Hi everyone, it’s Joanna here. Do you tend to suffer from stomach pain, heavy stomach, indigestion, constipation, gas and bloating or IBS? Now that it’s the holiday season, most of us might be consuming heavier meals, which takes a long time for our body to digest and this can also cause digestion related problems.
So let’s spend only 10 minutes to do these 10 gentle yoga poses to help improve your digestion. If you just had a heavy meal, wait for at least 2 hours before doing these stretches.
Throughout the poses, try to breathe as slowly and deeply as you can, breathing in and out through your nose, as you hold each pose. Try to hold each pose for 30 seconds to a minute.
1) Extended Triangle Pose
Stand with your feet wide apart, turn the right foot facing to the right and the left foot facing forward, just slightly to the right.
Inhale and raise your arms sideways parallel to the floor. Now exhale and bend your hips to the right, pointing the left arm up in line with the right arm.
Gaze up at your left thumb, keeping your hips facing squarely forward.
Hold for 30secs, release and repeat on the other side.
2) Squat Pose
Start with your feet slightly wider than shoulder with apart. Toes facing out. Bend your knees and sink into the floor, until your hips are lower than your knees, and keep your feet fully flat on the ground.
Push your elbows into your knees to open your hips, and gently press the inside of your knees into your elbows. Keep your chest open and hold the pose for 30secs to 1 minute.
3) Bridge Pose
Lie flat on your back with both feet on the floor. Lift your trunk, hips, and legs up towards the ceiling, keeping the back-shoulder portion and neck touching the floor. Place both your hands with your elbows rested on the ground. Press the chin against the chest. Hold for 30secs, release and repeat.
4) Camel Pose
Sit on your shins with your knees hip-width apart. Inhale to put both hands on your hips, and exhale to gently arch back. Reach your right hand back towards your right heel and then your left toward your left heel, lower your head behind you and hold.
Your hands are there for just for support, so do not lean all your weight into them. Shift your weight forward into your knees, to increase the stretch in your belly and chest.
5) Cat & Cow
Kneel on your hands and feet with your knees directly under your hips and the palms under your shoulders.
Inhale, making sure your back is flat and your abs engaged. As you exhale, drop your head and round up your spine for the cow pose. On an inhale, arch your back, lifting your head and butt for cat pose. Repeat the two poses, for 30-60secs.
6) Downward Facing Dog
Kneel onto your hands and knees with your wrists underneath your shoulders and your knees underneath your hips. Inhale as you tuck your toes under your heels. Then exhale to lift your hips, coming into Downward Facing Dog.
Spread your fingers wide, and create a straight line between your middle fingers and elbows. Work on straightening your legs and lowering your heels toward the ground. Relax your head between your arms, and look through your legs or up toward your belly button.
7) Wide Child Pose
Kneel on the mat with your knees slightly wider that hip-width apart and with your big toes touching behind you. Take a deep breath in and, as you exhale, fold forward. Focus on lengthening your neck and spine and extend your arms out in front of you. Just allow your entire body to relax and stretch.
Lie flat on your belly, with the tops of your feet on the floor. Place your palms under your shoulders and spread your hands. Keep your elbows close to your body, facing back.
Inhale, and slowly straighten your arms to lift your chest off the floor by engaging your back muscles. Look straight ahead, keep the top front of your pelvis on the floor and your shoulders relaxed. Hold for 15 - 30secs, breathing easily.
As you exhale, lower your torso and head slowly back to the floor and repeat.
9) Wind Relieving Posture
Lay on your back, legs extended out and inhale to hug the right knee in to you chest. Elbows are lifted up and out to the side to keep the lungs open.
Without forcing the knee, round up and hold for 15secs then roll down. Repeat with the left leg. Then, hug both knees into the chest, rocking from side to side.
10) Spinal Twist
Lie down, hug your knees and inhale. As you exhale, drop your knees to the left, using your left hand to push them down gently. Then, turn your head and stretch your arm out to the right. Stay here for 15 – 30secs. Inhale, and return your hands and knees to center. Repeat on the other side.
So commit to spending only 10 minutes everyday to practice these poses for a better digestion. This will help your organs to operate more efficiently, reduce stress, and to also create awareness of your body as you eat. So the next time you suffer from indigestion, gas, bloating, stomach pain, get onto your mat to stretch & twist.