Using Yoga to help your digestion
Do you find yourself feeling bloated, irritable and sluggish more often than not? A great way to help with that feeling is regular exercise such as yoga. Yoga can really help to get things moving leaving you feel happy, healthy and on the right track to a healthier you. Below are some really great yoga poses that may help lead you towards optimal digestive health.
Quick Tip: If you want to get the most out of your yoga poses, it’s best to drink a lot of water either before or afterwards but not during your practice. This will allow you to focus all of your energy on digesting rather than taking in new fluids that add to the digestion process which will force your intestinal tract to work harder. It’s also recommended to not do yoga on a full stomach, do yoga either before eating or 3-4 hours after.
Before you begin: Please check with your doctor before starting any new exercise routine. With so many different conditions and ailments, it’s important to make sure that your body is able and ready.
Also another important key to yoga is meditation – digesting thoughts as part of a holistic practice – and letting go is a big part of a healthy digestion. If you’re in “fight or flight mode” your body won’t be able to relax and let these poses do what they’re supposed to do.
Standing forward bend
Make sure feet are hip-width apart and inhale to raise arms up. Lowering down, exhale and bend at the hips to come forward. Tuck chin in towards chest and lengthen head towards the floor. Bend your knees if it’s more comfortable. Hold for 5-7 breaths.
Why it works: Calms nervous system and pacifies adrenals in the kidneys to compress abdominal area to aid in digestion.
Downward facing dog
Begin on all fours. Inhale and tuck toes under your heels. Lift your hips upwards coming to an inverted “V” shape. Spread fingers and allow your heels to lower as closely to the ground as possible. Let your head rest in-between your arms and hold for 5-7 breaths (or as comfortable).
Why it works: Allows for the traction of the spine and creates space in the torso for digestion to occur. Since this is a full body stretch and your torso is pulled in, downward-facing dog can help you become more aware of your digestive system and relieve any built up stress.
Begin seated with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Come forward on your sitting bones and lean back until elbows are straight. Lift feet two inches from the floor and bring arms forward, palms facing the floor. Straighten your knees and tighten your core. Lift legs to create a “V” shape forming a 45-60 degree angle. Hold for 5-7 breaths.
Why it works: Lifts diaphragm to take pressure off stomach and liver creating space for air to flow through the belly. Because the pose requires you to engage your core and lower back to maintain support, pressure is being placed on the abdomen to aid in digestion.
For more info on different yoga poses Click Here
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