Yoga For Digestion
Yoga is known as a solution to many health problems including back pain, anxiety, stress and many others… One surprising fact to many is, Yoga is actually very good for digestion as well and using these positions, you can drastically improve your digestion and therefore your overall health. Enjoy!
Yoga is popular for relieving stress, anxiety, body pains and other health problems. However, few people know that yoga also promotes good digestion. Following the yoga positions below can significantly improve your digestion and overall health. Here are the 8 yoga for digestion poses.
Cat and Cow Pose
The Cat & Cow Pose is a combination of two poses that aim to warm up the body and gain the flexibility of the spine. It promotes balance and postural awareness by bringing the spine into correct alignment. If practiced regularly, it can reduce back and neck pain. When you coordinate the two poses with your breathing, it can calm the mind and eliminates stress. The muscles that are working for the Cat & Cow Pose are your back torso muscles and abdominal muscles.
How to Do the Cat & Cow Pose
- Begin with your hands and knees firmly on the floor. Your wrists should be under your shoulders and knees under your hips. Your knees must be hip-width apart.
- Start by moving into the Cow Pose. Inhale then arch your back and drop or loosen your belly. Lift your chin and chest up and look up to the ceiling.
- Broaden your shoulder blades and draw it away from your ears.
- Move into the Cat pose: as you exhale, you draw your belly up to your spine and your back is pushed upwards. It should look like a cat stretching its back.
- Tuck your chin towards your chest and let your neck release.
- Inhale and go back to the Cow pose, then exhale as you return to the Cat Pose.
- Repeat 10 times or until your spine is fully warmed up.
Downward Facing Dog
The Downward Facing Dog yoga for digestion pose is named after the way a dog naturally stretches its body. This is the most popular yoga pose and it is used as a strength builder, resting pose and transitional pose. It builds strength while stretching the entire body. The muscles that are engaged in the Downward Facing Dog are the legs and arm muscles, shoulders, calves and hamstring.
How to Do the Downward Facing Dog
- Start with your hands and knees on the floor. Your knees are set directly below your hips and your hands are slightly forward from your shoulders. Palms spread and turn your toes under.
- Exhale and lift knees away from the floor. At first, keep the knees slightly bent, and the heels are lifted away from the floor.
- Lengthen your tailbone away from the back of your pelvis and press it lightly towards the pubis. From this resistance, lift your sitting bone to the ceiling, and from your inner ankles draw the inner leg up to your groin.
- Exhale and push your top thighs back and stretch your heels down towards the floor. Straighten your knees but do not lock them. Firm the outer thighs and roll the upper thighs slightly inward. Narrow the front of your pelvis.
- Firm your outer arms and press the base of the index finger into the floor. Lift your inner arms from your wrists to the top of the shoulders. Firm your shoulder blades against your back then widen and draw them to the tailbone. Keep your head between the upper arms but don’t let it hang.
- Hold the pose for up to 3 minutes then bend your knees with an exhalation and rest.
Revolved Triangle Pose
The Revolved Triangle Pose is a variation of the Triangle Pose. It helps with your balance and detoxifies your body. This yoga for digestion pose targets the hips and leg muscles.
How to Do the Revolved Triangle Pose
- From the Tadasana pose, take a big step back. The front toes from your right foot are pointed forward, then turn your back toes in slightly so they point diagonally toward the front outer corner of the mat.
- Align both your heels. Your front kneecap is in line with your second toe to keep it safe.
- Extend your arms parallel to the mat and reach in opposite directions.
- Square your hips with the front corners of the mat. To do this, send your left hip forward and tuck your right hip back.
- Continue to twist your torso to the right while your left arm moves forward and right arm back. Reach your left hand down towards the mat
- Your right-hand reaches high into the sky and gaze your eyes up towards the heaven.
Extended Puppy Pose
The Extended Puppy Pose stretches your upper spine, upper back, arms, and shoulders. It is also a great yoga pose to release tension in the shoulders and upper back. It brings a sense of calmness to the body and eliminates stress and anxiety.
How to Do the Extended Puppy Pose
- Go down on all fours with your shoulders stacked over your wrist. Your hips are stacked over your knees and the top of your feet is down on the mat.
