The origins of ‘yoga’ are as old as time itself. A mystery remains as to who were the first people on the face of the earth to practice yoga. Were it the people of the Vedic civilization or the Indus valley civilization; solid evidence has not been found to make an exact claim. Yet, we can confidently say that yoga has been on earth since nearly 1500BC.
Yoga is a popular spiritualistic retreat for people belonging to multiple religions. Hindus, Buddhists and Jains; all value the teachings of yoga. Over the years, since 1500BC, lots has been learned about this ancient art. As of today, there are two forms of yoga that are extremely popular: Hatha yoga and Raja yoga.
In the olden days, people practiced yoga perhaps because everybody in their society or the important members of their society propagated its use. To get the people of today to practice yoga, one needs a more persuasive and practical argument. As a disciplined practice or ritual, yoga gives its practitioners multiple benefits:
- Yoga to improve digestion
- Yoga to increase flexibility
- Yoga for weight reduction
- Yoga for balanced metabolism
- Yoga to improve athleticism
To conclude that paragraph, yoga is a simple activity that offers its practitioners multiple benefits such as yoga for digestion, yoga for weight loss. Out of all the benefits, in this article, we shall be focusing on one point; ‘Yoga to improve digestion’.
Once upon a time, a yoga pose was just a yoga pose. Whether a person was practicing yoga to improve flexibility, yoga for good digestion; it didn’t matter, they all adopted the same pose. As millenniums passed by, ‘yoga’ as a spiritualistic art has undergone multiple scientific tests. Experts and gurus alike, have identified specific poses that allow an individual to reap specific benefits of yoga.
Keeping in line with the above statement, yoga poses for digestion were identified. Poor digestion or indigestion of food is a troublesome problem for an individual. It’s painful, you are uncomfortable and there’s always a degree of uncertainty involved. Yoga can offer to be a solution for both; small digestive problems and big digestive issues alike. Yoga for better digestion needs to be practiced in certain poses. Also, remember, never practice yoga straight after a heavy meal. Even if you are feeling really uncomfortable immediately after the meal, it’s advisable that you rest for a couple of hours before practicing yoga. Given below are some of the best yoga poses for digestion:
Note: Some of these poses are easy to adopt while others are hard. It’s advisable to practice those poses that you are comfortable reaching. The harder poses just require a degree of practice. After a few weeks or months of practice, you should have no trouble reaching them. It is advisable to learn the precise techniques of each asana from a trained yoga practitioner for best results.
Pavanamuktasana (Wind-Relieving Posture):
A simple yoga poses for digestion, it’s best to practice this before you go to sleep at night. Along with the pose, the breathing too has to be regulated in order to reap its benefits. The way it works is simple:
- Lie down on your back.
- Pull your knee to your chest slowly, using your hand.
- While pulling the knee to your chest, exhale.
- While drawing the knee back to its original position, inhale.
Paschimottasana (Seated-Forward Fold):
This posture is more popularly used to improve flexibility and muscle strength. However, it can be adapted to a posture that’s good for digestion too. It’s a slightly difficult pose to obtain but with practice, it’s very easily possible. Follow these steps to adopt this pose:
- Lie down on the yoga mat.
- Place a pillow on your thighs.
- Fold forward to touch your toes; the pillow should be compressed and resist against this movement. When you are folding forwards; inhale.
- Release the forward fold; exhale while doing so.
Mayursana (Peacock Pose):
According to spiritual masters, this is one of the hardest and most fruitful yoga poses for digestion. The man who can master this pose can master his digestion. It’s a difficult pose to maintain but with continuous, tireless practice it’s possible. By balancing the entire weight of the body on your palms, you create a situation wherein momentarily blood supply to the digestive organs gets cut off. After releasing the pose and obtaining your natural position, blood re-enters the digestive system and improves their functioning.This pose includes:
- Lie down on the mat, face first.
- Lift your body on your palms.
- Release the position.
Deep breaths are extremely important in this pose as it is the deep breaths that actually massage one’s organs. The pose stimulates an alternative contraction and lengthening of the intestines which help in maintaining the health of the gut through proper blood circulation. Following are the steps to adopt this pose:
- Kneel down and place your palms on the ground.
- Breathe in; while you drop to your stomach and extend your hips towards the sky. (Cow position)
- Breathe out; while your upper back is facing the sky. At the same time, ensure that you are staring at your navel area and press your hands and feet to the ground. (Cat position)
- Continue this at least 10 times.
Guilty of spoiling yourself with a rich, heavy dinner? Do you feel the repercussions now? Bloatedness and indigestion? That’s when you practice the uttana shishosana. It ensures the proper stretching of one’s belly thus, fighting cramps to alleviate the pain that one feels after a big dinner. To practice this pose, follow these steps:
- Obtain the same starting position as it the Cat-Cow pose.
- Keep your hips planted to the same spot, while at the same time move your hands forward along the surface of the floor.
- Extend yourself till your head reaches the floor.
- Release position.
Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Lord of the Fishes):
Essentially, this is a ‘twisting pose’. Twisting helps to improve the digestion of food in the body. When you assume a twisting position, blood circulation to the digestive organs drops significantly. When you ‘release’ yourself from a twisting position, you are allowing new blood to enter your digestive organs. Ultimately, this works like a natural detox setup of the body.
- Obtain a seated position.
- Take your foot to the side in a manner wherein the foot is parallel to your hips.
- Repeat this with both the legs.
- While moving the foot, the rest of your body has to be still and facing forward.
Savasana (Corpse Pose):
Not only is this pose super beneficial for digestion but itis equally good for one’s nervous system. It helps a person calm down and reach their spiritual nirvana.Stress reduction; is one effect of this ‘cause’ and so is relaxation. What’s great about this pose is that it’s simple to adopt. Anybody can practice it and reap the benefits that it has to offer. Given below are the steps to follow to practice this pose:
- Lie down flat on your back with the palm of your hands facing upwards
- Compress both your knees till they reach your stomach.
- Let your legs relax.
- Continue 10 times.
Ardha Pawamuktasana (Half Gas Release Pose):
The word ‘Pawanmuktasana’ means ‘gas release’. So, you know why it’s a good yoga pose for digestion. The way it works is like this: the pose gets you to a position wherein the right and left side of your colon are compressed alternatively and this helps in stimulating the nerves to get rid of the excess gas residing in your body. It is an easy pose to adopt and here are the steps that you should be following:
- Lie down on your back.
- Compress your knee towards the stomach; hug the knee.
- At the same time, ensure that you are pressing your other foot firmly into the surface of the floor. You can use your hand to exert the external force on the leg pushing it downwards.
- Hold this position for a couple of minutes.
- Change the legs. As in, hug your other leg now and push the former one into the ground.
In this article, we have covered eight different yoga poses for digestion. Every pose is different. Some are hard, while others are easy. Some affect your stomach, while others affect your intestinal tract. There’s something good about each pose. If you really want yoga to improve digestion, practice at least three of these poses daily. Start with the easy ones but also practice the difficult ones. Hope this article was beneficial to you and wasn’t ‘full of gas’.