6 Yoga Poses for Digestive Health

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Whatever the cause is—rich food, over-eating or serious conditions, such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)—indigestion, constipation, bloating and other digestive issues will never feel good. Fortunately, there are natural solutions to address such problems, such as yoga, which uses a combination of stretches, twists and deep breathing to relieve a range of digestive discomforts. Here are poses that you can try in this matter:

1. Supta Matsyendrasana

You can use this twist pose to tone and soothe your belly. To perform it, you should lie down, hug your knees and then inhale. When exhaling, drop your knees to your left with your left hand pushing them down gently. Turn your head, stretch your arm out to your right and then stay for 5 to 10 breaths. Inhale and then return your knees and hands to your center. Repeat on the other side.

2. Vajrasana

This pose is good when you had eaten too much, as it will stretch your belly out and ease cramps. First, you should sit down on your heels and then lean back, with your palms placed about 8 inches behind you and your fingertips pointing away from your body. Then, press your hands into the floor, arch your back and lift your chest—this is when you will feel your hips pushing on your heels. Now, you can increase the stretch by lowering your head behind you. Hold the position for 5 breaths, before sitting up.

3. Pavanamuktasana

If you are struggling with slow digestion or trapped wind, then this pose is for you. When performing it, take it slow and make sure you combine it with your breathing. This involves exhaling while drawing your knees into your chest and inhaling while allowing them to flow away. It is also recommended to practice this pose before going to bed.

4. Apanasana

Also known as the wind-relieving pose, this simple stretch will give you relief from gas pains and bloating. First, lie down on your mat, relax and then inhale, with your hands placed on your knees. As you exhale, hug your knees to your chest, and then rock your knees from one side to another to get the most stretch. After holding the position for 5 to 10 breaths and releasing your knees. Repeat the sequence a few more times if it makes you feel better.

5. Paschimottanasana

Aside from helping you relax, this simple stretch will help relieve some of the stress that is affecting your digestion. To perform this, sit on the floor with your legs in front of you and your back kept straight. Then, slowly hinge forward at your hips, while lowering your torso. Hold the position for 5 to 10 deep breaths.

6. Ardha Matsyendrasana

This pose and other twists in general help greatly in improving digestion, as they have the specific ability to cleanse your digestive system. While you perform the twist, you are reducing the flow of blood to your digestive organs, and when you release, you are basically letting in new blood to such parts of the body.

All good feelings in your digestive system will come your way by practicing the yoga poses mentioned above. Aside from this, you are also providing yourself the chance to improve your overall health.