The famous Lin Yutang once said, “Happiness for me is largely a matter of digestion.” This holds true, as experiences of indigestion, bloating, constipation can clearly be painful. Indigestion can occur in cases of overeating and food poisoning or due to chronic health conditions like Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). All concerns related to ailing digestion can be rectified to a great extent with a combination of yoga asanas, breathing, stretching and detoxifying the intestinal toxins with yogic twists that massage the abdominal organs.
Follow these 5 yoga poses to aid you towards better digestion.
1. The Bridge Pose Or Setu Bandha
This asana is great for the digestive organs, making them work better. It also relieves any lethargy resulted out of poor digestion. This pose also increases the flow of fresh blood to the heart.
Step 1: Lie on your back and place your feet on the floor.
Step 2: Take a deep breath and as you exhale press your feet tight on the floor and pull your body up with knees upwards and the body resembling the shape of a bridge.
Step 3: Hold the position for 10 breaths and then slowly release your spine as you come down.
2. Wind Relieving Pose Or Pawanmuktasana
As the name suggests, this pose releases the gas formed in the body. It also helps in speeding up the process of digestion.
Step 1: Lie on your back with your legs and arms stretched out.
Step 2: Take a deep breath and as you exhale slowly draw your knees towards the chest and inhale as you move your knees back to the original position.
Performing this asana before sleeping helps in post-dinner digestion.
3. Lord Of Half Fish Or Ardha Matsyendrasana
Ardha Matsyendrasana is a side twist that eliminates toxins and cleanses the digestive system.
Step 1: Start by sitting with your legs stretched in front of you. Bend your left leg and cross it over your right leg, placing it next to your right thigh.
Step 2: With your foot touching the ground and spine erect, exhale and twist your upper body to the left while your right hand is holding the left knee.
Step 3: Breathe normally and hold the pose for 20 to 30 seconds. After practising the asana on one side for 3 to 5 minutes, repeat the same on the other side.
While you are performing the twist, it reduces the blood flow to the digestive organs and as you release the twisted pose, fresh blood flows to the digestive organs. This pose also improves pancreatic and liver health.
4. Boat Pose Or Naukasana
The boat pose strengthens the abdominal muscles and improves digestion by stimulating the secretion of digestive juices.
Step 1: Lie down on your back and slowly move in a V-shaped position.
Step 2: Retain the V-shaped pose with your legs in 60 degrees, your back reclined straight and arms stretched out. Hold the pose for 30 seconds and then repeat.
5. The Cat And Cow Pose
Here, you alternate between the cat and the cow positions. These two stretches help in lengthening and then compressing the intestines. The flow of these movements enables fresh blood flow to epithelial cells that are responsible for a healthy gut.
Step 1: Start in the tabletop position with your wrists aligned with your shoulders. Your fingers pointing forward and your feet resting on the ground.
Step 2: Begin with the cow stretch - inhale deeply and push your belly towards the floor. Now exhale moving in the cat pose by pushing your belly towards the spine, allowing your chin to rest on your chest.
Step 3: Continue this movement for 5-10 seconds with inhalation and exhalation.
About The Author: In 2013, Sarvesh Shashi started Zorba, India’s Happiest Chain of Yoga studios and went on to become and was labeled India’s Youngest CEO in the Health and Wellness Sector by Bloomberg. He is a great believer and encourager of sports and has had the chance to travel with a few IPL teams for 3 years, which strengthened his inclination towards sports.