Many people cannot deviate from their regular diets for even just one day, for fear of disrupting their digestion and ruining the next few days of their bowel movements.
Can you relate?
If you suffer from any gastrointestinal issues, like digestive discomfort, swelling, and many more uncomfortable and very painful symptoms. You know what we are talking about!
Regular meditation and Yoga are crucial practices that can help keep your gut healthy and your digestive system regular. These practices help alleviate anxiety and stress, which can be a root cause of different types of digestive issues, but they can also physically ease symptoms like cramping, gas, and bloating.
Why practicing Yoga just might be the key to a healthy digestive system
Yoga helps to manage stress and anxiety
It is commonly known that certain types of food often cause digestive issues, especially for those who suffer from food sensitivities, intolerances, or allergies.
However, there is a large part of your digestive health that aligns with your mental state and your levels of stress and anxiety. The saying “healthy gut healthy mind” really goes both ways.
Believe it or not, your gastrointestinal tract is susceptible to every single emotion you experience every day. Therefore, when life makes you worried, stressed, or anxious, your digestion is going to suffer.
Any type of negative emotion (and stress) can interrupt your digestion and cause stomach troubles, such as gas, bloating, and constipation.
Yoga can help with this (along with many other health benefits) because it can help calm both the mind and body, bringing on the feeling of relief and complete relaxation. In return, your digestion will improve.
Have you heard of the parasympathetic nervous system?
This is the system that can be switched on during yoga and meditation. This is the nervous system where the body can rest and digest.
The opposite is the sympathetic nervous system, the fight or flight. For many people, they live in this system. Simple life stresses like fighting traffic and endless emails can cause this system to switch on.
When the body is in this system, it simply cannot digest or rest. This is why it is so important to include practices like yoga in your life.
Even 5 deep breaths can help switch on the parasympathetic nervous system and aid digestion.
Yoga Means a Lot of Twists, Turns and Compression
Many Yoga sessions include sequences of twisting, turning poses and compression poses, which will help wring out your digestive tract and improve digestion. Your yoga teacher will usually let you know what each pose is good for.
Incorporate a few into your daily yoga practice, and the results are going to speak for themselves.
We have many classes inside our online yoga studio that include yoga poses to focus on the digestive organs and digestive tract area, including No More Bloat Fusion (Yoga and Pilates class combined) and Slow Flow Digestion Yoga.
Our Members love these classes and they always feel great after them.
If you are dedicated to your regular yoga practice, you will notice your digestion improving after just a week or two. Adding some twisting poses into your daily yoga practice can really help your digestion so here are some poses that help digestion.
3 Yoga Postures (Yoga Asana) to Help Aid Digestion
Cat Cow Pose
Cat Cow Pose is a really simple movement and a perfect way to warm up for your yoga practice as well.
Start with, hands flat on the floor, wrists under shoulders and your knees are bent, knees under hips.
As you inhale, begin to arch the spine and look up toward the sky.
As you exhale, press the Earth away, puff the back of your heart and gaze toward the naval.
Repeat this 5 -10 times, taking deep breaths in and out through your nose.
Happy Baby Pose
Start laying down on your back. Bend your knees and squeeze them into your chest, you might like to roll side to side, this should feel nice.
As you inhale, reach for the insides of the soles of your feet (or behind the thighs) and as you exhale, draw the knees down toward the Earth. Feet are flexed up towards the sky.
Hold for 5-10 breaths. Feel the compression on the belly.
Now this yoga pose will make you feel good! Your digestion system will love you for it! Stay lying down. As you inhale, bend your right knee into your chest and allow the left leg to go long. As you exhale, it’s a big twist across the body so the knee lands on the left side. Allow your right arm to stretch out in line with the shoulder.
Hold for 5 breaths and then swap to the other side.
Ok you may think, how does this yoga pose help my digestion? Well, as mentioned above, one of the most important details to ensure your digestion system is healthy, is to manage your stress and anxiety.
Corpse Pose, or Savasana, where you simply lie on the Earth, allowing the feet to fall out and the arms by the sides, closing the eyes, gives you space and time to take some deep breaths. And to simply relax. Let go of the day. This yoga pose alone will help you fall into the parasympathetic nervous system where you are able to rest, restore and digest.
Yoga really is such a powerful practice that has so many health benefits, not just your digestion. If you are wanting to begin your practice, check out this guide on how to start your online at home yoga practice.
Otherwise, if you like, why not start with this FREE online Yoga class!
Online yoga truly makes yoga so easy to fit into your day. We can’t wait to see you on the mat!
If you still have questions, be sure to reach out to us on Instagram over here, we’d love to hear from you.
Emma + Carla