Digestion can be a challenge from time to time! Some people experience difficulty with including competition with meal times, emotional stress, or overindulging. Luckily, for those times, there are simple yoga poses to help the digestive system get moving again. It can help to regulate the digestive system and reduce any discomfort.
1. Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana)
This forward fold works wonders to soothe and stimulate the digestive system. It helps to gently warm the body and alleviates stagnation by moving energy. With the chest caved in and head rested heavy on the legs, you will allow gravity to take over. This can bring relief especially if there is any tightness felt in the abdominal area.
2. Cat-Cow Pose (Chakravakasana)
This pose is a great way to observe the contraction and relaxation of the abdominal muscles as well as massage the organs of the abdomen. This can help to relieve tension and promote a healthy digestive system. On the inhalation, the chest opens and the belly lowers while the spine arches. On the exhalation, the chest and stomach come together, the tailbone tucks, and the spine rounds. To maximize the benefit of this pose, make sure to move slowly and with the breath.
3. Seated Twist (Bharadvajasana)
This simple twist is a great way to optimize digestion and aid in the elimination process. Seated in the ready position, the twist begins by anchoring the opposite elbow over the knee. Inhaling to lengthen the spine, then twist deeper on the exhalation. The key is to spread the twist on all sides of your body and not rush into the depth of it. Taking deep breaths into the sides of the body where the more intense sensation is, can deeply massage and purse the abdominal area.
4. Supported Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)
This gentle backbend is a great pose to target the entire abdominal area and can help with any digestive discomfort. Begin by lying on the floor and placing a bolster or several stacked blankets lengthwise below the spine. To support the neck, you can use a block or neck roll. The hips should be close enough to the edge of the bolster that the torso is tilted upward. With the back slightly arched, it opens the chest to breathe freely. This pose helps to stimulate the digestive organs, particularly the stomach and small intestine and can calm any spasm in the region.
Although these poses may help with any digestion distress, everyone’s body is different. It is important to honor what your body needs and listen to what it’s telling you. You may want to practice a few consecutive sessions if your digestive health is an ongoing challenge. However, you may want to take a break if you feel your body is becoming too exhausted from the poses.