7 Poses for Digestive Health

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If you are battling any bloating, constipation, or trapped gas, you are probably sitting there in discomfort and not wanting to do much of anything. But I'm here to tell you that some yoga, of the right kind, is one of the best ways to find some relief.

Doing asanas which compress and decompress the stomach area is a great way to get through this pain and come out the other side. That means mostly twists and forward folds. Try these 7 poses, and let me know how you're feeling afterwards.

1. Gentle Twist - Find a comfortable seat, with the legs crossed. Inhale to find length through your spine, grounding down through the sit bones. Exhale, maintain this length as you twist the chest to the right. Bring your left hand to your right knee and the right fingers down behind you. Keep lifting the chest, rather than rounding the spine, and reaching the crown up. Hug the naval in towards the spine, contracting your abdominals. Exhale, to return to center. Then switch sides.

2. Seated Cat/Cow - Switch the cross of your legs, and let the palms rest on your knees. As you inhale, squeeze the shoulder blades back behind you, and open through the chest. As you exhale, round and contract the spine and drop the gaze down. Ensure this movement is coming from the belly area. Do a few rounds of this cat/cow, following along with the rhythm of your breath.


3. Caterpillar Fold - Extend the right leg out, and bring the sole of the left foot to the inside of the right thigh. Dropping the left knee out to the side. Keep a straight spine as you inhale. As you exhale, start to move in to a forward fold. Reaching the crown forward, and squeezing the shoulder blades back. After a few breaths, exhale and let the spine round and release down in to more of a passive fold. As you inhale, lift back up. Repeat this for a few rounds of breath.

4. Seated Twist - Pick up your left knee, and step the left foot across to the outside of the right thigh. Wrap your right arm around your left leg, then twist to open to the left. Draw the left shoulder back. Hug that leg in towards your belly, and also hug the belly in as you do so. If it feels okay, take the gaze back over the left shoulder. Unwrap and unwind back to center.

Repeat 3 and 4 on the other side.

5. Malasana (Yogi Squat) - Bring the heels in and the toes out. Bend in to the knees and drop the tailbone down. Lift the chest up. Bring the hands together at the heart, and use the elbows to guide the knees open. Then bring the fingers down to the mat. As you inhale, find length through the spine. Exhaling, straighten the legs and fold forward. You can keep a generous bend in the knees, and belly hugging towards the thighs. Let your self release in to the pose. Repeat this for a few rounds.

6. Thread the Needle - Come to table top, with the hips over the knees and wrists under the shoulders. Reach your right arm through underneath you, lowering on to the right shoulder and right ear. Maybe crawl the left fingers forward to extend the arm out. After a few breaths, push in to the palm to return to table top. Repeat on the other side.

7. Easy Child's Pose to Rabbit - Draw the knees and the toes together. Sit the hips back on the heels. Lower your forehead down to the ground, and sweep the arms back at your sides. With the belly resting on your thighs, maybe add some gentle swaying side to side. To take this in to Rabbit, clasp hold of your heels and then rock up on to the crown of your head. For a few breaths, feel this stretch through the back body.

Take a few breaths seated with your hands on your belly before you get up and on with your day. Inhaling to push the stomach out, then exhale to draw it in.

If you would prefer following along for a 10 minute practice, click the video below to watch.



Namaste,
Kassandra

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