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5 Yoga Poses for Pancreatic Health

5 Yoga Poses for Pancreatic Health

The pancreas, a vital organ located in the abdomen, is surrounded by the stomach, intestines, liver and other digestive organs. Its primary role involves the synthesis of pancreatic juices, with amylase aiding in carbohydrate breakdown, lipase dissolving fats, and trypsin and chymotrypsin assisting in protein digestion. The pancreas produces hormones such as insulin, which plays a crucial role in regulating the storage or utilization of glucose in cells for energy. Diabetes and gastrointestinal problems are no longer unfamiliar conditions. They are prevalent health issues affecting a significant number of individuals in the present era. Protecting the pancreas is essential to prevent conditions such as acid reflux, indigestion, heartburn, abdominal pain, pancreatitis, and gallbladder problems.

Maintaining a well-balanced diet, staying hydrated, avoiding unhealthy habits, and incorporating impactful practices like Yoga can significantly enhance pancreatic health and reduce the risk of damage in later years.

Research indicates that practicing specific asanas involving the compression and squeezing of the abdomen, encouraging the secretion of pancreatic enzymes is beneficial. When performed with precision, these yoga postures effectively tone and massage not only the pancreas and liver but also the neurological and circulatory systems. This holistic approach helps alleviate stress, maintain a healthy weight, and regulate blood pressure. Let’s look at the top poses beneficial for pancreatic health. 

5 Yoga poses for Pancreatic Health 

Ardha Matsyendrasana or the Half-lord of the fishes Pose

This intermediate, seated spinal twist is extremely beneficial in toning, massaging and strengthening the abdominal organs and muscles. It strengthens the back and core muscles as well. The twist is beneficial in lowering blood sugar, stimulating digestion and aiding in relief from stress and tension. It also helps boost immunity as it opens up the chest and encourages better breathing. 

Ardha Matsyendrasana

How to do Ardha Matsyendrasana

  • Sit in Dandasana with your feet together and spine straight. 
  • Now bend the left leg and place the left foot flat beside the right hip. 
  • Take the right leg over the left knee and place the left hand on the right knee and the right hand behind you. 
  • Now slowly twist the waist, shoulders and neck to the right and look over the right shoulder.
  • Ensure your spine is straight. 
  • Now look over the right shoulder while taking slow deep breaths. 
  • Release and repeat this on the other side. 

Vajrasana or Thunderbolt Pose

Extremely beneficial in stimulating blood flow to the digestive organs, Vajrasana is the only posture that can be practiced soon after a meal. By boosting blood flow to the stomach, intestine and pancreas, it aids the pancreas in secreting digestive juices that facilitate the breakdown of food and helps keep gastrointestinal conditions away. 


How to do Vajrasana

  • Begin by kneeling on the floor with your knees and feet together. Your big toes should touch each other.
  • Now sit back on your heels. Ensure your weight is evenly distributed between both legs.
  • Sit up straight and lengthen your spine. Your back should be erect, and your shoulders relaxed.Rest your hands on your knees, with your palms facing down. You can adopt the Gyan Mudra by touching your thumb and index finger, keeping the other three fingers extended.
  • Ensure that your heels are directly under your sit bones, and the tops of your feet are flat on the floor.
  • Let your shoulders relax, and allow your shoulder blades to move down your back.
  • Keep your gaze fixed straight ahead, keeping your neck in a neutral position.
  • Stay in this position for a comfortable duration. You can gradually increase the time as you become more accustomed to the pose.
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Viparita Karani or Legs-up-on-the-wall Pose

A relaxing, therapeutic posture to practice, Viparita Karani is a simple inverted posture which encourages lymphatic draining, helps with blood circulation, reduces stress and thus prevents digestive conditions and gastrointestinal issues. It also prevents trapped pressure from the stress-prone areas such as the back and hips. 

Viparita Karani

How to do Viparita Karani

  • Lie down with your buttocks close to a wall and legs falling to one side. Now slowly lift the legs up along the wall. Adjust your position to make sure you are as close to the wall as possible. Make sure you are comfortable.  
  • Now relax the throat and head. Keep the arms on the side of the body or above your head - whichever is comfortable for you. 
  • Stay here for a couple of minutes. Try to take slow, deep breaths. 
  • To come out of the posture, slowly drop the legs to one side and push yourself away from the wall.

