7 Yoga Poses That Help Your Digestion

Apr 24th, 2020

No matter how healthy or fit you might be, there’s no escaping the occasional discomfort of indigestion. Whether it’s, we all experience them from time to time. While digestive disturbances like bloating, cramping, or constipation are relatively minor, you don’t have to endure the discomfort. Besides, chronic constipation and frequent indigestion can give rise to other gastrointestinal disorders if not addressed early. That’s where yoga can come in handy. Most of us recognize the efficacy of yoga for stress relief, managing back pain, and improving joint flexibility. But, there’s growing evidence for the therapeutic benefits of yoga for digestion, with some studies suggesting that yoga can even provide relief from more serious conditions like Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Here are some yoga asanas for better digestion to help you get started.

7 Yoga Poses for Healthy Digestion

1. The Chair Pose

The Chair Pose is a fantastic way to encourage digestion, as it encourages a downward flow of energy through the lower body and stimulates your metabolism by working the larger muscles such as the glutes and quads.

How to do it:

1) Stand with the feet together and knees bent as if seated so that the thighs are parallel to the floor

2) Raise your hands and extend them fully as you exhale so that the arms are beside your ears

2. Cat & Cow Pose

Moving between these poses helps warm up the spine, relieving any muscular tension in the back, neck, and shoulders. Your breathing during the pose is important as this combination works to massage the digestive organs, alternately compressing and lengthening the intestines, encouraging better blood flow to the epithelial cells.

How to do it: 

1) Start on all fours, with hands and knees resting on the floor directly beneath the shoulders and hips respectively

2) Engage the abs and keep the back flat as you inhale for the cow pose3) Lower your head and arch the back as you exhale for the cat pose

3. Knees to Chest

This is one of the simplest yoga stretches for digestive health that anyone can try. Literally translated from Sanskrit it is the ‘Wind Relieving Pose’ and it lives up to that name. This pose provides quick relief from gas and bloating and should be your go-to pose to fight indigestion.

How to do it:

1) Lie flat on your back with your hands placed on the knees

2) As you exhale, pull the knees up to your chest, using your hands to hold them there

3) Rock your knees in a sideways motion to increase the stretch

4. Spinal Twist

Spinal twists are great for stimulating digestion and can be practiced by individuals of any fitness level as they are easily adaptable with several variations. Even a basic spinal twist pose has a soothing and toning effect on the abdominal muscles, improving digestive function.

How to do it:

1) Sit on the floor with your legs outstretched before you

2) Pull the right foot back so that the knee bends before your chest and the right foot rests next to the left knee

3) Use your left arm to hug the right knee towards the chest as you place the other hand down, resting the right palm on the floor just behind the hips

4) Turn your head and torso slightly to look over the right shoulder

5. Bridge Pose 

This mild inversion helps your stimulates digestion as the bending motion compresses the digestive organs. As an inversion, it also encourages blood flow to the heart and reduces symptoms of fatigue caused by indigestion.

How to do it:

1) Lie flat on your back, then bend the knees and draw the feet back so that they come to rest on the floor beneath your buttocks

2) Inhale and raise the hips off the floor activating your abdominal muscles and spine as you do so

3) Your chest can also be raised, but make sure that your shoulders and arms remain grounded

6. Half Wind-Relieving Pose  

Another pose that speaks for itself, the Half Wind-Relieving Pose compresses both the ascending and descending colon, triggering the nerves to facilitate elimination. The pose is effective at relieving gas and bloating and improves overall digestive function.

How to do it:

1) Lie flat on your back and raise your legs slowly to form a 90 degree angle as you inhale

2) Bend your knees and bring them to rest on your chest so that the thighs press into the abdomen

3) Wrap your arms around the knees, clasping to hold the knees in place

4) Bend your neck and bring your chin to rest on the knees

7. Child’s pose

Stress has a greater impact on digestion than we realize and this link is only now being recognized. The Child’s Pose is one of the best poses for relaxation, making it the perfect way to end any yoga routine, especially for indigestion.

How to do it:

1) Begin on all fours with your knees at about hip width apart and the upper side of your feet (not the soles) resting on the floor

2) Bring your buttocks to rest on your heels and lean forward so that your tummy rests between the thighs and your forehead touches the floor

3) While doing this you can stretch your arms out before you or pull them back alongside the thighs

Author’s Bio: Anita Fernandes has been writing extensively on health and wellness for over a decade. She has expertise in nutrition, fitness, public health, and weight loss and has contributed content to a variety of leading digital health publishers. Anita has a unique perspective on healthy living and lifestyle, as she has battled and overcome eating disorders and obesity. She shares her experiences in an effort to help others overcome the physical and mental health problems that can sometimes seem insurmountable.

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