Yoga for Digestion, Rachel CarrMy Journey with Ulcerative Colitis

I started practicing yoga to help ease symptoms related to my Ulcerative Colitis (UC), a form of Inflammatory Bowel Disease that I have been managing for nearly 20 years. Through yoga I have found relief from my unhappy gut and the physical, mental, and emotional distress that it caused to my overall well being.

Now I am on a mission to help you do the same!

I was 14 when I was first diagnosed with UC. I woke in the middle of the night, horrified to find that I had lost total control of my body. I felt like my life had spun out of control. Things were happening to my body that were not “normal,” and I was too young to realize what was going on.

I was embarrassed, scared, ashamed and afraid.

After a slew of impersonal tests, the doctors told me that I had ulcerative colitis. Their prescription was to take prednisone (a type of steroid) and maintenance medicines and to stay away from greasy foods, dairy, and caffeine. When I asked the doctor what was causing all of my troubles, the answer I received was, “we don’t know.”

Throughout my adolescence and early twenties, I tried to stay as healthy as possible with the little guidance that I had, but after periods of remission, my symptoms would always act up again. These flare ups were treated by heavy doses of medication, which, although they helped my immediate needs, made it hard for me to function in daily life.  To make things worse, I often had severe reactions to the medications that I was prescribed, but I adamantly refused the notion that I needed surgery. I knew, deep down in my gut, that there had to be another way to get back on track and manage my body and my life.

As a theatre major in college, I started practicing yoga to improve my performance on stage. As my yoga practice deepened, I began to realize that the benefits of yoga are endless if one has an open mind.  My yoga practice started to lead me down the path toward finding a way to control and manage the symptoms related to my colitis. Deep breathing, relaxation, and movement helped me calm my mind, keep my body healthy, and tune in to my intuition so that I could focus on my heath and what my gut was trying to tell me. Finally, I found something that clicked!

I completed an interdisciplinary, 200-hour yoga teacher training in 2008, and I am an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT) with the Yoga Alliance. In 2011, I participated in the Off the Mat, Into the World Leadership Training, which was an opportunity for me to explore the connections between yoga and service. I became a Registered Prenatal Yoga Teacher (RPYT) in 2012, and I 500-hour Life of a Yogi training with Sri Dharma Mittra in New York in 2014. In 2016 I completed my Ayurvedic Yoga Specialist training at the Himalyan Institute.


After finding relief from the health issues that had plagued me for years, I still wanted to know more. I started out on a personal mission to find out why yoga is beneficial for digestive health, so I would be able to share my knowledge with others. After years of study and research, here we are today at Yoga for Digestion. This site was born from my personal experience, practice, trainings, and research on digestive health. I am passionate about the positive impact that yoga can provide for anyone interested in managing and maintaining a vibrant, healthy digestive system. It is my goal to share all that I have learned, help you get healthy, and support you on your journey.

Now, instead of feeling embarrassed, I feel empowered. Instead of feeling a loss of control, I feel balanced and grounded. Instead of relying of the direction of others, I’m finally letting my gut lead the way, and I hope that you will too!