Yoga- the ancient practice of union between the Mind, Body and Soul. So much more than just a stretch or exercise, it's a spiritual, energetic ceremony that heightens ones' consciousness and brings harmony to all the body's systems.
Yoga can ease pain, increase flexibility, strengthen and tone muscles, improve respiration, maintain a balanced metabolism and even aid digestion after eating a meal.
While doing an intense power yoga flow session after eating is not highly recommended, you can encourage healthy digestion by practicing these simple poses, to help you bask in the stillness and receive your food optimally after enjoying a delicious meal.
Rock Pose (Vajrasana), is one of the best poses for encouraging digestion. It is said that after practicing and mastering this pose, one can metaphorically digest a boulder!
To enjoy the benefits of the Rock Pose, simply sit back on your heels, pressing your buttocks down onto your feet. Then folding forward to bring your head down to the mat in front of you, sweep your arms back, resting them palms-up on the mat by your sides.
This pose is deeply calming and grounding, and can ease stomach discomfort and promote digestion if you've over-indulged at dinnertime.
Flowing through a Cat and Cow Pose sequence (Marjaryasana-Bitilasana) stretches and contracts the abdominal organs, which aids in movement within the digestive system, thus creating space within the abdomen.
To try this flow, assume a tabletop position on all fours, with your hands and knees on your mat. To ensure you're in alignment for optimal healing and comfort, make sure your hands are aligned under your shoulders and your knees are in line under your hips.
As you inhale, release your navel down towards the ground and arch your spine up into a powerful stretch, reaching your face toward the sky. This is the Cow Pose portion of the flow. As you exhale, move into the Cat Pose by releasing your neck and the crown of your head toward the mat as you round your spine, pushing away from the mat with your hands and knees and pulling your navel in toward your spine. Gently flow between cow and cat pose as you inhale and exhale deeply. After a few rounds, rest into child’s pose, allowing yourself to bask into stillness and receive the ease.
A deep Standing Forward Fold (Uttanasana) is a great pose to compress the abdominal area whilst stimulating circulation to your digestive organs. This pose relaxes the nervous system and releases tension in the upper body, as it allows the weight of your torso to disperse and digestion to commence.
To do this pose, stand with feet firmly grounded and hip distance apart for proper alignment. As you inhale , bring arms passionately to the sky and then as you exhale, release and fold towards the ground folding your body and distributing your weight evenly. Release all tension in your neck and allow your head, neck, and upper torso to completely relax. Close your eyes and hold for a few deep breaths. Place your hands on your hips and slowly inhale as you rise to a standing position while engaging your abdominals as you rise.
Wind Relieving Pose (Ardha Pawamuktasanais) is aptly named, as this pose is known to remove gas from your system and relieve bloating, especially after indulging in a large feast!
The pressure of drawing your leg against your belly will gently massage your digestive organs and encourage trapped wind to move through your digestive tract. This pose specifically massages your colon, allowing increased blood flow to your digestive organs which aids them in working more effectively.
To try Wind Relieving Pose, begin by laying down on your back with both legs extended outwards. Draw your right knee into your chest and wrap both hands around the upper area of your right shin. Pull your knee toward your chest, which will press your thigh gently against your stomach. Take 5 to 10 deep breaths here before releasing and switching legs. Repeat on the other side.
The Supine Twist (Supta Matsyendrasana) naturally follows on from Wind Relieving Pose. This gentle twist is wonderful to finish your practice with, as it allows you to transition from the Yang of movement into the Yin of Savasana, with a smooth flow.
Supine Twist helps expel waste, move food and waste along in your digestive system, and generally stimulate waste removal. When you release your twist, fresh blood—and therefore fresh oxygen and nutrients—can rush back into your digestive organs, helping nourish and support them.
To start your twist, lay on your back with arms straight out, aligned with your shoulders. With the soles of your feet placed on your mat close to your butt, keep your knees together and gently twist to the left from your hip, allowing the outside of your left knee to touch the floor. Turn your head gently to the right and lay it on the mat, looking out over your right hand and creating a twist in your torso that deepens the stretch. Hold your twist on the left side for several rounds of breath, then assume a neutral spine before repeating on the opposite side.
Yoga has been used for thousands of years to heal mental, spiritual and physical ailments. Yoga poses for encouraging healthy digestion focus on massaging the digestive organs, releasing stagnant energy, and waste within our abdominal area. Digestion requires a lot of energy from our bodies to process the nutrients in the food we eat, and usually takes around 4-6 hours to take place. Finding grounded stillness through yoga allows our digestive systems to flow optimally, so you can utilize that energy more effectively to show up in other beautiful ways for your family, community and the world!
Infinite Love & Light...
Brielle Murch | Everything Earth Tribe