- Slowly walk your hands out in front of you, while lowering your chest to the floor. Keep your hips over your knees and your arms should be shoulder-distance apart. Gently put your forehead down to the floor.
- Activate your arms by pressing into the palms of your hands and lifting your elbows and forearm away from the floor. Draw your shoulder blades onto your back and your hips reach up high towards the ceiling.
- Relax your neck and breathe, lengthening your spine in both directions.
- Remain in this pose for 5 to 10 breaths.
- Gently lift your forehead up and walk your palms back to your body to press up to the starting position.
The bridge pose is therapeutic for people with high blood pressure and asthma. This pose opens the chest, heart, and shoulders. It offers relief from stress, anxiety, fatigue, insomnia, mild depression and headaches. It targets the leg muscles, shoulders, thighs and the hip flexors.
How to Do the Bridge Pose
- Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor. Extend your arms and palms flat on the floor.
- Press your feet and arms firmly on the floor. Exhale and lift your lips up toward the ceiling.
- Draw your tailbone toward your pubic bone and hold your buttock off the floor. Do not flex your buttocks or squeeze your glutes.
- Roll your shoulders back and underneath your body. Clasp your hands with your arms extended along the floor beneath your pelvis. Straighten your arms and press your forearm to the floor. Reach your knuckles to your heel.
- Keep your thighs and feet parallel. Lengthen your tailbone towards the back of your knees.
- Hold the pose for one minute. Then release by unclasping your hands and place the palm down alongside your body. Exhale as you bring your spine down to the floor and allow knees to drop together.
Half Gas Release Pose
This yoga for digestion pose is commonly called the Wind-Relieving Pose. This pose massages the organs of the abdomen and releases tension that occurs in the stomach and lower back. It helps to get rid of the gasses trapped in the large intestine. It helps to tone and strengthen your core muscles and abdominals and targets the pelvic muscles.
How to Do the Half Gas Release Pose
- Start in a supine position with your back on the floor. Inhale and bring one knee to the chest.
- Wrap your arms around the knee as you fold it in and clasp your fingers together.
- Exhale then lift your head and bring your chin towards your chest. Your tailbone and lower back should be firmly planted on the floor. Try to touch your forehead to your knee. Feel the stretch along the length of your body.
- Take a deep breath and hold this position for up to eight breaths. Breathe deep from the belly.
- On the exhale, slowly return your head back on the floor and straighten your legs.
The Supine Spinal Twist stimulates the kidneys, urinary bladders, abdominal organs, and the intestines. It is known to release stress. This pose stretches the back muscles and the hamstrings.
How to Do the Supine Twist
- From a supine position, bend one knee and cross it outside of the opposite foot.
- Use the hand to put a slight pressure on the bent knee to push down towards the floor.
- Keep both shoulders squared and rooted to the floor.
- Extend the opposite hand and gaze towards the hand.
- If you want a deeper stretch, you can straighten the bent knee.
This is the final pose of any yoga class, and its Sanskrit name is Savasana. This last yoga for digestion pose is a resting pose that requires a conscious decision to surrender fully into a state of presence. You have to lie completely still, like a corpse, but you have to be both fully aware and unattached from the present moment. This pose is therapeutic for stress, decrease tension, and relax your whole body. Since this is a resting pose, there are no muscles being targeted by this pose.
How to Do the Corpse Pose
- Lie flat on your back. Use a small pillow below your neck if required. Close your eyes.
- Keep legs apart and let your feet relax completely. Toes facing to the sides.
- Place arms alongside and a little spread apart from the body. Palms are open, facing upwards.
- Slowly relax your entire body.
- Begin by bringing your awareness to different parts of the body, starting from the right foot moving up to the head.
- Keep breathing slowly and allow your breath to relax you more. Surrender your whole body to the floor and let go. Do not fall asleep.
- After about 20 minutes, when you are fully relaxed, keeping your eyes closed, slowly roll to your right side. Lie in that position for one minute. Then gently sit up into a seated pose.
- Keep your eyes closed and take a few deep breaths. Slowly become aware of your environment and body. Slowly and gently open your eyes.