The past few Monday’s I’ve been chatting about gut health and digestion, so I figured I might as well keep going, right?! That being said, let’s to chat about how much my gut and digestion loves YOGA! Or really, the benefits of Yoga for digestion!
If you’re like me, you tend to stress easily and you tend to carry that stress in your gut. This is why I try to DE-STRESS and REST more than one day. But another way I try to calm my “stomach stress” is by yoga. In fact, as soon as I wake up, I spend a few minutes practicing certain poses that “awaken” my body and my digestion. I also try to get to at least one yoga class a week or go through a yoga DVD at home. For me, yoga helps me stay connected with how my body is functioning and it helps me to shift focus –> from wired and tired to calm and (some what) collected.
When I’m calm and collected I can REGAIN focus on true priorities. When I’m calm and collected, I can focus on what we (me and the Kiwi) need nutritionally.
Yogi MATCHA Power Bowl! 2 Frozen banana, 1/2 avocado, green tea matcha powder, vanilla protein, and gluten free granola topping.
And when I’m calm and have shifted my focus away from stress, my digestion and absorption are WORKING!
Today I asked my favorite yogi, Christine, to share her top 3 yoga poses that help support digestion. Take notes, practice, and stay calm.
Yoga for Digestion by Christine Yu – Love, Life, Surf
Yoga can help ease digestion and address digestive issues like bloating and nausea in a couple of different ways.
First, certain yoga postures (particularly twists) can physically compress and massage the abdomen and the abdominal organs. This helps to move toxins and fluids out of those areas. The compression can also soothe, as well as stimulate, the digestive organs to help things “get moving.”
Second, yoga postures can stretch and open up the front-side of the body, creating more room and space in the torso and abdominal area.
Third, yoga postures and breathing (http://www.lovelifesurf.com/pranayama-basics-and-techniques/) can relieve the stress response in our bodies. Stress has a tendency to knot up our stomach and manifest itself as digestive issues. By reducing the amount of stress we experience, we can often ease our digestive problems.
Here are 3 yoga poses that help to ease digestion:
Stand with your feet about 3-4 feet apart so that your toes are facing the side of your mat. Turn your right 90 degrees to face forward toward the front of your mat. Turn your left toes in slightly. Your right heel should align with your left heel. Turn your right thigh outward so that your kneecap is in line with your ankle. Take your arms out in a T. Reach your right finger tips forward and extend your torso over your right leg, bending at the hip joint. Rotate your torso to the left and reach your right hand down to your shin, ankle or the ground outside of your right foot. Left fingers reach for the ceiling.
Triangle pose is also a twisting posture that stimulates abdominal organs, improves digestion and helps to relieve stress.
Lie on your belly with your forehead resting at the center of your mat. Bend your knees and reach your hands back to grab your outer ankles. Inhale and kick your feet/ankles into your hands as you start to peel your torso off the mat and your legs lift up. Keep your neck long so take your gaze to just in front of your mat.
Bow pose stretches out the front of your body, from torso to abdomen, and helps to create space in those areas. Because you’re resting on your belly, it also creates abdominal pressure to help massage and stimulate your digestive organs. Alternatively, you can do Locust pose.
Standing Forward Fold
Stand with your feet hip-width distance apart and keep a slight bend in your knees. Fold of your legs, hands reaching towards the ground. You can either bring your hands to the ground or to a block, or you can grasp opposite elbows – right hand to left elbow and left hand to right elbow. Let the weight of your arms and head release fully to the ground
This is pose creates gentle abdominal pressure and massages your internal organs. Forward folds also help to calm the nervous system. When your head hangs below your heart, it activates the parasympathetic nervous system and tells your body to chill out.
Awesome! Thank you Christine! For more YOGA poses, you can follow Christine on instagram. She shares a lot of cool poses there! I love following and learning from her! Oh and for all you runners, be sure to check out Christine’s Yoga for Runners series!
Which one are you gonna try first? I love bow pose!
Wanna be Yogi Cotter