7 Yoga Poses for Healthy Digestion
The physical poses of yoga are known to help with many ailments. There are asanas for a sore back or tight hamstrings. Asanas are the place in which a practitioner sits and the posture in which he or she sits. There are poses to help women alleviate pains while menstruating and even postures that can help you fall asleep at night. But did you know that yoga is also great for digestion?
If you’ve ever overindulged at a fancy feast or snacked all day on the couch then you’ve probably felt that icky, full feeling in your gut. Or if you regularly suffer from indigestion or inflammation in your bowels and need to get things moving again then these yoga poses are for you!
1. Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana) stretches and lengthens the abdominal, which adds some strain to the organs while giving them a massage.
- Remember to keep shoulders pressed back and away from the ears.
- Think about pulling your chest through and your pelvis down.
2. Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana) is a good follow-up posture, which compresses the organs and sends fresh blood to the heart, which in turn will help relieve any tired, sluggish feelings that are caused by poor digestion.
- Hands can be clasped underneath the torso (pictured) or palms down pushing into the floor.
- Squeeze the glutes and think about bringing your chest to your chin.
Twists stimulate and massage the internal organs. Imagine your torso as a wet cloth, with each twist you’re temporarily reducing blood flow to the digestive organs and with each release a rush of newly oxygenated blood is flowing through. Remember to continue taking long, deep breaths in these postures!
3. Seated Twist (Ardha Matsyendrasana)
- Opposite elbow over opposite knee.
- With each inhale lengthen the spine, with each exhale twist from the abdomen.
4. Supine Twist (Supta Matsyendrasana)
- Let your knees fall to one side while your head looks the opposite way
- Arms can be in T – Position or 90 degrees (pictured).
Longer holds and deep breaths in certain relaxing postures initiate your parasympathetic nervous system. This helps calms down the mind, lowers stress and allows your body to concentrate on detoxing.
5. Diamond Pose (Vajrasana)
- Create a bowl with your feet that your glutes sit into
- Palms rest on top of the thighs, thumbs facing towards the back body.
6. Childs Pose (Balasana)
- Bring your big toes to touch and sit your glutes back
- Arms can be outstretched (pictured) or resting alongside the body
7. Corpse Pose (Shavasana)
- Bring feet mat-width apart, palms facing up
- Take deep breaths while relaxing all the muscles
You can hold these postures for 2-4 minutes each or repeat this sequence twice. Afterward, you should feel fresh, light and ready to tackle your day!
Has practicing yoga improved your digestion? Tell us your story in the comments below.
About the Author...
Yoga found its way to me five years ago when a studio opened next to my workplace. Immediately I was hooked on the way it made me feel clear headed, confident and content. Yoga has been something I’ve turned to over and over again when I need to love myself a little more.
In November 2016 I travelled to Indonesia to participate in a 200hr Intensive Yoga Teacher Training where I studied classical Hatha style yoga. It was the best thing I’ve ever gifted to myself and I left Bali feeling accomplished, proud and ready to share what I learnt with the world.
As a graduate of Akasha Yoga Academy and a Yoga Alliance RYT I’m now available for private & group lessons in the Okanagan, BC Canada and I offer Virtual Yoga Sessions online to anyone all over the world! Sign up for my newsletter today for your first class free!