5 Best Yoga Asanas For A Healthy Liver

Add these powerful poses to your routine to keep your liver in good shape!

Reviewed by Anirudh Gupta, Certified Yoga Instructor Anirudh Gupta Anirudh GuptaCertified Yoga Instructor insta_icon
Written by , Health & Wellness Writer Shirin Mehdi Health & Wellness Writer Experience: 3 years
Edited by , Senior Editor Ravi Teja Tadimalla Senior Editor Experience: 8 years
Fact-checked by , Health & Wellness Writer Himanshi Mahajan Health & Wellness Writer Experience: 2 years

We all know the liver is one of the most important organs in our body. So, it is important to keep it functioning well. Fortunately, you can practice several yoga asanas for a healthy liver.

According to a study by the American Liver Foundation, more than 100 million US citizens had some type of liver disease, with 1.8% of the population diagnosed with liver disease. It was further estimated that 80-100 million adults had fatty liver but were unaware of the condition.

What are these yoga poses? How to do them perfectly without getting injured? What are the precautions to keep in mind while doing them? Keep scrolling to know more.

1. Kapalbhati Pranayama

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Pranayama is a breathing exercise that is known for boosting the liver health of those who suffer from liver cirrhosis, jaundice, hepatitisi  XInflammation of the liver due to viral infection or injury that causes symptoms like fatigue and loss of appetite. and other diseases. Kapalbhati Pranayama, also known as the Yoga Skull Shining Breathing Exercise, is a yoga exercise that aids in liver stimulation and treats a variety of liver problems effectively (1). It also helps in the functionality of the spleen.

  1. This exercise works best when you sit cross-legged on an even surface.
  2. You need to inhale deeply and breathe out forcefully through your nostrils.
  3. Your focus should be on exhalation.
  4. For the exercise to work, you need to practice it every day for at least 15 minutes.
  5. Make sure that you are able to isolate the abdominals for this kriya.

2. Ardha Matsyendrasana

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This is a pose that is also known as the King of the Fish Pose. It is known to be highly beneficial for healing a damaged liver. It helps in putting pressure on the liver, which in turn strengthens and stimulates the liver that is damaged by fibrosisi  XThe thickening, hardening, or scarring of tissue that develops in response to an injury or damage. , apoptosisi  XA type of cell death that occurs in many different organisms to eliminate damaged or abnormal cells. , inflammation and stress. if there is already a medical intervention underway (banding due to portal hypertensioni  XBlood pressure above 140/90 due to an increased force of blood against the artery walls, which increases the risk of heart disease. ), you should avoid putting any undue pressure or twists to the abdomen.

  1. This asana is performed by sitting cross-legged and crossing your left foot over the right one.
  2. Your knees should be raised above the surface and pointing upwards.
  3. Move your right hand over your left leg and hold your left foot.   – Next, press your left leg gently against your abdomen, turning your head to the right side at the same time.

3. Dhanurasana

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This is also known as the Bow Pose. This is an asana that works wonders for people who suffer from fatty liver disease. It stimulates, strengthens and stretches the liver, and the fat deposits in it are used up as an energy source for the body.

  1. This is not a difficult pose. Firstly, lie on your stomach and raise your legs and torso at the same time.
  2. Next, hold your ankles with your hands, making your body look like a bow with your arms acting as the bow strings.
  3. You should remain in this pose for as long as you can.
  4. Return to your resting position and repeat the exercise as many times as you can.

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is the most common cause of chronic liver disease across the globe and is a leading indication for liver transplantation in the US. This graph from a study published in Medicines shows the prevalence rates of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in different countries.

Prevalence Of NAFLD

Source: The Epidemiology, Risk Profiling and Diagnostic Challenges of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

protip_icon Quick Tip
Common variations of Dhanurasana are Parsva Dhanurasana and Purna Dhanurasana. Your body is rolled onto one side for the former and an extreme backbend defines the latter where the legs are made to touch the head.

4. Gomukhasana

Gomukhasana for a healthy liver
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This pose is also known as the Cow Face Pose. This yoga for fatty liver is also one of the best asanas for the treatment of cirrhosis. When you have liver cirrhosisi  XA condition in which scar tissues slowly replace healthy liver tissues and cause long-term liver damage. , oxygenation and blood flow is prevented by scar tissues. Your liver becomes unable to remove toxins and pathogenic bacteria and metabolize fats. By practicing this asana, your liver gets stimulated, thereby ensuring that oxygen and blood flow freely through it.

  1. The first step to performing this exercise is to squat on the surface with one leg crossed over the other.
  2. Allow your spine to stretch out.
  3. Place your hands on your back with one over your shoulder and the other over your rib area.
  4. Clasp your hands at the back and hold the pose.

5. Naukasana

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This is another pose that is known as the Boat Pose, and it is a simple yet effective asana to add to your wellness routine for liver conditions. By performing this exercise, you help in the stimulation and strengthening of your liver, allowing it to clean all the harmful toxins out of your body.

