Young or old, digestion problems can happen to anyone – but did you know that yoga can help to improve digestion?The word yoga means that it is a combined form of mind and body practice. Yoga is of different types and discipline must be followed while one is doing yoga. The word digestion scientifically denotes a process where the substances or the food that we have consumed are degraded into small pieces with the help of enzymes of our body. It also denotes the capability of the person to digest.
Although it’s not good to do yoga straight after a heavy meal, you can do yoga if you’re feeling uncomfortable after heavy eating or feeling that indigestion is on the way.
Ideally, yoga should be done four to five hours after a heavy meal. The most beneficial time to do yoga is first thing in the morning.
Below are five of the best yoga postures for digestive health:
1. Mayurasana (Peacock Pose)
Yoga trainers or yogis say that this asana can help us improve the ability to eat any kind of food, and benefit digestion.
When this asana is done a pressure is felt on the organs of the digestive system. The asana balances the weight of the body on the torso which is balanced tightly with the arms, which effectively cuts off the supply of blood to the organs of digestive systemfor just a moment.
After releasing the pose, a large amount of fresh oxygen will then flow through the blood into the digestive organs which will aid digestion. Further the pressure that is given by doing this posture will help to move anything which is stuck in the digestive organs.
2. Pavanamuktasana (Wind Relieving Posture)
This asana is very beneficial if one has struggled with sluggish digestion. This pose is very calming.
It must be done in combination with our breath. This means that when a person draws his or her knee into the chest, they should exhale. And when they relax, inhale. It is beneficial to practise this posture before one goes to bed. Digestion takes place when we sleep so this posture will enhance the process of digestion.
This asana also cures diarrhoea, indigestion, and acidity. The uniqueness of this pose is that this asana or posture can be performed by both beginners and advanced students. Another time to perform it is early in the morning to help getthe digestive system functioning smoothly.
3. ArdhaMatsyendrasana (Half Lord of the Flies)
This posture is beneficial for our ribcage which is present in front of the body and also the back of the body i.e. the spinal cord.The twists of this posture are very helpful for cleaning the digestive system. While twisting the body, blood flow is reduced to the organs of digestive system. But when the body is relaxed, new blood flows into the digestive organs.
First the person should sit with legs crossed and then the right leg is brought to the outside of the left thigh. Following that, breathe in with both arms raised and then exhale when twisting to the right. The spinal cord should be kept stretched and both the arms are held behind the head. One must release the body after 5 to 10 breaths and then change to the other side.
4. Paschimottasana(Seated Forward Fold)
This yoga asana is excellent for lengthening and stretching the back along with being of great benefit to the process of digestion. This posture is done by placing a pillow on the thighs. Then the belly is allowed to rest on the pillow when bent forward. This helps create space in the digestive organs. When one inhales, the pillow stops the belly coming forward and causes compression in the digestive system.
After the air is releasedby breathing out, the compression will be released from the organs of the digestive system and create a new flow to the area. The breathing procedure is beneficial if we keep on repeating the process. This is a comfortable posture which relaxes the body as well as the digestive system.
5. Savasana (Corpse Pose)
This posture is used for curing the whole body. When you are not moving or at rest, theparasympathetic nervous systemis activated.
When you are lying still, all stresses in the body are removed from the body and a more healing environment is created. Practising this position once a day will increase blood flow and oxygen to the digestive organs.
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