Improve Digestion with yoga
If you frequently suffer from bloating,
cramping, and gas after meals, try practicing these poses.
Yoga poses increase blood flow to your digestive tract and stimulate the
intestinal action known as peristalsis so digestion is more efficient. Yoga also
calms you, which in turn relaxes your digestive system and leads to more
effective elimination. Forward bends increase the space in the abdomen and
facilitate the release of entrapped gases. These poses heat the front of the
body and cool the back body. For vatas, it is important to stay warm.
chakra located in the solar plexus represents solar energy, or
inner fire. Fire converts matter to energy in the form of light and
heat. Physiologically, this refers to metabolism; psychologically,
the transformational nature of fire relates to our expression of
vitality, personal power, and will
Practicing these poses daily on an empty stomach will help. Take a few deep
breaths before every meal.
Caution: Avoid these poses if you have had a hiatal hernia or abdominal
surgery, have abdominal inflammation, a hyperthyroid condition, diarrhea,
back problems, or are
pregnant or menstruating.
Lie on your stomach with your forehead on the floor. Draw your legs together. .
Place your hands under your shoulders with your fingers spread apart. Move your
elbows close to your body. Relax your shoulders and keep them lowered away from
your ears throughout the pose. Squeeze your buttocks, and press your hipbones
and pubic bone into the floor.
Using the muscles in your back, lift your upper body, beginning with your
forehead. Next, lift your nose, your neck, and your shoulders, and finally, your
Press down into your palms to lift your middle torso off the floor, as pictured.
Imagine that you are a strong and flexible cobra. Breathe deeply as you hold
here for 3 to 10 breaths.
To release, keep your buttocks squeezed as you slowly roll back down to the
floor, starting with your middle torso and ending with your nose and forehead.
Turn your head to one side and rest quietly. Let go of any tension.
Bent Elbow Spinal Twist
Sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you. Throughout this
posture, be sure that your
sitting bones are firmly on the floor and that you
maintain a tall spine. Do not round your back; sitting on the edge of a cushion
can prevent this.
Bend your right knee and plant your right foot on the floor near the inside of
your left knee or thigh. Lift your left arm out in front of you, bend your
elbow, and place your elbow on the outside of your bent right knee with your
palm facing away from you. Put your right hand on the floor behind you.
Twist your torso to the right to look behind you, as pictured, and hold for 3 to
10 breaths. Each time you inhale, lengthen your spine to grow taller. Each time
you exhale, twist to the right a little more. Imagine that your belly is doing
To release, slowly turn back to center and extend your legs out in front of you.
Repeat on the opposite side.
Sit on your buttocks with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
Slide your left foot under your right leg and bring your left foot next to your
right hip. The outside of your left leg should be flat on the floor. Lift your
right bent leg and cross it over your left knee, bringing your right foot as
close to your left hip as you can. (Most of us have tight hips, so move your
right leg over only as far as feels comfortable.) To better position yourself,
place your hands on the floor in front of you and lean forward, balancing on
your knees. Then lower your buttocks to the floor.
Place your hands on the soles of your feet and lengthen your spine. Leading with
your chest and folding from your hips, bend forward with a flat back. Stop every
inch or so and breathe. You may not be able to come very far forward at first.
When you reach the point where you feel a stretch but not a strain, gently round
your spine and rest your chin on your chest. Hold here for 3 to 10 breaths.
To release, press down into your buttocks and raise your torso with a straight
strong back. Slowly unravel your legs using your hands to guide them back to the
position in step 1.
Repeat steps 2 to 5, sliding your right leg under your left.
Baddha Konasana (Reclining Bound Angle Pose), Supported Supta Sukhasana, and an
upright variation of Parsvottanasana (Side Stretch Pose) facing a wall. help
lift the diaphragm and chest, increasing abdominal blood supply and reducing
When suffering from acidity, avoid poses that compress the abdominal area,
especially forward bends such as Uttanasana and Paschimottanasana (Seated
Forward Bend). Pressure creates heat, and pittas need to cool their inner fire,
not stoke it. Asanas such as Virabhadrasana I (Warrior I), Trikonasana
(Triangle), and Parivrtta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle) lift the diaphragm
area and extend the esophagus and the top portion of the stomach. This reduces
the reflux of gastric contents, cools the solar plexus, and arrests acidity.
Standing poses also increase the blood supply to the abdominal organs and help
Inversions should not be done during the acute phase of acidity, because they
can cause headaches and vomiting. However, when the digestive system feels just
a little off, it is fine to practice Shoulderstand, for it's cooling. (Avoid
Headstand at such times, however; it's too warming.) A regular practice of all
the inversions during the dormant stage of acidity serves to tone the abdominal
organs and promote overall health.