Top 10 Yoga Asanas For Better Digestion June 21, 2016

Many of us have experienced bloating and acid reflux after indulging in a heavy, calorie laden meal. Tossing and turning in the bed with discomfort, our mind turns to natural ways of easing an stomach upset.

But I am sure you never thought of trying yoga to get a healthier digestive process. Yes, yoga can help you digest even those heavy meals. Here is a list of 10 yoga poses for better digestion that will help you have healthier digestion. I have divided the section into standing, seated, supine, prone, and inversion poses. Then you can follow them up with a relaxation pose along with a breathing pattern. Follow the instructions given and stay away from a grumbling stomach!

Yoga Asanas for Digestion

Standing Yoga Poses for Better Digestion:

1. Padangusthasana – Big Toe Pose:

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To put it simply, this pose asks you to bend forward and touch your big toes. You have the flexibility to keep your knees bent slightly. Just make sure that you have spread your feet at hip width and you are breathing normally while in the pose. This pose puts light pressure on the stomach and helps in releasing trapped air.

Why to do:

  • Eases your stress levels
  • Improves your blood circulation
  • Calms down the racing brain
  • Enhances digestive power

2. Parsvottanasana – Intense Side Stretch Pose:

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Parsvottanasana is, again, a mild inversion pose where you stretch out one of your legs and rest your forehead on the knee of that leg. The blood gushes to your brain, heart, and abdominal region. The results – your digestive troubles are eased. The better the circulation levels are, the stronger your digestive system will be. This is also a relaxing pose. Once your stress levels are down, you will be less prone to digestion troubles.

Why to do:

  • Strengthens your back and spine
  • Relaxes your neck and shoulders
  • Invigorates your digestive system
  • Eases down stress and anxiety levels
  • Enhances digestive power
  • Advised for flatulence and acid reflux

Seated Yoga Poses for Better Digestion:

3. Vajrasana – Diamond Pose:

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Also known as the Thunderbolt pose, Zen pose, or the Firm pose, this is the sole asana you can practice just after your meal to strengthen your digestion. As you sit in this pose, your body rests on your thighs, cutting down the blood supply to that region. The result – the circulation levels to the head, heart, and stomach peps up. An improved blood supply to the tummy will help in enhancing the digestion.

Why to do:

  • Tones your digestive system
  • Good for hyperacidity, constipation, intestinal gas, and digestive-issues during pregnancy
  • Ease anxiety and stress
  • Helps in complete restoration and revitalization

4. Balasana – Child Pose:

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This is a complete relaxation pose that offers wholesome benefits for the entire body. Along with allowing you to relax and stretch yourself after a hectic day, Balasana helps in beating stress and alleviating gastrointestinal disorders.

Why to do:

  • Improves circulation throughout the body
  • Helps in calming the mind and body
  • Helps to alleviate stress and anxiety
  • Triggers the release of hormones that aid in digestion
  • Improves blood flow to your stomach
  • Supine Poses:

5. Apanasana – Knees To Chest Pose:

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Get rid of bloating and pain triggered by indigestion issues with this simple yoga pose. A spine elongating pose, it ensures complete freedom from gastric troubles, if done the right way. Never practice this pose when you have eaten a full meal.

Why to do:

  • Clears up the air trapped in the abdomen, easing pain
  • Improves vitality by enhancing blood circulation to the tummy
  • Eases acidity, bloating, flatulence, and constipation
  • Suggested for irritable bowel syndrome
  • Ease stiff back, thus alleviating digestive troubles triggered
  • Good to ease digestion-troubles during menstrual cycle

6. Pavanamuktasana – Wind Relieving Pose:

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Also called the Wind Removing Pose, it is a variation of Apanasana. In Apanasana, you fold both your knees and bring it closer to the chest, while in this pose, only one knee is folded at a time. As the name suggests, this yoga asana for digestion is ideal to purge the air trapped in your lower back and tummy. It massages the abdominal organs and stimulates digestion, ensuring freedom from indigestion and related issues. As with Apanasana, this pose should always be performed on empty stomach.

While practising this pose, make sure that you draw your right knee in first to apply pressure on your mounting colon. When you draw your left knee inwards, the pressure will shift to your sliding colon. This, in turn, will ensure better release of trapped air and improve digestion.

Why to do:

  • Massage the digestive organs gently
  • Improves blood circulation throughout the body
  • Stimulates digestive fire
  • Stimulates nerves
  • Eases bloating, flatulence, indigestion, acid reflux, and constipation
  • Strengthens and improves the efficiency of digestive system

Tips:

  • People suffering from back ache and sciatica should avoid this pose.
  • If you are pregnant, please stay away from Pavanamuktasana.

7. Setu Bhandasana – Bridge Pose:

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A mild inversion pose, it improves the blood circulation levels in the body. A surge in the flow of blood to the digestive system will aid in enhancing the power of the system, thwarting its dysfunction. This pose also helps in strengthening your back and easing sciatica, while alleviating the digestive troubles triggered by these conditions.

Why to do:

  • Eases stress, tension, and anxiety levels
  • Calms your body and mind
  • Massages your digestive system
  • Stimulates digestive process

Prone Yoga Poses for Digestion:

8. Bhujangasana – Cobra Pose:

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This is one pose that gives a bouquet of benefits. Plus, it is quite easy to practice the cobra pose right at home. A prone yoga asana, it enhances the effectiveness and efficiency of digestive system by massaging the organs concerned and triggering an improved flow of blood to those organs. Plus, you get a stronger back and shoulders. This is one of the best poses to kick off your post pregnancy workout.

Why to do:

  • Massages your digestive organs
  • Improves circulation to digestive system
  • Eases acidity, flatulence, bloating, indigestion, and constipation
  • Improves appetite
  • Beats stress and anxiety
  • Strengthens your shoulders, chest, back, and abdomen
  • Tones your abs
  • Calms you down

Tips:

  • Pregnant women and those who have shoulder, neck, and wrist injuries should not practice this pose.

Restorative Yoga Poses for Digestion:

9. Makarasana – Crocodile Pose:

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By Tupiduspekus (Own work) [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

This is once again a prone yoga pose that ensures absolute relaxation and rejuvenation. This pose is essential to get rid of the strains triggered by performing other yoga poses. Plus, it is good for your stomach too.

Why to do:

  • Massages your digestive system
  • Helps in total rejuvenation and restoration
  • Eases stress and tension
  • Eases and keeps away constipation, indigestion, and flatulence
  • Offers complete stretch to your body

Tips:

  • Pregnant women and people suffering from grave back and neck injuries should avoid this pose.

Breathing For Digestion:

10. Anuloma Viloma – Alternate Breathing Exercise:

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Know your breath to heal yourself. Anuloma viloma pranayama is the best way to bring any yoga session to a nourishing closure.

Why to do:

  • Combats free radicals
  • Improves the supply of blood throughout the body
  • Cleanses and tones your nervous system
  • Strengthens and improves the functioning of digestive system
  • Helps in combating digestion issues

While yoga poses do help in easing out your digestion issues, the results will be better if you are more careful with what you eat. Here are few tips that could help you:

  • Try avoid deep-fried, sugary foods.
  • Do not smoke or consume alcohol while eating.
  • Avoid carbonated drinks and processed foods.
  • Never skip a meal.
  • Never eat if you are not feeling hungry.
  • Never workout on a full stomach.

Embrace these minor changes along with practicing yoga asanas for digestion. You will experience visible differences in just a few days.

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