Compromised digestion is the biggest issue I see in nutrition practice. This is usually the first thing I need to work on before we can start addressing any other nutritional deficiencies, because it is such an important foundation to absorbing any nutrients.
I love to incorporate yoga for digestion into my nutritional protocols. A therapeutic yoga practice can calm your stomach down as well as help to improve digestion, absorption + increase metabolism.
Here are my top 5 yoga poses for improving digestion:
how to do it: stand with your feet hip distance apart, exhale + bend forward from the hip joints, reach down to grab onto your big toes with your peace fingers. Let your elbows fall out to the sides and bend your knees slightly if you have tight hamstrings. Take 5 deep breaths here.
why it helps: This pose is amazing at improving digestion because it contracts the abdominal organs and when released, fresh blood rushes to the area. This improves circulation to digestive organs and improves digestion.
how to do it: Start by laying on your mat with your arms down beside you ,palms facing up, your forehead on the mat, and your big toes pointing slightly toward each other to engage your thighs. Exhale, lift up your head and torso. then lift up your left leg and right arm, keep the back of your neck long. Release, and slowly bring your right ear down onto the mat, and your right arm back beside you, palm facing up. Rest here for a moment, then exhale and repeat on the opposite side with left arm and right leg lifted. Bring your left ear onto the mat.
why it helps: This pose puts pressure on your digestive organs and can help with gas, constipation, and indigestion.
how to do it: lie on your back with your feet together and arms beside your body. Bring your right knee up into your chest and grab onto it with both hands; pressing it into your stomach. Actively press your left leg down into the mat and keep a long neck on your mat. Make sure to start with the right leg to move in the direction of your intestine (we are trying to move things up and out) Slowly release and then move onto your left leg.
why it helps: This pose massages intestines and other abdominal organs and helps move along the digestion process, as well as relieving wind.
how to do it: after wind relieving pose bring both knees into your chest and give them a nice hug. you can rock from side to side to massage the back or bring your nose up to touch your knees for a deeper stretch.
why it helps: This has the same benefits as wind relieving pose, it is really great for anyone who suffers from IBS and it gives a nice massage to the lower back where we can sometimes have pain if digestion is not working optimally.
how to do it: Sit on your mat with your legs straightened out in front of you and you feet flexed to protect your knees. with a nice long spine hinge from the hip joints (not your lower back) and reach toward your shins or feet. continue to deeply inhale and exhale while letting gravity pull you deeper into this amazing pose. don’t push or pull yourself, just inhale, and exhale.
why it helps: This pose helps to increase digestive juices. Sounds gross but it’s really important.
Give these a try and let me know how it goes for you! Also, go ahead and comment below any of your digestion questions and I will be sure to answer all of them 🙂