Tuesday , October 3 2023

8 Yoga Poses That Support A Healthy Digestive System

Stress, hormones, and even intense exercise can all make you overeat, which can soon snowball into a full-blown bad habit. This harmful habit is destructive to your heart and digestive health, plus it negates all the hard work you put into your wellbeing and fitness.

To combat overeating and to regain control over your own appetite, try one or more of these yoga postures, designed specifically for said problem. Apart from normalizing your appetite, these poses have tons of other health benefits and will make you feel great. On top of that, doing these yoga asanas takes only a few minutes tops.

1. Downward Facing Dog

Downward-facing dog is one of the most famous yoga positions for a good reason, as it combines the benefits of a forward fold and engages the abdominal muscles at the same time. Apart from preventing you from overeating, it has the following health benefits:

  • balances blood pressure

  • engages the abdominal muscles

  • relieves lower back pain

  • promotes intestinal health

This pose is an overall body and mind strengthener.

8 Yoga Poses That Support A Healthy Digestive System

How to do the pose:

Step 1. Start from an all fours position. Your knees should be directly under your hips and hands should be at shoulder width. This alignment ensures your weight will be spread equally throughout your body once you’re in downward dog.

Step 2. As you breathe in naturally, slowly lift your knees and elbows and straighten them, if possible, until your body looks like a downward letter “V”. Situate yourself comfortably in the posture, breathe in slowly and mindfully, sucking your belly in and distributing the weight equally through your legs and shoulders.

Hold this position for at least 10 cycles of breath, then slowly land back on your knees and elbows.

Important note! A common mistake in downward dog is that people try to straighten their legs and not their lower back. The most important thing in this posture is a straight spine, so engage your belly and straighten the spine as much as you can… and the legs can stay bent.

2. Plank Pose

Another “celebrity” yoga pose, the plank is an essential component to most workout routines. Did you know that it can tame your naughty appetite, too? Apart from that, planks are excellent full-body strengtheners, as well as mood boosters and belly fat erasers.

How to do the pose:

Step 1. We recommend you start your plank from the downward facing dog position. The trick in this pose is to start when you’re exhaling and gradually moving your head and chest forward while simultaneously engaging your core and buttocks even more. Eventually, your body will form a sideways “L” position.

8 Yoga Poses That Support A Healthy Digestive System

Step 2. Once you’re situated, make sure your spine and legs form a straight line. To do that, you have to engage your thighs and glutes quite a bit. Also, make sure to keep your neck relaxed. To do that, spread and pull your shoulders down.

Hold this position as long as you can, start with around 5 breaths and then evolve until you can hold it for 2-3 minutes.

When that becomes easy, you can move to a more difficult variation called the side plank (see picture above). To do it, just move your center of balance to one hand and lift the other. To maintain the balance, move the leg that’s closer to the floor a bit forward like the woman on the picture.

Also, don’t forget to repeat it on the other side

3. Lotus Pose

One of the most effective breathing and meditation poses is the famous lotus position. It has several benefits: it can help you focus and disconnect from the stresses of the world, concentrating on a deep breath. This calming effect is also reflected in your emotional state and appetite, calming and normalizing both.

8 Yoga Poses That Support A Healthy Digestive System

How to do the pose:

Step 1. Sit down on the floor with your legs bent at your knees and crisscrossed to form a comfortable seat. The goal here is for you to sit comfortably and to have a straight spine.

Tip: if you did as instructed and still can’t straighten your back, grab a pillow (or two) to sit on. This will lift you up and make it easier to straighten your spine.

Step 2. The standard lotus requires for you to fold your legs so that your feet stick out, like two lotus flowers. This posture can be hard on your knees, though, as it requires extreme outward knee rotation. That’s why many yoga teachers nowadays recommend spreading the knees with the feet folded below them like the picture on the right shows.

You can hold this position for several minutes and simply focus on DEEP breathing.

4. Cobra Pose

This wonderful pose activates the entire upper body and does wonders for your spine. It can relieve neck and back pain and is very beneficial to digestion, which is why it can normalize your urge to eat.

8 Yoga Poses That Support A Healthy Digestive System

How to do the pose:

Step 1. Lie down on your stomach, legs straight and arms bent in the elbows like a grasshopper. Your hands should be on the floor right next to your ribcage. Breathe in, relax your shoulders and pull out your neck. This position will ensure that you don’t hurt your neck.

Step 2. On an inhale, engage your abdominals, your side body muscles and your back muscles as you slowly lift up your head, shoulders and upper torso as high up as you can. Don’t worry if your arms won’t be straight and remember that your torso should be doing all the work, and not your arms.

Make sure to keep your shoulders relaxed and neck straight.

Hold the position for 5 breaths or as long as you can until you return to your initial position.

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