Did you know that just 15 minutes of yoga a day can help ease the pain and discomfort from gas and bloating, as well as imprrove overall digestive function? Some poses can provide immediate relief (for bloating and gas), while others promote relaxation throughout the body which allows for the digestive system to function more efficiently. Good digestion is key to optimal health. The food we eat must be digested properly in order for your body to be able to utilize the nutrients. Food must also be digested completely to avoid inflammation, poor gut health and autoimmune conditions.
Here are eight poses that can be practiced to improve digestion:
- Knees to your chest – This is a basic and easy pose that feels amazing because it resets your spine and offers almost instant relief of bloating and gas simply from the pressure it puts on your belly.
- Supine Twist – This pose offers both immediate relief of bloating and also helps promote good digestion. Think of it as though you’re wringing out a wet towel, where the towel is your digestive system and the water in the towel is what you want to expel. Supine twist compresses and massages the abdominal organs, helping to push blood and toxins through the organs responsible for digestion, while releasing the twist provides a fresh supply of nourished blood through these organs and helps to stimulate digestion. Make sure to do both sides!
- Bridge Pose – Like the supine twist, this pose an offer immediate bloating/gas relief, while also facilitating proper digestive function. It stretches and stimulates the abdominal organs, encouraging blood flow throughout the digestive system.
- Cat/Cow Pose – This pose promotes relaxation throughout your body and a relaxed body equates to better digestion. It’s important to breathe deeply as you move through this pose because it helps to massage your organs as you alternately compress and lengthen the intestines, bringing fresh blood to the digestive system. Take a deep breath in as you look up and send your belly downward and blow all your air out as you push your back to the ceiling.
- Extended Puppy Pose – This pose stretches the belly and is especially effective for bloating relief after a large meal.
- Downward Facing Dog – Your back, neck and spine can fully relax and release in this pose, passing a feeling of relaxation through your body. The forward bend helps to stimulate a sluggish stomach and intestines.
- Half Gas Relief Pose (Yep, that’s actually what it’s called!) – This pose massages the intestines and organs in the abdomen and stimulates the nerves that help with the release of gas. Don’t be surprised to hear a few “noises” with this one!
- Savasana – The ultimate resting pose! Savasana is the pose that allows you to relax everything, tapping into your parasympthetic nervous system. As I mentioned above, if your body is relaxed, it will be able to perform digestive function more optimally.
**Hold the poses for at least long enough to take five deep breaths…the longer, the better.
Whether you’re looking for more immediate relief of bloating and gas, or if you could use an overall improvement to your digestion system, I highly recommend working these poses into your daily routine. Not only will they improve your digestion function, they will also inadvertently leave you feeling less stressed and I know we can all use a little (or a lot) of that!
For more help, try this delicious bloat-beating smoothing recipe! If you’re sufferring from digestive issues and are ready for some help that address the root cause (and not just symptoms), get in touch with me – I can help!