Dhanurasana or Bow Pose

The Bow Pose massages all the abdominal organs, improving the functioning of the pancreas and entire digestive system. With improved blood circulation and oxygen supply, there is an immense energy boost. Hormones are better regulated and with a strong stimulating effect, pancreas functioning improves. 


How to practice Bow Pose

  • Lie flat on the stomach with the legs and feet together, and the arms and hands beside the body.
  • Bend the knees and bring the heels close to the buttocks. Grip the ankles with the hands.
  • Keep the knees and thighs firmly on the floor and the arms straight throughout the practice.
  • Place the chin on the floor.
  • Tense the legs and lift the feet backward while raising the head and chest as high as possible from the floor without straining.
  • Use the backward movement of the legs to assist the raising of the body, allowing the back muscles to remain passive. In the final position, the gaze is upwards without compressing the neck.

Paschimottanasana or Seated Forward Bend Pose

Paschimottanasana or the seated forward bend pose is extremely effective in relieving stress and stimulating organs such as the lungs, kidney, pancreas and liver. It stretches and strengthens the back and spinal nerves and muscles, while also activating the parasympathetic nervous system, thus calming the mind. 


How to do Paschimottanasana

  • Sit up with the legs stretched out straight in front of you (Dandasana). Keep the spine straight and toes pointing upwards. 
  • Inhale, raise both arms above your head and stretch up. As you exhale, bend forward from the hip, chin moving toward the toes. Keep the spine erect. Focus on moving forwards towards the toes, rather than down towards the knees.
  • Place your hands on your legs, wherever they reach. Do not try to force yourself closer to the thighs if it is difficult. If you can, grab hold of your toes and pull on them to help you inch forward a little. You can also grab your calves if that’s where you’re comfortable. 
  • Breathe in, keep your head straight and lengthen the spine. As you exhale, gently try to take your naval closer to the knees. Engage your core and try to use your breath to go deeper into the posture. 
  • To come out of the posture, release the grip; inhale, raise both the arms up and lift the chin and chest as well. Breathe out, lower your arms and come back to Dandasana.

Concluding thoughts 

It is no surprise that yoga is an effective practice that helps manage and prevent conditions such as diabetes. Practices like meditation and pranayama are also extremely relaxing which helps keep the system calmer. When more oxygenated blood goes to the pancreas, the organ functions better and is in a better state of health and balance. 

Learn how to practice yoga poses for pancreatic health LIVE with Shvasa’s certified yoga teachers

Can yoga help with maintaining diabetes?
Yes, yoga is effective in managing diabetes and helps balance the hormones. Practice yoga live with certified yoga teachers to learn the right poses for pancreatic health.
How does yoga help with pancreatic health?
Research indicates that practicing specific asanas involving the compression and squeezing of the abdomen, encouraging the secretion of pancreatic enzymes is beneficial. When performed with precision, these yoga postures effectively tone and massage not only the pancreas and liver but also the neurological and circulatory systems. This holistic approach helps alleviate stress, maintain a healthy weight, and regulate blood pressure.
What are the best poses for pancreatic health?
Practice ardha matsyendrasana, vajrasana, halasana, paschimottanasana and viparita karani for pancreatic health. Other poses such as Dhanurasana are also beneficial.
What is the best way to practice yoga for pancreatic health?
Practice yoga for pancreatic health live with a yoga teacher to experience the best results. A combination of holistic practices such as asanas, pranayama and meditation are all beneficial.
5 Yoga Poses for Pancreatic Health
Arunima Singhdeo

Arunima is the Founder & CEO of Shvasa. She was the cofounder and COO of which raised approx $20mn in funding from Accel Partners and Tiger Global, which was later acquired by The Mahindra Group. She was also a Vice President at Infoedge India - a successfully listed Internet company. Arunima is a Master Yoga & Meditation teacher with over 2000 hrs of practice and 1000 hrs of teaching Yoga. Her two passions are yoga and the internet.

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