  1. You can perform this asana by lying on your back.
  2. Raise both the upper and lower portions of your body, making your body rest on your buttocks.
  3. Remain in this pose for as long as possible.
  4. Return to the resting position and repeat it.

protip_icon Quick Tip
An easier variation of this pose is Ardha Naukasana with the body and feet only half raised. A challenging variation is Ubhaya Padangusthasana, where both hands are stretched to grasp the toes or feet.

Other yoga poses that you can practice to help your liver include:
  • MeruWakrasana- Spinal Twist
  • BhuNamanasana- Spinal Twist Prostration Pose
  • Utthita Hasta Merudandasana- Raised Hand and Spine Pose
  • Merudandasana- Spinal Column Pose
  • ArdhaMatsyendrasana– Half Spinal Twist
  • Bhujangasana- Cobra Pose
  • SuptaMatsyendrasana- Supine Spinal Twist
  • Padangusthasana- Hand to Toe Pose

Points To Remember:

By practicing different yoga exercises or poses, you can improve and maintain your liver so that it functions properly and stays healthy. Yoga is a superb way to stimulate this important organ and vitalize it. When you are practicing yoga exercises to help your liver, remember always to focus on your breathing. You should also drink plenty of water after the exercises to flush out all the impurities from your body.

Apart from performing yoga and meditation, you need a healthy, well-balanced diet. Here are a few diet tips to benefit your liver:

  1. Avoid alcohol.
  2. Avoid beverages like tea and coffee.
  3. Avoid fried foods or foods that are oily.
  4. Avoid sugars that are refined, such as jams, artificial sweeteners, etc.
  5. Increase your use of fennel, cumin, caraway, laurel leaves and ginger in the dishes you prepare.
  6. Eat more lemons, pomegranates, figs, and plums.
  7. Drink 8 glasses of water daily, in-between meals.
  8. Do not eat unless you are hungry.
  9. Always eat food that is freshly cooked.
  10. Increase your intake of Vitamin C as it is a potent antioxidant that helps the liver and lowers damage from toxins in liver cells.
  11. Drink a few cups of dandelion and green tea every day.

Infographic: Yoga Asanas For Better Liver Health

Yoga allows you to easily perform stretching exercises that are very effective for maintaining your overall health as well as for remedial actions. Since different yoga poses offer different benefits, take a look at the infographic below to learn about the best ones that keep your liver functioning and healthy.

yoga asanas for better liver health (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Get the high-quality PDF version of this infographic.

Download Infographic in PDF version

Yoga may help improve liver health, and all you need to do is follow the five asanas discussed in the article. These poses help stimulate, stretch, and strengthen the liver and prevent conditions like fatty acid liver disease, cirrhosis, etc. Additionally, they may also promote relaxation and mindfulness, boost blood circulation and immunity, and improve balance, flexibility, strength, and posture. However, apart from practicing these yoga asanas, you need to adopt a healthy lifestyle, follow a proper diet, and drink plenty of water (at least eight glasses) for liver detoxification. Also, avoid alcohol, junk and processed foods, sugars, artificial sweeteners, and consume freshly cooked food. A natural and holistic lifestyle is the only way to keep your body and organs healthy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which mudra is good for the liver?

Apana mudra, prithvi mudra, and mushi mudra are suitable for the liver. Holding these for a couple of minutes can strengthen the liver function.

Is Vajrasana good for the liver?

Yes, it may aid liver function and enhance digestion.

How frequently should one practice yoga asanas for optimal liver health?

For optimum results, practice yoga asanas every day for 15-30 minutes.

Are there any precautions one should take when practicing yoga asanas for liver health?

Practice on an empty stomach, and do not strain your muscles. The flow of breath should be natural, and the surface should be on a level with the ground.

How long does it take to see the benefits of practicing yoga asanas for liver health?

If you practice yoga daily, it usually takes 6-12 weeks for results to be visible.

How can I incorporate yoga asanas for liver health into my overall yoga practice or fitness routine?

Most yoga asanas for improving liver health are those that you might do on an everyday basis. If you do not do these yoga asanas, you can include one asana at a time along with your other asanas.

Key Takeaways

  • Kapalbhati pranayama may promote the liver health of those suffering from problems like jaundice and hepatitis.
  • Performing Ardha Matsyendrasana may help strengthen the liver damaged by stress, fibrosis, or inflammation.
  • You can also perform asanas like Dhanurasana may be beneficial for people with fatty liver.
  • Along with practicing these yoga asanas, leading a healthy lifestyle may keep your liver healthy.
Yoga Asanas For A Healthy Liver

Image: Dall·E/StyleCraze Design Team

Revitalize your liver health with five easy yoga asanas discussed in the video below. Detoxify your liver and enhance your overall well-being through the power of yoga. Get ready to feel energized and rejuvenated.

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