Top 7 Digestive Yoga Poses

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Top 7 Digestive Yoga Poses

Digestive Yoga Poses Indigestion is a health concern that everyone suffers from in the form of bloating symptoms, flatulence, heaviness, abdominal discomfort, and cramps regardless of their age group. Intestinal blockage decreased blood supply to the gut, and pancreatic or stomach inflammation are some of the common reasons for indigestion.

The energy that governs our digestive system and is connected to our navel chakra is known in yogic literature as “Agni” (digestive fire). You might not be aware of it, but mental tension and anxiety also lead to an imbalance in the navel chakra, which messes up the digestive fire.

Yoga practitioners engage in various postures to activate the digestive system and enhance intestinal health. Here are several ways yoga promotes healthier digestion:

How does Yoga help in better digestion?

  • One of the reasons yoga aids in digestion is because yoga poses focus on parasympathetic activation i.e. rest & digestion system of the body [efn_note] Exploring the therapeutic effects of yoga and its ability to increase the quality of life https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3193654/ [/efn_note].
  • Yoga positions that involve body twisting, inversion, and bending help the intestines and other abdominal organs receive more blood flow. Increased intestinal blood flow facilitates digestion by boosting the delivery of nutrients and improving the performance of the digestive organs.
  • Moreover, yoga-induced intestinal blood flow also promotes the transport of food particles and waste products through the bowels. Therefore, it removes the intestinal blockage [efn_note] https://thewholeu.uw.edu/2015/09/28/yoga-for-longevity/ [/efn_note].
  • Yoga is the most effective treatment compared to any other exercise routine, alleviating or curing Irritable Bowel Syndrome. [efn_note] Remedial yoga module remarkably improves symptoms in irritable bowel syndrome https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1876382015300561 [/efn_note]
  • This article has been written specifically to explain several yoga poses that focus on eliminating any digestive problems. So get on the mat to start the digestive process and restore order to your digestive system.

Try These 7 Yoga Poses for Digestion

Try These 7 Yoga Poses for Digestion
Digestive Yoga Poses

1. Wind-relieving Pose (Pawanmuktasana)

The wind-relieving position is used to expel extra air from the digestive system. To do this, supinely bring your knees toward your chest while encircling your shins with your arms. The head, shoulders, and bottom are all simultaneously lifted off the floor, putting the chin in between the knees.

Wind-relieving Pose (Pawanmuktasana)
Digestive Yoga Poses

How it helps in digestion:

Your ascending and descending colon are massaged during Pawanmuktasana, which also helps to encourage peristalsis (symmetrical contraction and relaxation of muscles).

  • The wind-relieving stance stimulates the ether and air elements of the Vata dosha. Additionally, it activates the Manipura chakra, known as the “place of fire,” which controls digestive processes. Therefore, it is most helpful for those who have IBS and flatulence. [efn note]http://www.iamj.in/posts/2014/images/upload/1087_1098.pdf [/efn_note].
  • In the famous yoga book Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha [efn_note] Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/784289.Asana_Pranayama_Mudra_Bandha [/efn_note], Swami Satyananda Saraswati has also described that wind-relieving pose exerts pressure on the abdomen and massages the digestive organs.

Helpful tips:

It can be modified by bringing one knee at a time toward the chest if putting the knees together the chest sounds intimidating. The second leg is left extended and rests on the ground in the interim.

2. Seated Forward Bend Pose (Paschimottanasana)

Seated Forward Bend Pose (Paschimottanasana)
Digestive Yoga Poses

When performing Paschimottanasana, the legs are extended in front of the body while sitting. The forehead reaches the knees, the upper body is folded forward, and the arms are extended to grasp the toes with the appropriate hands.

How it helps in digestion:

The liver, spleen, pancreas, and intestines are subjected to extreme pressure when the body is in the Paschimottanasana position. This enhances the blood supply to these organs, aiding in the digestive process.

It also avoids the abdominal organs from sluggishness, which slims the waistline, in addition to toning the abdominal muscles. By appropriately lighting the digestive fire at the solar plexus (navel), it activates the Samana prana.

