The digestive tract is like a highway, a system of pipes that carries food and fluid from the mouth to the large intestine. However, the bacteria in the large intestine may not be working as efficiently as they should, which can lead to gas, bloating, and discomfort. Yoga postures are believed to be helpful in improving the digestive system’s ability to move food through the body, particularly when practiced regularly.
When it comes to digestive health, there are a few key things you can do to make sure your digestive system is happy and healthy.
Indigestion, stomach cramps, flatulence, constipation. We all come across these things from time to time, and they can be downright unfunny.
We all know that yoga asanas are good for back pain, relieve stress, increase oxygen uptake and are good for mental health….. But did you know that yoga asanas can also be a means of improving your digestion?
Yoga asanas offer various postures that cleanse, stimulate, aid and promote proper functioning of the digestive system. It’s best not to do yoga right after a meal, but if you feel bloated, gassy or indigested a few hours after eating or the next morning, here are five yoga poses to improve digestion. And if you want to deepen your practice, sign up for a free 30-day yoga challenge. It guides you through all the postures so you know what you need and when.
1. Peacock pose (Mayurasana)
Yoga masters say that if you practice this posture constantly, you will be able to eat what you want and have perfect digestion. During the pose, you put pressure on your digestive organs by balancing the weight of your torso on your arms, briefly interrupting the blood supply to your digestive organs.
When you release the posture, a large amount of fresh, oxygenated blood flows to your digestive organs and improves their function. Compression also helps to promote anything that might get stuck.
2. Wind Relaxation Posture (Pawanamuktasana)
This pose is ideal if you struggle with slow digestion or have persistent bloating. Do this pose slowly and make sure you connect it to your breathing: Exhale as you bring your knees to your chest, and inhale as you release them. I also recommend practicing it before bed.
3. Half Posture Lord Fish (Ardha Matsyendrasana)
Turns are generally very beneficial for improving digestion, and Ardha Matsyendrasana is no exception. It has a special ability to cleanse the digestive system. When you spin, you reduce the blood flow to your digestive organs, so when you relax, you allow new blood to flow to your digestive organs.
You can also imagine that twisting has the same effect on your digestive system as twisting a tissue – you extract toxins.
4. Sit-up forward bend (Paschimottasana)
Yoga posturePaschimottanasana is a great posture to stretch and lengthen your back, but did you know that if you add a little support, it’s a great posture to aid digestion?
By placing a bolster or pillow on your hips and resting your belly on it while leaning forward, you make room for a digestive massage. Each time you take a deep breath, the bolster or pillow presses against your abdomen, causing compression.
Then, as you exhale, you release the contraction and create a new flow in that area. Repeat this breathing into the bolster or pillow as often as you feel comfortable.
5. Lying down (Savasana)
The best posture for all kinds of healing is Savasana. When you are at rest, you activate your parasympathetic nervous system. This reaction is also called the rest and digest reaction.
When you lie still, you release all tension and literally create a healing environment for your body. Your blood begins to flow from your limbs to your digestive organs. Your heart rate will slow down and your breathing will become deeper.
All this increases the supply of oxygen to the digestive organs. It also creates an ideal environment for digestion, cleansing and healing.
So the next time you have indigestion, try one of these positions! You’ll be surprised how well they work!