If you frequently feel irritated, heavy and bloated after eating a meal, if you experience acidity, heartburn, flatulence, or indigestion often, these may be the waring signals from your body to check your digestive health. Ayurveda associates a healthy digestive system with a healthy mind and body. Even modern science has linked the root cause of most diseases to ineffective digestion. The function of the digestive system is digestion of food, absorption of nutritive elements and elimination of wastes and toxins from the body. Regular practice of yogasanas naturally boosts digestive health, massages the digestive organs and improves overall health by boosting metabolism. Here are 5 Yogasanas that can help relieve your digestion-related problems.
1. Triangle Pose (Trikonasana)
- Take a deep breath and while exhaling, bend your body to the left, sideways.
- The center of your left heel needs to be in line with the arch of right foot.
- Stand straight. Place your feet about 3-4 feet wide apart.
- Turn your left foot out by 90° and right foot in by 15 deg.
- Balance your weight equally on both the feet.
- Try to touch the floor with your left hand keeping the waist straight.
- Do not over stress your waist, legs or hips in an attempt to touch the ground.
- Bend till you are comfortable.
- Your right hand is to be stretched straight up, pointing towards the ceiling.
- Both the hands should be in a straight line.
- Turn your head to the right and gaze into your right palm.
- Stay in the position for 1 minute, take a deep breath and keep your body steady.
- While inhaling, return to normal standing position.
- Repeat the asana on the other side.
Triangle pose stretches the shoulders, chest, spine, hamstrings and calf muscles and strengthens the arms, legs, ankles and knees. It also opens the hips and groins. It improves digestion, eases constipation and stimulates appetite. It improves the mental and physical stability.
2. Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana)
- Sit straight with your legs stretched forward.
- Inhale deeply, and hold your toes with your hands.
- Exhale and bend your body forward.
- Try to touch the knees with your forehead or bend till your body permits.
- Make sure that your heels, knees, calves and thighs are firmly touching the ground.
- Keep your spine straight and breathe normally.
- Relax the body and concentrate on your breathing.
- Stay in this position till you are comfortable.
- Slowly come back to the normal sitting position.
Seated Forward Bend pose reduces stimulates the abdominal organs thus balancing the hormonal secretion, improves digestion, relief constipation and refreshes the mind and body. It also stretches the spine and shoulders.
3. Wind Relieving Pose (Pawanamuktsana)
- Lie down on the floor.
- Lift both your legs up towards the ceiling at 90 degree.
- Bend the legs from knees and press the thighs against the abdomen.
- The legs should be joined together from knees to the ankles.
- Clasp the knees with both the arms.
- Lift your head and touch the knees with your chin.
- Stay in this position for about a minute.
- Breathe normally.
- Slowly, bring your head back to the floor, remove your hands and slowly unbend your legs.
- Repeat the asana for three-five times.
Pawanamuktsana relieves unwanted gas from the digestive tracts. This pose compresses the abdominal organs, improves blood circulation, and efficiency of internal organs. It improves digestion, and provide relieves from acidity, gas and constipation.
4. Camel Pose (Ushtrasana)
- Sit in the kneel-down position.
- The knees should be hip-width apart.
- Inhale, and put your hands on your waist.
- Exhale, and arch back.
- Look up to the ceiling.
- Slowly bring your hands back and hold the heels with respective hands.
- Don’t put your weight on the hands. Use them only for support.
- Your weight should be shifted on to the knees.
- Feel the stretch on the abdomen and chest.
- Lower your head backwards.
- Stay in this position for about 30 seconds.
- Exhale, and slowly return to normal position.
Camel Pose stretches the abdominal organs, stomach and intestine thus creating space in the stuffed torso. It provides relief from abdominal cramps, constipation, bloating, gas and acidity. It is a good exercise to do if you have overstuffed yourself in a party.
5. Spinal Twist (Ardha Matsyendrasana)
- Sit straight with your leg stretched out.
- Bend your left leg and with the help of your hand, placing the heel of left leg below your right buttock.
- Cross your right leg above your left thigh and place your right foot firmly on the ground.
- Keep your spine straight.
- Twist from your waist and turn your body to your right as much as you can.
- Place your upper left elbow on your right thigh and your right hand on the ground behind for support.
- Look over your right shoulder without overturning your neck.
- Stay in this position for up to 8-10 breaths.
- Return to the starting position.
- Repeat the posture on the other side.
Spinal Twist massages the abdominal organs, vitalizes the large intestine, detoxifies the digestive tracts, and provides relief in constipation. It stimulates gastric juices and improves digestion. The twist squeezes the most important detox organ i.e. the liver, thus hastening the cleaning process. Gall bladder, kidney, spleen and bowels benefits immensely from this pose. This pose also regulates breathing, accelerates blood circulation, prevents urinary tract infection and calms the mind.