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Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Yoga

Updated: Sep 7, 2022

I completed the YTT200 teacher training at the Yoga Center of Columbia in 2019 and it was an amazing experience. Deep gratitude to Kathy, Lucy and Kelly for their dedication to the practice and providing depth above and beyond the physical practice of asanas.

With my health background, the poses that were beneficial to the gastrointestinal tract stood out and this thesis was the result. I realized it might be interesting for those with IBS, so I included the full paper below.

For full paper, click here

For more information on courses and classes at the Yoga Center of Columbia click here


The Veda’s debatably written 3-5 thousand years ago discussed consciousness in all aspects and via yoga (teachings) the knowledge was spread. Yoga means to “yolk” or to make one. Physical poses (asanas) did not enter the teachings until The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali around 350-450AD and are one small piece of a greater teaching on how to live consciously and in alignment.

The studies below mostly worked with Asana’s to improve IBS and across the board showed relief in symptoms. It is my belief that positive outcomes would increase considerably if more time were spent on educating participants on the background of yoga and diversifying the programs to include education on pranayama, consciousness and meditation. There was a time when prevention was a way of life and healing was a given, not a long sought goal. We have the means, through yoga to return to this way of life.

This paper will look at the effects of yoga on irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). IBS is a chronic dysfunction of the gastrointestinal system expressed as abdominal pain and altered bowel habits predominately diarrhea (IBS-D), constipation (IBS-C) or mixed (IBS-M). Symptoms must occur 3 days per month for the previous 12 weeks to be diagnosed. A newer diagnosis called SIBO is a form of IBS with the addition of dysbiotic flora (inappropriate gut bugs).

Continue reading paper here

In Health, Dr. Stephany Porter, ND



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