The benefits of yoga are not only to stretch and strengthen your muscles, moreover it is practiced to improve the body’s functioning. Yoga helps to improve lung capacity, blood circulation, lymphatic movements, immunity and digestion. Here are 5 poses that promotes a healthy digestive system.
This pose helps to centralize the blood flow around the stomach and intestines as is slow down circulation to the legs and feet. It is one of the most effective poses for acid reflux, ideally sit in this pose for 5 minutes 1 hour after meals to ensure proper digestion.
This pose helps those who have sluggish digestion or suffer from constipation. The deep twist around the abdomen increases peristalsis in the small intestine helping to move contents through the digestive tract completely and quickly. This pose should be done on an empty stomach, due to the squeezing around the abdomen there would be too much pressure in the stomach to hold this pose if you are full. Doing a twisting pose first thing in the morning helps to activate your bowels.
Also known as Child’s pose, it is highly effective in relaxing the mind in order for energy to be directed to the body’s functioning. Sitting over your thighs, face down, helps to put gentle pressure on the large intestine and brings space in the stomach as the back lengthens. This pose is very effective if you have stomach pain or cramping.
The cat stretch helps to tilt the pelvis up and down to stretch and strength muscles surrounding the digestive system. It is an internal massage for the rectum and sphincter muscles which control the process of excretion, particularly important for those who suffer from indigestion or diarrhea.
This pose helps to put gentle pressure around the abdomen to relieve those who suffer from flatulence or bloating. Hold the pose for 2 minutes on each side, if you are comfortable you can exert more pressure downwards by lifting both knees at a time, you can also lift your head off the floor to curl your nose into your knees.
On a general note, drinking plenty of water helps with digestion. It is important that you drink water that is warm or room temperature but not cold, regularly feeding yourself food or drinks that are below body temperature will slow down your digestive fire (Agni) with time. It is also recommended that you drink small amounts of water constantly throughout the day- about half a glass every hour, this will not overwhelm you kidneys and prevents constipation.