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Article: Yoga For Digestion : Poses to Support a Healthy Gut

Yoga For Digestion : Poses to Support a Healthy Gut

Yoga For Digestion : Poses to Support a Healthy Gut

Yoga is a discipline of meditation and stretching meant to bring balance back to the mind-body dynamic. It’s excellent for overall health, and many yogis report decreased stress levels, weight loss, and better balance. But what about digestive health? Can yoga help your digestive system work better?

Absolutely! There are a number of poses that can jump start a healthy digestion, improve metabolism, and improve the strength of the abdominal muscles that aid in processing and eliminating food.

Keep reading to learn more about yoga for digestion, which asanas to try, and the healthy habits that can lead to better gut health.

sketch of a healthy gut

How Can Yoga Help My Digestion?

A few different factors contribute to digestive health. One of the leading enemies of a healthy digestive tract is stress. Stress and anxiety can make it tougher for our body to process food, and can lead to stomach and intestinal problems.

Weak abdominal muscles can also cause difficulties with elimination and make it hard for our intestines to get the most out of the food we eat. A stronger abdominal core may mitigate these difficulties, making trips to the bathroom less tiring, and allowing our bodies to use nutrients more effectively. Both stress and muscle weakness can be improved by yoga.

The gentle postures, calming mindset, and work on abdominal strength can all aid in digestion, as well as improve our stomach’s efficiency. So which asanas should you try for gut health? 

sketch of women doing half lord of fishes pose

Ardha Matsyendrasana or Half Lord of the Fishes

This asana gently stretches and flexes your abdomen, helping to relieve bloating and gas, as well as jump-start healthier gut function. It’s a gentle and simple asana perfect for those suffering from intestinal discomfort and pain.

To begin, sit on your yoga mat with both legs out in front of you. Bend your left knee into an “A” shape, and then cross it over your right leg. If possible, bend your right knee inward (with the right leg still touching the floor) so that your right foot is pointing towards your left bum cheek. If this is too tough, go ahead and keep the right leg straight.

Place your right elbow on your left knee, and gently rotate your torso towards the left. Your left hand can rest on the floor. Allow your head to follow the direction of your upper body towards the left. Breathe in and out deeply in this position 3 or 4 times, then relax your joints and reverse the pose, allowing your body to twist towards the right this time.

sketch of woman doing cow cat pose

Marjaryasana Bitilasana or Cow-Cat Pose 

This asana is excellent for stretching the spine, improving stomach muscle strength, and helping your abdominal muscles work better. All of these factors can make elimination easier, allow food to be processed more efficiently, and reduce abdominal pain.

To start, place your knees and hands on the yoga mat, as if walking on all fours. Keep your knees under your hips, and your elbows under your shoulders, a bit like a table. Now, lower your stomach so that your rear end moves upward with your shoulders while the spine arches dowarward, like a “U”. Let your head tilt upward slightly. Hold this position for 3 to 4 breath cycles, and then move into the Cat Pose.

Arch your spine upwards, into an umbrella shape, allowing the head and shoulders to drop slightly. Hold this position for another 3 or 4 breath cycles, before relaxing and beginning again, if you wish. 

sketch of woman doing a bow pose

Dhanurasana or Bow Pose 

This asana is a bit difficult, but it does wonders for stretching out the abdomen, and relieving stomach pain. It can also be a huge help for women struggling with menstrual cramps or bloating. 

To begin, lie on your smooch on your yoga mat, with your hands at your sides. Begin to bend your knees backwards, moving your feet as close to your bum as you can get them, keeping your knees at no more than hips-width apart. 

Now grasp your feet with your hands and begin to lift your chest off the mat through this pulling motion. Make sure your hip bones stay in contact with the mat. Hold this asana for 3 to 4 breath cycles, before gently releasing your feet and easing back down to a prone position.

Other Tips For a Healthy Gut

So apart from these helpful asanas, what else can a yoga practitioner do to improve digestive health? One key aspect is diet. 

Many Westerners eat a diet full of processed, sugary foods. This is terrible for your digestive system, and can lead to disease, ulcers, and weight gain. Try a diet rich in whole foods, cooked at home. A vegetarian diet can be a huge help to abdominal health, as can eliminating refined sugars and fast food from your diet.

Another aspect of digestive health is mental health. Stress can wreck our body’s ability to process food, and the calmer and happier we are, the less likely we are to suffer digestive ailments. Cut out social media, stressful activities, and screen time from your life.

Allow meditation, time in nature, and a good spiritual book to be your friends, instead. And make sure you're getting plenty of sleep! The healthier your mind and soul are, the better your digestive tract will work. Let yoga heal you naturally; the calming asanas, emphasis on deep breathing, and the entire lifestyle of yoga can help your body and mind work their best, and realign.

Final Thoughts

Yoga can be a fantastic tool for those struggling to maintain a healthy gut. Yoga for digestion can include poses meant to gently stretch the abdomen, like the Half Lord of the Fishes Pose, Cow-Cat Pose, and the Bow Pose.

Eating well and reducing stress can also help your gut heal. Avoid fast food, sugar, and processed foods. Instead, cook your meals at home from fresh ingredients, and try a vegetarian diet.

Allow yoga to become a whole-lifestyle routine, and allow the yogic emphasis on time in nature, peace, and wellness to heal your body from the inside.

Embrace comfort and flexibility in our yoga wear, specially designed to enhance your well-being. Explore our exclusive offers and start shopping today to embody the spirit of yoga with every pose.

Looking for more yoga related articles? Be sure to read: 

Yoga for Metal Health

Yoga Poses for Stress Relief 

Origins of Yoga 

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