yoga pose requires you to stand with your legs together and your body weight centered on the balls of your feet. You have to inhale and stretch both arms straight above your head. Keeping your legs straight, you exhale and bend forward at the waist. Reach down and grab the back of your legs. As you become comfortable with this pose, you can try different holds to get different stretches, including clasping your fingers around a big toe or sliding your palms and fingers under your feet. Remember to keep your head and neck relaxed. Hold the pose for several breaths. When you release the pose, bring your hands to your hips, lift your torso so that it is parallel to the floor, and stand straight on an inhale.
Yoga Tips for Cirrhosis and Enlarged Liver Patients
It is natural when you are not well to worry about overdoing it, especially when it comes to any form or exercise. If you are concerned about yoga for liver enlargement, keep in mind that any exercise really depends on your comfort level. While liver rupture is rare, if you are not comfortable, you should avoid yoga with an enlarged liver.
If yoga does interest you, before beginning any poses outlined here, consult with a doctor and a yoga instructor. When you start yoga, consider being supervised. There are some poses that can harm you if they are not done properly.
Research shows that a sedentary lifestyle can make liver damage worse, so any form of exercise can be good. While those who suffer from liver disease should not be taking part in really strenuous exercise, gentle yoga and deep breathing as well as regular walks can be beneficial. If yoga sounds appealing to you, talk to your doctor about how you want to incorporate it into your daily routine.