Fitness  

5 Yoga Poses to Aid Digestion

Feeling stuffed or bloated? Check out these five yoga poses that can aid in digestion after a big meal.

1. Yogi Squat

  1. Start in a standing position with your feet placed a just a little wider your hips (about the width of a yoga mat). Make sure your toes are pointed slightly outward, to ensure better mobility. Press both of your palms together at the center of your chest in a prayer position, with your elbows pointing outwards.
  2. Take a deep breath in, and as you exhale, start to bend the knees and squat down towards the floor. If you have a hard time balancing, or want to relax deep into the pose, you can place a yoga block or a stack of books under the tailbone.
  3. Hold the pose for 15-30 seconds. Don’t forget to breathe!
  4. When getting out of the pose, shift your weight into your heels, and straighten your legs back into a standing position.

Optional: With your hands still in prayer position, take both elbows between the knees. Press your elbows outward to stretch the hips.

2. Child's Pose

  1. Start on your hands and knees in a table-top position. Make sure your hands are directly under your shoulders, and your knees are in line with your hips.
  2. Take a deep breath in, and as you exhale, start to sit your hips back towards your heels. Walk your hands forward, stretching out your arms in front of you, and taking the palms to the mat. You can rest your forehead to the mat, as well.
  3. Your hips may not have the flexibility to rest on your heels, and that’s okay. If you’d like, you can use a yoga block or stack of books under the tailbone for more stability.
  4. As you breathe in and out, notice how your stomach rises and falls against your knees. Relax into this pose for 1-3 minutes.
  5. When getting out of the post, begin to lift your hips off of your heels, and press back onto your hands in a table-top position.

Optional: Try this pose with your knees mat-width apart, with your big toes touching each other.

3. Knees-to-Chest

  1. Start by laying down on your back with your legs stretched out in front of you and your arms at your sides.
  2. Take a deep breath in, and bring your right knee in towards your chest, wrapping both hands around the knee or shin. Exhale. You should feel a deep stretch in the front of your hip.
  3. Hold the pose for 15-30 seconds, before releasing your leg. Remember to take slow, deep breaths. Take the opposite knee into the chest, and hold for another 15-30 seconds. Then, take both knees into the chest, and give yourself a big hug. Hold for another 15-30 seconds.
  4. To get out of this pose, simply release the knees and stretch your legs back out in front of you.

Optional: When holding both knees to the chest, gently rock side-to-side to massage your low back.

 

4. Supine Twist

  1. Start by laying by laying down on your back with your knees bent and your feet placed flat on the mat. Bring both of your arms into a “T” position – your palms can face up towards the ceiling, or towards the ground.
  2. Take a deep breath in, and drop both knees to the left side of the mat, keeping your upper back flat to the mat.
  3. Hold this side of the pose for 30 seconds to a minute, before dropping the knees to the opposite side and holding for another 30 seconds to a minute.
  4. To get out of this pose, bring your knees back to center, placing your feet flat on the mat. Turn your head towards center, if it was turned, and bring both arms to your sides.

Optional: turn your head the opposite way of your knees for a full body twist.

5. Legs-Up-the-Wall

  1. Lay down on your back with your feet towards the wall. You will want to bend your knees, and start to scoot your bottom as close to the wall as possible.
  2. Once your bottom is close to the wall, you can extend your legs towards the ceiling, as they rest against the wall. Keep your head flat on the ground with your gaze towards the ceiling. You can have your arms out in a “T” position, or you can rest your hands-on top of your stomach.
  3. Relax into this pose for 1 to 5 minutes. Feel your chest rise and fall as you breathe deeply.
  4. To get out of this pose, you will want to bend your knees and roll over to one side onto the floor, before slowly getting up.

Optional: Reach both arms overhead, grabbing opposite elbows and resting them towards the floor for a deep upper-back stretch.