The best of all asanas, Paschimottanasana “causes the breath to flow via the Sushumna, fans the fire of appetite [pitta], makes the loins pliable [vata], and cures all diseases [induced by pitta and vata],” according to Swami Swatmarama in his yogic work of Hatha Yoga Pradipika.

Helpful tips:

If the forward fold puts too much pressure on your stomach, such as in the event of constipation, try putting a bolster over your thighs close to your lower abdomen. Then, bend forward over the bolster that is positioned horizontally.

People first have trouble getting close to their toes. For this, specialists advise holding on to the ankle, lower legs, or knees whenever it is comfortable to do so.

3. Half Lord of The Fish Pose (Ardha Matsyendrasana)

Half Lord of The Fish Pose (Ardha Matsyendrasana)
Digestive Yoga Poses

The internal organs and any blood that may be sitting in the lower belly are squeezed in this twisted seated position.

Sit with the left knee bent and the left foot placed close to the right hip. Outside of the left knee, position the right foot. By placing the left hand on the outside of the right knee and gripping the right foot, the spine is twisted. Finally, the neck is twisted to peer over the right shoulder while the right arm is encircled around the back.

How it helps in digestion:

Ardha Matsyendrasana leaves a compressing and massaging effect on the abdominal muscles. “this compression, followed by release when you come out of the twist, stimulates the digestive organs”, explains Yoga teacher Sally Lovett [efn_note] https://food.ndtv.com/health/five-easy-yoga-poses-for-common-health-problems-754568 [/efn_note].

Helpful tips: There are several variations of Ardha Mtsyendrasana to try based on your flexibility and endurance.

However, you can twist your upper body while bending just one leg to feel a pinch in your abdominal muscles that will help with indigestion. The appropriate foot should then be placed either inside or outside of the alternative knee.

The Ardha Matsyendrasana’s compression and release movements provide a wringing effect that helps remove toxins. Additionally, it enables new, oxygenated blood to reach the digestive system.

4. Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)

Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)
Digestive Yoga Poses

Backbend positions can help with digestion by directing the abdominal organs upward. In the bow position, the arms and legs are extended like the string of a bow (Dhanush), which lengthens the abdominal muscles. Knees bent, feet lifted, and arms outstretched to hold the ankles while on your belly. By pulling the legs and rising the chest at the same time, it is improved.

How it helps in digestion:

The body in bow pose can be rocked to-and-fro gently synced with rhythmic breathing.

The rocking motion stimulates the digestive tract, improving the function of the large and small intestine”, explains yoga instructor Kylan Fischer. [efn_note] https://cleanplates.com/youtheory/5-natural-ways-improve-digestion/ [/efn_note]

The entire alimentary canal is affected by Dhanurasana. It stimulates a balanced secretion between the pancreas and the adrenal gland by toning them. Additionally, the liver and kidneys are massaged, which improves excretion and digestion.

The last position causes the abdominal organs to expand and contract, stimulating their functioning. Constipation, indigestion, or other gastrointestinal diseases are cured as a result.

The muscles of the anterior abdominal wall are completely stretched in the bow pose. By stimulating the intercostal and iliohypogastric nerves, it also activates the parasympathetic organs. Consequently, aids in better digestion, as demonstrated by a study. [efn note] A Physical Analysis of “Dhanurasana”http://www.ijtsrd.com/papers/ijtsrd30878.pdf [/efn_note] conducted by the International Journal of Trend in Scientific Research in June 2020.

Helpful tips:

The bow position for digestion can be performed effortlessly with the use of a yoga strap. You can do this by wrapping it around your ankles. To perform the position, grip the straps. To get the feet closer to the buttocks, pull them with your hands. A folded blanket may also be placed beneath the pelvis to relieve pressure on the abdominal muscles.

5. Thunderbolt Pose (Vajrasana)

Thunderbolt Pose (Vajrasana)
Digestive Yoga Poses

Vajrasana serves as a catalyst for promoting the process of digestion after the meal. Simply, kneel down on the floor bringing the big toes together and forming a “V” with feet separating the heels. Then, rest your buttocks on the heels and palms on the knees.

How it helps in digestion:

An enhanced blood supply is necessary for the digestive system for the digestion of complex food particles into simpler units.

