Are you experiencing cramping, indigestion, constipation or bloating in your stomach area? When experiencing digestion issues, your first thought might not be to get on the mat and get moving. However, yin yoga has a proven track record of being a great way to relieve digestion issues.
The five poses laid out here are a great way to gently massage your internal organs and digestive system.
You will not require any props for these poses.
Move slowly through these asanas and twists, allowing yourself to enjoy the sensation as you relax into the pose for as long as feels good to you (aim for at least 3-5 minutes in each).
Like with all yin poses, don’t push yourself too hard, opting instead to stay in your comfort level. On a sliding scale of pain level, try to stay at about a 4 or 5 out of a possible 10.
I have a video of these poses on my YouTube channel if you would like to practice them alongside me. Click through to the Yin Yoga for Digestion video.
So fight the urge to curl up in bed and roll out your mat instead. Let’s gently get moving and find some relief in this troublesome area.
1. Wide-legged child’s pose – From table top position, bring your big toes together and work the knees as wide as is comfortable. Walk your palms forward, bringing the forehead to rest on the ground. If there is any pinching in the low back, bring your knees in a bit. Let your upper body be heavy. Start to breathe into your low belly, as you will continue to do throughout your practice.
2. Supine leg stretch – Come down to lay flat on your back with your legs stretched out long on the mat. Keeping your left leg extended, bend your right knee, and hug it into the chest. Interlacing your fingers on the upper right shin to support your leg, but don’t pull too hard. Instead let gravity slowly lower your leg towards your chest over time as you continue to hold the pose. Keep your left heel in contact with the mat and toes pointing upward.
3. Supine twist – From here, use your left hand to gently bring the right knee across the body towards the left side. Extend your right arm out to the side, to help ensure your shoulder stays on the mat, and you are getting a full spinal twist. Breathe into where you feel this stretch. Keep your knee bent here, or opt to extend the leg long on the left side (possibly holding on to your toes). Ease slowly out of the pose and flat on your back. Repeat these two stretches on the opposite side.
4. Knees to chest pose – Staying flat on your back, hug your knees into the chest. Keep your head, shoulders and hips down on the mat. Stay still and enjoy this sweet relaxation, or invite a little rocking side to side and front to back to massage the low back.
5. Supine twist – From a reclined position, bend your knees and set the soles of your feet on the ground. Shift your hips towards the right side of the mat. Lift the right leg, crossing it on top of the left, so your thighs are stacked and knees remain bent. Gently drop your knees towards the left. Take cactus arms here, and ensure your shoulders stay pinned down to the mat on both sides. Returning to neutral, shift the hips to the left, cross the left leg over the right and lower your knees to the other side.
Prefer to do a 30 minute guided practice? Find the full and free YouTube video below.
Want more twists, but with a bit more energy? Check out the 45 minute Twist It Out practice video.
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