Health

5 Yoga Poses To Ease Your Bloating

Because yoga can help with just about anything—even poor digestion.

It’s no secret that yoga is great for your body and mind, whether you’re concerned with your long-term health, or are looking to fix something—like your stress levels or your sleep difficulties—more immediately. But did you know that yoga can also cure some pretty common ailments right away?

If you overdid it on the turkey and stuffing this Thanksgiving and are now feeling the bloat, don’t worry—yoga can help! From Downward-Facing Dog to some spinal twisting, a simple yoga sequence can have you feeling more like yourself in no time. Here are five easy yoga poses that can help fix that distended belly and any signs of indigestion:

1. Downward-Facing Dog

This pose is great for beginners. Even if you need to modify the pose a bit, it’s still accessible to yogis at all levels. downward-facing dog not only stretches your entire body, but it brings the body into alignment and relieves stress, which aids in digestion.

How to do it:

  • First, get on your hands and knees, with your hands planted directly beneath your shoulders, and your knees right beneath your hips.
  • Spread your fingers wide, pressing forward through your fingertips so as to take the pressure off your wrists.
  • Step your feet back into a plank position (the top of a push-up), reaching your heels back behind you, keeping your hips in line with the rest of your body.
  • Then, keeping your hands and feet where they are, press your hips up into the air, coming into the well-known upside-down “V” shape.
  • Allow your heels to relax toward the ground. If you can’t straighten your legs, that’s OK! Just keep them bent.
  • Let your head hang between your arms, keeping your neck relaxed, and breathe.

Pixabay

2. Seated Spinal Twist (Half Lord of the Fishes)

Spinal twists help relieve stress, give your gastrointestinal tract a nice massage and, well, keep things moving…if you know what I mean.

How to do it:

  • Sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you.
  • Bend one leg, placing the sole of your foot on the floor, and then cross that leg over the straight one
  • Depending upon how tight or loose your hips are feeling, you can keep that one leg straight, or you can bend it, bringing that other foot toward your backside.
  • From there, twist your spine toward the folded leg. The arm that’s behind you can be used as a kickstand. Bring that hand as close to your butt as possible to help lengthen your spine. You can try hooking the other arm onto the bent knee to enable your twist.
  • Breathe and be sure to do this pose on both sides.

Adobe

3. Cobra

Cobra pose is pretty simple, but if you have any low back pain, don’t push it. If you feel sharp pain—ie: anything that doesn’t just feel like a nice stretch—do not continue.

How to do it:

  • Lie on your belly.
  • Keeping the top of your feet flat on the floor, spread your hands on the floor beneath your shoulders, palms flat, elbows bent back and hugging your body.
  • Press the tops of your feet, thighs and pubic bone into the floor and, as you inhale, straighten your arms and lift your chest off the floor, drawing your shoulders back and down.
  • If your pubic bone, legs or feet come off the floor, lower back down until they are all touching. If you feel any pain in your lower back, press your pelvis into the floor and perhaps allow your arms to bend more. Breathe. You should feel a nice stretch in your stomach area.

Adobe

4. Cat Pose

Often paired with cow pose for a gentle flow, cat pose helps with digestion by massaging the spine and belly organs.

How to do it:

  • Begin on your hands and knees in the tabletop position, hands planted beneath your shoulders, knees below hips.
  • As you exhale, draw your abdomen in, rounding your spine up toward the ceiling. Let your head and neck relax toward the floor.
  • Inhale, coming back to tabletop, or move on to cow pose for some extra stretching.

Adobe

5. Bridge

Bridge pose is good for so many things, including giving you energy and helping with digestion. It’s also pretty simple!

How to do it:

  • Lie on the floor, bend your knees and place the soles of your feet on the floor, heels as close to your buttocks as possible.
  • Exhale while pressing your feet and arms into the floor and pushing your tailbone up. Firm your buttocks, but don’t clench it, and press your hips up toward the ceiling.
  • Keep your thighs and inner feet parallel and, if you can, clasp your hands below your pelvis and extend your arms, allowing your shoulders to draw toward each other on your back. It’s OK if your hands can’t reach—just skip that part and keep your arms and hands flat on the floor.

Bonus pose: You can also put a yoga block under your hips, right beneath your sacrum. It makes the pose more relaxing, while still giving you digestive benefits!

Adobe

For more yoga digestion poses, including some advanced postures, click here. You can also check out this Yoga for Digestion class by Yoga with Adrienne, a popular YouTube yoga teacher:

Happy holidays…and happy digesting!

[h/t: POPSUGAR Fitness]