5 Easy Yoga Poses for Digestion

Indigestion is uncomfortable with well-known symptoms like cramping, bloating and constipation. Indigestion makes you feel full and uncomfortable in the upper abdomen. Signs and symptoms are vague but you may experience burping without relief, heartburn, bloating, or nausea. Also, known as dyspepsia, it can be a common symptom of a more serious problem. Here is the whole gauntlet of discomforts you might experience when you get indigestion.

  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • An acidic taste in your mouth.
  • Fullness during or after a meal even if you didn’t eat that much.
  • Upset stomach that continually makes noise
  • A burning in your stomach or upper belly.
  • Belly pain.

Keep in mind these symptoms may intensify when you’re under any stress. Indigestion can come from swallowing too much air when you eat so surprisingly, breathing has something to do with how your belly feels after a meal.

If you’ve experienced a great deal of stress in your day, you might want to try yogic breathing before you sit down at the dinner table. Relaxing your body fully will promote you to eat more slowly and breathe properly while you’re eating. You’re more likely to get indigestion when you eat quickly while breathing heavily through your nose. Below we will dive into 5 easy yoga poses for digestion.

Ujjayi Breath Before Dinner

Ujjayi breath is an extremely soothing breathing technique that is easy to do. It calms the mind as well as the nervous system so you can get the stress of the day out of you on a mind, body level. Bringing all that oxygen to your brain gives you extreme relaxation. Here’s how you do it:

  • You’ll be breathing in and out of your nose.
  • Drag the breath in your throat so it sounds like a quiet hissing noise and feels like you’re sipping through a straw.
  • Really try to extend the inhale if you extend the exhale, making both your inbreath and outbreath slow and intentional.

You can choose to use this breathing technique throughout your day for a quick dose of relaxation. It may prevent you from reaching a high level of stress, negating chronic heartburn and indigestion.

A Natural Indigestion Remedy

Studies have shown that peppermint leaves or peppermint oil can help Irritable Bowel Syndrome as well as many other digestive issues. So instead of reaching for Pepto Bismol, try this natural alternative that has proven to ease even the most intense chronic syndromes. It can help relieve the heat within the belly with its natural cooling components. Make sure to also check out this article on the benefits of mint for digestion.

5 Easy Yoga Poses for Digestion and How it Can Help

Some of the main reasons you get indigestion are from unhealthy life choices. Drinking too much alcohol, smoking, drinking too many caffeinated drinks can all cause trauma to your belly. This is also the case if you’re overtired or stressed out. Yoga has been found to quickly help ease stress and changes the brain chemistry so you’re less likely to want to poison your body with harmful substances. There are also certain yoga poses that can pinpoint indigestion from where they’re originating from.

Regular yoga can help improve digestion with postures that cleanse, stimulate, aid and encourage good digestion. It’s not advised that you practice yoga immediately after eating but once you’re digested your food, these following poses can improve digestion. These poses reduce bloating, flatten your midsection and ease stomach pains.

1. Wind Relieving Posture (Pavanamuktasana)

When you eat, sometimes wind gets trapped where it shouldn’t but this gentle pose with slow, intentional breathing can release the trapped wind. Take it slow and easy. The benefits include; curing gas problems and improving digestions. If you practice this pose regularly, you help to stimulate bowel movement which well, ahem…keeps you regular.

Here’s how you do the pose:

  • Lie on your back with legs straight.
  • As you inhale, gently bend your knees, and bring to your chest.
  • Hug your knees snuggly and interlock your fingers.
  • Bring your nose to your knees gently.
  • The more you practice, the further your nose will reach.
  • You can relax into Shavasana as you exhale and repeat at least three times.

2. Half Lord of the Fishes (Ardha Matsyendrasana)

Twists are known to improve digestion. Half Lord of the Fishes Pose specifically cleanses your digestive system. When you twist, you slow down blood flow to the digestive organs. Once the pose is released, you let in new blood. Twists wring out the toxins that have built up which may be the cause of your indigestion. For a simpler variation of the pose, try Simple Spinal Twist Pose.

Here’s how you do the pose:

  • Start in Staff Pose.
  • Bend knees and put your soles flat on the floor.
  • Drop your left knee to the floor and tuck the left foot under your leg.
  • Raise the left arm over your head as you inhale.
  • Upon your exhale, twist your torso to the right.
  • Your left elbow should be on the outside of your right knee.
  • As you breathe into this pose, twist your torso further while keeping your spine straight.
  • You can turn your head to look over your right shoulder.
  • Hold for 30 seconds to a minute as you breathe into your back. Release and repeat on the opposite side.

3. Corpse Pose (Savasana)

Corpse Pose is an excellent posture for healing the whole body. When you rest fully, you will tap into the parasympathetic nervous system which is what allows your body to digest optimally. While in Corpse Pose, imagine all the stress of the day melting away so you can create a healing space for your body. Your blood begins to flow away from your arms and legs and into your digestion system. The heart slows down and breathing naturally deepens. This pose cleanses and heals the digestive system.

Here’s how you do the pose:

  • Lie on your back with your legs straight and arms out to the sides.
  • Your hands should be about a foot away from your body with palms facing the sky.
  • Close your eyes and let your feet relax.
  • Think of your body sinking into the ground and feel it going heavy as you relax through deep breathing.
  • Starting from your feet all the way to your head, imagine you are releasing any stress or tension from your body.
  • Stay in Savasana for at least 15 minutes to gain the full benefits.

4. Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana)

The benefits of Bridge Pose are many. You improve circulation of the blood and it also calms the mind so you experience less anxiety. The lungs, abdominal organs, and thyroid glands are stimulated which all contribute to the health of your digestive symptoms. Blood flows upwards to your heart in this pose so you give the heart a brief break. Once you release, you send new blood flowing back down into the belly which promotes a healthier digestive flow.

Here’s how you do the pose:

  • Lie on your back with arms to your sides.
  • Bend your knees and put your soles flat on the floor at hip widths distance.
  • Your feet should be as close to your buttocks as you can get them.
  • Press your upper arms and feet into the floor while lifting your hips up to the sky.
  • Move your chest towards your head (make sure to keep you chin lifted just a little to protect your neck).
  • To hold the posture easily, clasp your hands behind your back and plant your arms into the floor.
  • This pose is especially effective if you hold it for at least 30 seconds.

5. Downward Dog

A study conducted by the Digestive System Research Unit, University Hospital Vall d’Hebron, Autonomous University of Barcelona proved that intestinal gas retention is much less when a person practices good posture. Downward Dog opens the anterior chest wall and shoulders to counteract the effects of sitting at a desk all day. Additionally, this pose stimulates your digestive system because it’s an inversion pose. As your heart is over your head, you bring blood flow to the upper part of your body. It not only calms the mind but can also ease the discomfort of bloating from indigestion.

Here’s how you do the pose:

  • Start at Table Top Pose.
  • Spread your fingers wide and press your hands firmly into the floor.
  • On an exhale, tuck your toes while lifting your knees off the floor.
  • Reach your pelvis up to the sky while bringing the sit bones backward.
  • Straighten the legs while maintaining a micro-bend in the knees.
  • Walking the dog will help stretch out the back of your calves. To do this, put your right heel down to the ground while you bend your left leg. Repeat on the other side.
  • Press away from the floor with your shoulders and lengthen your spine.
  • Bring the shoulder blades together and externally rotate.
  • While sinking your heels to the floor, turn your thighs inward while lifting sit bones higher to the sky.
  • Your head should be in between your arms, parallel with your ears. Focus on looking between your legs or belly.
  • Hold the pose for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.

Sources

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