Certain foods or eating too quickly can be the cause of gas, but tightness in the abdominal muscles may also be partially to blame.
Some yoga poses and other relaxing positions may help release gas that has built up or relieve cramps and bloating caused by the buildup.
Poses to pass gas
Most of these yoga poses, also called asanas, are best done alone and in a comfortable setting.
They can be practiced anywhere if needed, but relaxation is key to being able to pass gas, so it is essential for a person to feel comfortable in their surroundings.
The following poses may help a person pass gas:
Child's pose is a basic yoga pose that may be one of the most helpful when it comes to releasing built-up gas. The position relaxes the hips and lower back, and it may help move gas through the bowels.
To get into child's pose, start by kneeling on all fours. From there, push the bum back to sit on the heels. Stretch the arms out in front of the body, touching the mat. Adjust the knees for comfort.
Let the forehead rest on the floor while the torso rests on the legs. This will create a gentle pressure on the abdomen that may encourage farting. Take deep breaths and relax until the gas passes.
An individual can adjust child's pose to better suit themselves by lifting their bum higher or opening their hips wider. Some people feel more relaxed when they move the hands back alongside the heels, palms up.
Knee to chest pose
The Sanskrit name of the knee to chest pose, apanasana, means downward moving energy pose. A variation of this pose is called the wind-relieving pose.
Start by lying on the back and bring the legs up, bending at the knees to form 90 degree angles. Keeping the knees and ankles together, grab the front of each knee or upper thigh and pull the thighs close to the chest. While doing this, tuck the chin into the chest or try to kiss the knees.
Holding this position for between 15 seconds and 1 minute can put pressure on the abdomen to help the body release a fart.
For a more relaxing variation, bring the knees up and hold them with the hands, but keep the head on the ground. This pose may be more comfortable to hold for longer to help relieve gas in the bowels.
Happy baby pose
Named for the way babies often grip their feet while lying on their back, the happy baby pose may help relieve stress in the lower back and groin, releasing lingering gas from the bowels.
Lying on the back, lift the knees up to the sides of the body. Keeping the knees bent, point soles of the feet towards the ceiling.
If possible, grab the feet with the hands, allowing the back to relax on the floor. Pull the feet down slightly with the hands to create tension.
This position can be held for up to 1 minute, and the tension and pressure may help expel gas. If it is not possible to reach the feet with the hands, using a towel, rope, or strap around the feet may help to keep the pose.
Seated forward fold
Sitting upright on the floor with the legs straight out in front of the body, bend forward from the hips. Try to place the chest on the knees without bending them.
The hands should reach out to touch the toes or as far as they can reach. Pushing forward from the chest may help put pressure on the abdomen, which may create the urge to fart.
Squatting may put pressure on the right areas of the stomach to help release trapped gas.
Whether this is a simple standing squat or a deeper flat-footed squat, the movement of squatting or holding the squat position is a simple way to release gas.
Many yoga poses and natural stretches incorporate twisting movements.
Whether it is laying on the back and moving the bent knees from one side of the body to the other, or twisting the torso while standing upright, twisting movements can put pressure on the core and help release gas.
Other tips to relieve gas
Carbonated beverages such as sparkling water may help to release gas that has built up.
In addition to these positions, rubbing the abdomen in a clockwise motion may help get rid of trapped gas and reduce cramps and bloating.
Some foods and drinks may also help a person pass gas. While these may not be a good idea if a person already has excessive bloating and pain, they may help someone release gas more easily.
Foods and drinks that may help a person fart include:
- carbonated beverages and sparkling mineral water
- chewing gum
- dairy products
- fatty or fried foods
- fiber-rich fruits
- some artificial sweeteners, such as sorbitol and xylitol
Reducing the need to fart
Farting is the way the body releases swallowed air and other trapped gasses. The positions listed above may help relieve gas temporarily, but many people also look for ways to reduce the need to pass gas.
While it may be impossible to make farts disappear completely, there are some ways to reduce the number of times a person has to pass gas each day.
Many foods increase the amount of gas that results from the digestion of food. Beans are well-known culprits, but these pulses contain many nutrients so should still be included in a healthful diet.
Soaking beans before cooking them may help reduce flatulence in some people, while others may want to limit the quantity of beans they eat.
Cutting down on other foods that cause gas may help as well. This includes foods high in sulfur or certain fermentable carbs and fibers, such as:
- Brussels sprouts
- carbonated drinks
Dairy foods, including cheese and ice cream, may also cause gas, especially for people who are sensitive to lactose.
Another important tip is to chew all food slowly and with a closed mouth. A lot of trapped gas is swallowed air, which is more likely to happen if a person eats quickly or with their mouth open.
Holding in a fart
While it is not always best to hold in a fart, sometimes it is necessary. Whether in a crowded room or on a first date, there are plenty of reasons to hold in potentially embarrassing gas until it can be let out discreetly.
Clenching the anus may help in the short term, and changing positions until the gas shifts in the body may also help.
The best solution is for a person to take a moment to relieve the gas in a bathroom or away from other people. This way it will not build up and lead to uncomfortable bloating or pain.
Farting may be socially unacceptable in some places, but it is a natural bodily function. It may help to hold a fart in until someone is alone, but it is healthy to pass the gas when the right time comes.
For people having difficulty farting or dealing with gas pains, using certain positions, chewing gum, or drinking carbonated water may help release built-up gas and reduce bloating.