- 14 Oct - 20 Oct, 2017
7 YOGA POSES TO IMPROVE DIGESTION
- 23 Sep - 29 Sep, 2017
- Health & Nutrition
Yoga is great for helping back pain, stress relief, increasing oxygen intake, as well as being awesome for mental health. But did you know yoga can also be a tool to help improve your digestive function. Indigestion, cramping, bloating, constipation – we all experience these things from time to time, and yoga offers several postures that help cleanse, stimulate, aid, and encourage good digestive function. It’s best not to practice yoga right after a meal, but if you’re feeling any kind of bloating, gas, or indigestion a few hours after a meal or the morning after, here are seven yoga poses to improve digestion.
1. Peacock Pose
Yogi masters say that if you practice this pose consistently, you will be able to eat anything you want and have perfect digestion. During the pose, you will place pressure on the digestive organs by balancing the weight of your torso on your arms, which will cut off blood supply to the digestive organs for a moment. Then, when you release the pose, lots of fresh, oxygen-rich blood will flow to the digestive organs and improve their function. The compression will also help move anything through that may be stuck.
2. Wind Relieving Posture
This pose is awesome if you struggle with sluggish digestion, or if you have trapped wind. Take this pose slow, and be sure to combine it with your breath; exhaling as you draw your knees into your chest, and inhaling as you allow them to flow away. Practicing this before going to bed is recommended.
3. Corpse Pose
The ultimate posture for all healing is the corpse pose. When you are at rest, you will be tapping into your parasympathetic nervous system. This is also knows as your “Rest and Digest” response. As you lie still, you are allowing all stresses to melt away and you are literally creating a healing environment for your body. Your blood will start to flow away from your extremities and towards your digestive organs. Your heart rate will slow down, and your breathing will deepen. All of this increases oxygenation to the digestive organs. This also creates the ideal environment for digestion, cleansing, and healing.
4. Triangle Pose
Step your right foot forward into a low lunge and then straighten the leg. Walk your left foot forward 6 inches and turn the foot at a 45 to 60 degree angle to the front of the mat with your heel flat on the earth. Rest your right hand lightly on your right shin or the floor and reach your left hand to the sky with your palm facing outward. Stretch the crown of your head forward as you reach your tailbone toward your left heel.
5. Seated Forward Fold
This pose is amazing for stretching and lengthening the back, but did you know that if you add a little prop to it, it becomes a great digestive aid posture? By placing a bolster or pillow on your thighs, and allowing your belly to rest upon it when you fold forward, you will be creating space for a digestive massage to take place. Each time you take a full inhale, the bolster or pillow will resist against your belly, causing a compression. Then, when you exhale, you release the compression, creating new flow to the area. Repeat this breathing into the bolster or pillow as many times as feels comfortable for you.
6. Downward-Facing Dog Pose
Come into Plank Pose to set up your hands and feet. Place your hands shoulder-distance apart and feet outer-hip-distance apart. Then, use your core to press your hips up and back. To broaden your back, bend your knees slightly to lengthen your spine and spread your shoulders wide. Use this pose to take deep breaths into your belly, pulling the navel up and in toward the back of your heart each time you exhale to nourish your intestines.
7. Half Lord of the Fishes Pose
Twists in general are helpful for improving digestion, and this one is no exception. It has a specific ability to cleanse the digestive system. While you are twisting, you are reducing blood flow to the digestive organs, so when you release, you are letting in fresh blood to the digestive organs. You can also think of twists as having the same effect on your digestive system as twisting a cloth – you will be wringing out the toxins.