The same results as described above are obtained by holding Vajrasana. It restricts blood flow to the lower body since it is done by folding the legs. As a result, the digestive region’s blood circulation gradually increases, increasing digestion.

Yogacharya Anoop states, [efn_note] https://food.ndtv.com/health/benefits-of-vajrasana-one-pose-to-solve-all-your-tummy-troubles-1407071 [/efn_note] “Vajrasana is also known to activate Vajra Nadi which works for improving digestion.” Vajra Nadi is a linked psychic channel to the genito-urinary system and the gastrointestinal system works in association with the urinary system to facilitate the elimination process. Thus also improves digestion. [efn_note] http://www.iamj.in/posts/images/upload/1329_1334.pdf [/efn_note]

As previously said, yoga instructor Anoop concurs that this pose enhances blood flow to the pelvic and stomach areas. This facilitates better digestion and bowel movements.

Helpful tips:

Place a cloth that has been rolled up between the thighs and calves if sitting in a thunderbolt position is putting too much strain on the ankles and knees.

Some people might feel uncomfortable sitting on their heels. In order to do this, you can even lay your hips on a yoga block and place it between your feet.

6. Boat Pose (Navasana)

Boat Pose (Navasana)
Digestive Yoga Poses

Navasana is performed by balancing the body over the sit bones. For this, the practitioner lifts the legs and upper body off the floor. In this posture, the body attains a “V”-like structure.

How it helps in digestion:

Another posture that can help with better digestion is Navasana because it contracts the abdominal muscles. The body produces stress hormones as a result, which enhance bowel movement.

Additionally, the boat pose increases the effectiveness of the liver, pancreas, and kidneys, which encourages the release of digestive juices and enzymes. As a result, it aids in enhancing digestion and getting rid of waste.

In his book, Light On Yoga, yoga master B.K.S. Iyengar also referred to it as Paripurna Navasana [efn note]. light on B.K.S. Iyengar yoga

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/56301.Light_on_Yoga [/efn_note]. He elaborates that boat pose relieves the practitioner from bloating due to gas and cures other gastric issues.

Additionally, performing Navasana while supporting the body on the sit bones, it lifts the diaphragm, allowing air to flow through the abdomen. Abdominal digestion is enhanced as a result of the relaxation of the stomach and liver and the strengthening of the back and core muscles. [efn note]

https://www.thedailymeal.com/drink/19-best-yoga-poses-digestion/slide-3 [/efn_note]

Helpful tips:

Navasana requires core strength and gives the body a shaking sensation. It is difficult for someone experiencing bloating or stomach pain. Therefore, try half boat pose, bending the knees with lifted feet and holding the thighs with hands.

7. Camel Pose (Ustrasana)

Camel Pose (Ustrasana)
Digestive Yoga Poses

Ustrasana improves blood circulation to the digestive tract. Perform it kneeling on the floor and arching the spine back to draw the arms towards heels. The hands are then pressed on the heels and the head is also thrown backward.

How it helps in digestion:

The camel position stretches the neck muscles because the head is bowed backward. Ustrasana is claimed to activate the Pachaka Pitta and Samana Vayu as well as open the heart (Anahata) chakra, according to Ayurvedic practitioners. The Apana, Udana, and Vyana Vayu are also balanced in this position, in addition to these.

It controls how much air and blood are delivered to each body cell. As a result, it aids in healthy food digestion.

The release of Apana Vayu, as one of the benefits of Ustrasana, is therapeutic in relieving constipation and dyspepsia. [efn_note] http://www.iamj.in/posts/2017/images/upload/727_733.pdf [/efn_note]

Helpful tips:

Simply perform the back kneeling exercise while kneeling on the ground if reaching the heels seems difficult for you. Those hands can be placed over the sacrum.

Another change would involve putting a block next to each leg’s outside. Bend back and put your hands over the blocks.

Conclusion

With these positions, you can get rid of your digestive problems, discomfort, and humiliation related to always feeling bloated, constipated, or in pain.

These are all specific all-natural methods for enhancing digestive health. As a result, based on your comfort level and needs, follow the right practice plan.

 

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