Yoga For Gut Health: 5 Exercises To Help Digestion, Reset Your System Health
In addition to consciously eating and identifying foods that cause digestive issues, it’s important to incorporate yoga asanas into your fitness routine to positively impact digestion and gut health. This is because yoga poses help stretch muscles, massage internal organs and stimulate the digestive system.
The digestive system or digestive tract includes the mouth, esophagus, stomach, pancreas, liver, gallbladder, small intestine, colon, and rectum. This complex and interconnected mesh of organs forms the intestine or our gastrointestinal system.
Yoga for digestion is crucial as it ensures gut health by targeting the stomach, small intestine, large intestine, and liver meridians. Here are 5 yoga asanas to detoxify and rejuvenate the gut to function optimally, calm the mind, and keep the stomach active for better digestion.
1. Chakravakrasana or Cat-Cow stretch
This yoga asana targets the spine and abdominals and involves moving the spine from a rounded position (flexion) to an arched position (extension).
Method: Get on all fours to form a plateau with your back as your hands and feet detach from her legs. Keep your arms perpendicular to the floor and place your hands flat on the floor just below your shoulders while keeping your knees hip-width apart.
Curl your toes and tilt your pelvis back so that your tailbone straightens. Without moving your neck, allow this movement to spread from your tailbone to your spine while letting your stomach drop.
Tuck in your belly button and keep your abdominal muscles tight against your spine. Now, without turning your neck, slowly lift your gaze to the ceiling.
All of that arching was for the cow pose while inhaling and now to round off the cat pose, exhale and release the toes you had curled up. Tuck in your tailbone, tilt your pelvis forward, and let this action move your spine up again to make it naturally round.
Pull your navel towards your spine, lower your head, and gaze at your navel. Matching the movement to your own breathing, repeat the Cat-Cow Stretch with each inhale and exhale for 5-10 breaths.
Advantages: In addition to supporting the back and relieving pain, this exercise helps maintain a healthy spine during those long periods of working in front of a computer screen by helping to improve circulation to the discs in your back. The soothing pose works as a good stress reliever in addition to helping improve posture and balance.
2. Uttanasana or standing forward bend of yoga
Method: Place your hands on your hips while standing on a yoga mat and begin in Tadasana (Mountain Pose). Bend your knees slightly and curl your torso over your legs, starting at the hips and not the lower back.
Your hands may land next to your feet or on the ground in front of you. Inhale and extend your chest to lengthen your spine, then exhale and gently press on both legs without hyperextension.
Lift the kneecaps and slowly raise your upper thighs as you exhale, extend your torso down without rounding your back. Lengthen your neck while extending the top of your head towards the floor and pull your shoulders along your back towards your hips.
Advantages: It not only strengthens the thighs and knees, but also stretches the hamstrings, calves and hips. It relieves headaches and insomnia by calming the brain and helping to relieve stress and mild depression, improve digestion, reduce fatigue and anxiety, and help relieve symptoms of menopause.
3. Ustrasana or camel pose
Method: Kneel on the yoga mat and keep your knees and feet together. Lean back, pushing your hips forward.
Bend your head and spine as back and as far as possible without straining. Put your hands on your feet, relax your body and your back muscles, hold the position for a few seconds before releasing.
Advantages: From stretching and strengthening the shoulders and back to opening the hips and stretching the deep hip flexors, Ustrasana not only improves breathing by opening the chest, but also improves digestion and elimination by widening the abdominal region. It relaxes the vertebrae, relieves lower back pain, improves posture and reduces fat on the thighs.
4. Trikonasana or the triangle pose
Method: Stand up straight on a flat, level floor with your feet comfortably apart. Turn your right foot outward while keeping the heel inward. Both heels should be in a straight line.
Inhale and bend your body from your hip to the right and lift your left arm straight up. During this time, your right hand can rest on your ankle or shin or even on the mat if you are comfortable.
By keeping your head in line with your torso, you can watch your left palm if you are comfortable. With each exhale let the body relax a little more
Advantages: This asana is an amazing stretching exercise because it helps improve flexibility in the spine and pelvic area. This pose will also help you build strength and balance.
Since Trikonasana involves the whole body, its benefits are immense, including treating a neck sprain, stimulating and transporting blood flow through the veins and body, thereby reducing the chance of a blockage or stroke. cerebral, stimulating the digestive system, improving the flexibility of the spine and correcting the alignment of the shoulders. It also relieves gastritis, indigestion, acidity and gas while strengthening the ankles and palms, reducing accumulated stress and anxiety and reducing discomfort.
It is especially useful for pregnant women as it not only shifts their center of gravity but also stretches and opens the hips, which can be of great help during childbirth.
5. Vajrasana or Thunderbolt Pose / Diamond Pose
Method: Begin by kneeling on the floor and resting your pelvis on your heels. Keep your heels close to each other by bringing your knees and ankles together, and point your feet in line with your legs.
Place your palms on your knees or thighs and adjust your pelvis slightly back and forward until you are comfortable. Exhale as you sit down on your legs.
Advantages: Vajrasana not only helps keep the mind calm and stable, but also heals digestive acidity and gas formation, helps relieve knee pain, strengthens thigh muscles, and helps relieve back pain. Exercise helps strengthen the sexual organs and treat urinary problems.
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