Top 5 yoga poses for better digestion
When you have stomach problems, you might want relief right away. Discovering natural solutions for digestive issues is becoming more and more popular. You might be debating whether to try yoga given how frequently people praise it for relieving intestinal discomfort.
This article explores how yoga may improve digestion and provides instructions for many poses.
How can yoga improve digestion?
According to studies, practicing yoga significantly positively affects stress and anxiety levels. Additionally, there are clear physical benefits like increased strength, flexibility, and balance. But did you know that certain positions can also help with digestive issues? Reviewing human biology will help you comprehend how that is possible.
The autonomic nervous system is the mechanism in charge of the body’s automatic processes. The sympathetic and parasympathetic systems make up that system.
The sympathetic system controls the fight-or-flight response. It enables the body to function under stress.
The sympathetic nervous system activates the fight-or-flight reaction. It slows or stops digestion. Then the body may focus all its energy on fending off whatever threat it is sensing.
Some people experience pain, bloating, nausea, and cramping as a result of excessive stress.
The parasympathetic nervous system is in charge of soothing and relaxing the body. As well as decreasing the heartbeat and breathing, among other things.
Yoga can disable the flight or fight response. Deep breathing, stretches, and twists can relieve a variety of digestive discomforts. Additionally, some motions speed up peristalsis or the passage of food through the intestines.
Irritable bowel syndrome
The sympathetic nervous system is overactive and contributes to irritable bowel syndrome. Many signs of the illness include gas, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation.
Yoga may be beneficial for people with irritable bowel syndrome. Yoga might help with symptom control as well.
1. Wheel pose
Wheel Pose (Urdhva Dhanurasana) is a beginner’s pose. It develops strength and flexibility and widens the shoulders, hips, and chest. While supplying the heart with new blood, it is also compressing the digestive system. This eliminates any weariness that may have resulted from inadequate digestion. Wheel pose is invigorating, upbeat, and stress-relieving.
How to do wheel pose?
- Come to the back position.
- Place your feet on the mat near your buttocks. The feet should be within hip distance.
- Bend your elbows, raise your hands upwards with the palms facing upward and the fingertips pointing down towards your feet.
- Take a deep breath in and then lift your shoulders and hips off the ground by pressing down with your hands and your feet.
- Make sure not to put too much pressure on the neck, and bring the crown of your head to the mat. For leverage, use your hands and feet.
- Lift your head off the floor, and extend your arms straight.
- Reach backward and touch your chest to the wall.
- Set your legs straight.
Wheel pose modifications
- Try these several versions if your shoulders are tight:
- Before lifting yourself up, spread your hands wider than your shoulders.
- Try the pose on the wall.
- Use blocks for yoga. Place two of the blocks up against the wall. Place each hand on a block before pushing up. If it hurts your wrists, consider angling the blocks at a 45-degree angle against the wall.
- Ask for help. Your companion should face you while standing behind your head. They should move their feet almost to your shoulders. Hold their ankles when you press up rather than placing your hands on the floor.
2. Bow pose
The adrenal glands are stimulated in the bow pose, aiding in battling fatigue. Your digestive system’s blood flow is also increased by it. It stimulates the digestive system and eases constipation.
Bow Pose also enhances posture and mitigates the negative consequences of prolonged sitting. Back pain might be relieved by it. It stretches the front of your hips, shoulders, chest, abdomen, and quads. The back of your thighs, glutes and back muscles are all strengthened by the bow pose.
How to do Bow Pose
- Starting on your belly, place your palms on the mat with your legs hip-width apart.
- Put your feet straight back and use the tips of your toes to apply pressure.
- Place your outer ankles firmly in your midline while rotating your inner thighs upward.
- Raise your head and chest a few inches off the mat.
- Bring your shoulders up and back.
- Reach back with your hands and grab the outsides of your ankles while bending your knees.
- Lift your thighs off the mat.
- Hold the relaxed position for five to ten breaths.
- Lower your legs, chest, and head to the ground to gradually exit the pose.
Beginner tips for Bow pose
- Put a rolled-up blanket over your thighs if you find it difficult to lift them off the ground.
- Try Bow Pose while lying on one side of your mat if you have trouble balancing. As a result, you can perfect the pose’s shape before having to keep your balance.
- Slowly lower yourself until you feel comfortable. Exit the pose if your low back starts to hurt.
- If it’s difficult to reach your ankles, wrap a strap around them to increase your reach.
- Lift one leg at a time, reaching back with one hand to hold.
- Avoid this pose if you have any neck or lower back issues. Also, if your blood pressure is high or low.
3. Child pose
One of the simplest yoga positions is the child pose (Balasana). It works out several body areas, particularly the abdomen, and aids in letting off extra gas. This asana will help you relieve any stress in your body if you work a desk job or are feeling worn out.
How to do a Child Pose?
- Get down on all fours. Your hips should be above your knees and your shoulders above your wrists.
- Curl your toes under as you walk your hands forward.
- Move your buttocks back toward your heels as you exhale.
- Keep moving your arms. Keep your elbows from touching the floor.
- Let your neck unwind by lowering your forehead to the ground. Keep your lower back curled a little bit.
- Pull your hips back toward your heels while pushing your hands down. Extend your arms to feel a nice stretch in your spine.
Child pose variations
- Place a rolled blanket between your thighs and calves to protect your knees and lower back.
- If your head does not reach the floor in the pose, place it on a block.
4. Cat-Cow pose
A gradual transition between two positions known as “Cat-Cow” warms the body and makes the spine more flexible. The abdominal organs are gently stimulated and strengthened by it. The two poses stimulate the kidneys and adrenal glands through spinal movement. Stress is reduced and the mind is calmed by synchronizing this movement with breathing.
Additionally, this sequence fosters body balance and postural awareness. When done regularly, it aligns the spine properly and can help avoid back problems.
How to do Cat-Cow pose?
- Put your hands and knees beneath your shoulders and hips.
- In the Cow Pose, inhale while lowering your belly button to the ground and raising your hips and heart to the sky.
- Spread across your shoulders and sitting bones. Breathe out while rounding your back and tucking your chin and tail in the Cat Pose. Push the ground away from you.
Cat-Cow pose variations
- Position a folded blanket beneath your knees for additional cushioning.
- If you can’t kneel, try doing Cat-Cow while sitting on a chair.
5. Camel Pose
This heart-opening posture stimulates the thyroid and parathyroid glands. It can be helpful for reducing stress, anxiety, and tiredness. Camel pose improves spinal flexibility and is good for digestion. It stretches the stomach muscles and stimulates the abdominal organs. Camel Pose also helps ease menstrual pain.
How to do Camel Pose?
- Sit on your knees with your legs hip-width apart.
- Bend your hips back and tilt your tailbone down. Raise your heart to the ceiling.
- Look up and press your hips forward. The backs of your legs should be squeezed.
- When you are ready, place your hands on your lower back with your fingertips facing down.
- If you can, reach back and grab your heels with your hands. Otherwise, keep your hands on your lower back.
- Hold this pose for several breaths, then use your abdominal muscles to lift yourself back up.
Camel pose modifications
- Place your hands on blocks behind you if you can’t reach your heels.
- Keep your toes curled under to shorten the distance between your hands and feet.
Yoga isn’t a miracle cure for digestive issues, but it can offer some relief. It also has the added benefits of reducing stress, improving flexibility, and enhancing overall well-being. Give these poses a try the next time you’re feeling a bit off, and always remember to consult with a medical professional if you have any health concerns.