Yoga for Digestion
Good Digestion is the key to good health. As per Ayurveda, “The root cause of all disorders lie in poor digestion”.
A healthy gut plays a very important role in regulating all the body’s mechanisms and keeping the diseases at bay. The healthy stomach can help prevent Acne, makes you less irritable and helps you get rid of indigestion, and in some cases, it is said that a healthy stomach can help prevent Cancer as well.
And an unhealthy stomach can lead to poor eyesight, diseases of the kidneys etc.
If you need a relief after a good feast and instead of chewing on the digestive tablets, you can work on a small yoga sequence which will help you get rid of upset stomach, stomach ache or flatulence.
Yoga is one of the best natural remedies for improving digestion. There are numerous Yogasanas that can help stimulate the stomach, pancreas and the intestines to become healthy and strong. Yogasanas can Increase gastrointestinal circulation, food absorption, mucous production and reduces acid formation.
Yogasanas Beneficial for Digestion
Ardha Matsyendrasana or Half Lord of the Fishes Pose- Ardha Matsyendrasana is very beneficial for nourishing and detoxifying the body and helps in digestion. This Yogasana massages the abdominal organs and stimulates the digestive fire. The Digestive fire allows you to digest food efficiently, and absorb essential nutrients from the food. It promotes fresh blood to flow to your digestive organs. Ardha Matsyendrasana can feel slightly uncomfortable right after eating, so be sure to twist slowly and gently.
Technique: To do this yogasana for digestion, sit with your legs outstretched on the floor or on the yoga mat. Place your right foot on the other side of the left leg beside the knee. Fold the left leg in such a way that that the sole of your left foot touches the left hip. Place the palm of right hand behind your back and fold the left arm around the right knee and twist your back to look backward.
Supta Matsyendrasana or Supine Spinal Twist – Supta Matsyendrasana like Ardha Matsyendrasana stimulates the digestive fire which allows the food to be digested properly and also promotes the blood flow to digestive organs. Twists are generally considered balms for bad digestion and are known best to cure sluggish digestion.
Technique: Lie on your back on the yoga mat. Keep your legs straight and spread your arms perpendicular to the body in such a way that the body makes a “T” in this formation. Fold your right leg and take your right knee close to your chest and then draw your right knee over your body and let it rest on the left side of the body. Turn your body to right with your head turning to the right direction as well. Stay in this position for a few seconds and repeat on the left side as well.
Uttanasana or Standing Forward Fold Pose – Uttarasana is one of the most therapeutic yogasana which is beneficial for Digestion. It compresses the abdominal area and stimulates the blood supply to the digestive organs thereby promoting digestion. Uttarasana helps the upper half of the body to completely relax and calms the nerves as well.
Technique: Stand straight on the yoga mat. Bend forward and let your hands touch the floor and let the forehead touch your knees. If you are not able to touch the floor you can wrap your hands around the ankle or you can reach down as far as your body permits without overstretching yourself.
Marjariasana and Bitilasana – Marjariasana and Bitilasana stretches and contracts the abdominal organs and encouraging movement in your digestive system while creating space in your abdomen
Technique: Come on your knees and hands on the floor or on the yoga mat to practice Marjariasana or Bitilasana. Keep your palms directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips. Keep your hands straight, do not fold them. Your toes can rest on the ground backward while practicing these asanas. While inhaling, draw your navel towards the ground and arch your spine towards the sky and gaze upwards. This is called Marjariasana.
While exhaling, draw your navel towards your spine and bring your chin towards your chest while practicing it. Stay in this position for a few seconds. Get into Child pose to relax after practicing these yogasanas.
Pavanamuktasana or Wind Relieving pose – Pavanamuktasana is one of the best yoga poses for digestion and it is also beneficial in getting rid of bloating. The pressure of drawing your leg against your belly will gently massage your digestive organs and encourage trapped wind to move through your digestive tract. This poses compresses and massages your ascending and descending colon, and encourages blood flow to your digestive organs.
Technique: Lie on your back on the floor or on the yoga mat. Raise your legs and fold the knees in such a way that the knees come close to your chest. Fold your hands around your legs and raise the upper part of your body in such a way that your chin touches the knees of both the legs.
Supta Baddha Konasana or Reclining Bound Angle Pose – Supta Baddhakonasana has many restorative benefits. This pose creates space in the torso and pelvis and increases blood flow by stimulating the digestive organs.
Technique: Lie on your back on the floor or on the yoga mat. Bend your knees and bring them to relax on the sides in such a way that the bent knees are on either side of the body and the outer edges of the feet are touching each other. Bring your arms to rest on either side of the body. Stay in this position for 2-3 minutes while maintaining your breath.
Balasana or Child Pose: Balasana is one of the relaxing asanas which soothes the mind, relieves anxiety and promotes digestion by stimulating the abdominal organs.
Technique: Sit in Vajrasana. Bring your arms to rest backward in such a way that both the arms are lying on either side of the thighs. Bend forward and bring your forehead to touch the floor.
Stay in this position for a few seconds.
Vajrasana: Vajrasana is one of the most beneficial asanas for digestion. It massages the abdominal organs and increases the blood supply to the abdominal area thereby promoting digestion. It is recommended to sit in Vajrayana after lunch and dinner for 5-10 minutes. This yogasana promotes digestion and also help get rid of Acid Reflux.
Technique: Sit with your legs outstretched on the floor or on the Yoga mat. Fold your legs in such a way that your heels touch the side of hips. The toe of one foot will cross over the toe of another foot. Place your hands on your thighs just behind your knees. Focus on your breathing while keeping your gaze focused on a point in front or you can keep your eyes closed.
Pranayamas to Regulate Digestion
Kapalbhati Pranayama – Kapalbhati Pranayama helps get rid of all the stomach and abdominal disorders. Regular practice of Kapalbhati pranayama improves your digestion.
Technique: Sit in Padmasana or Lotus feet pose. Inhale deeply and fill your lungs with air to their full capacity. While exhaling, take your abdominal muscles inwards. A pressure will be felt while exhaling and while the stomach is pushed inwards. Repeat this for at least 3-4 minutes every day to improve digestion.
Agnisar Kriya – Agnisar Kriya Tune up and stimulates the entire digestive system. It improves digestion and metabolism and helps get rid of digestive problems.
Technique: Inhale deeply and fill your lungs to their full capacity. Then Exhale very slowly. Now hold your breath and while holding, push the abdominal muscles in and then release them. Continue doing this till you can hold your breath. After releasing Inhale. Practice for at least 2-3 times and increase the repetitions gradually with practice.
Tips While Practicing Yoga for Digestion
- The best way to improve digestion is to practice Asanas and Pranayamas empty stomach early in the morning.
- Drink a glass of Luke warm water before beginning the practice.
- Always start practicing Pranayamas and then Asanas.
- Do not perform the asanas if you have severe abdominal infections or certain back issues or if you are recovering from a Surgery. Consult a physician in such cases and practice under the guidance of a yoga trainer.
- After practicing asanas, relax in Shavasana for a few minutes to relax the whole body.
- Take a gap of 30 minutes before you take a bath after practicing asanas.