Yoga for Holiday Digestion and Bloating
It is that time of year for holiday parties and festive family gatherings. For many of us, that means overindulgences that can impact our digestive system and create uncomfortable bloating.
It is important to have tools for self care so you can eat those cookies and pumpkin pie with equanimity. Try these five simple and soothing yoga postures to relieve a bloated tummy and stimulate healthy digestion after that Thanksgiving meal and throughout the holiday season.
Benefits: Increases circulation to digestive system, tones and energizes the abdomen.
How: Stand with legs wide open. Extend arms out to the side, twist torso and place right hand on inside of left foot or grab the shin. Stretch the left arm straight up. Look up to left hand. Inhale and exhale slowly through the nose. Stay in the twist for 10 breaths. Do the same on the left side.
Benefits: Relieves constipation and gas, stimulates nerves that help with elimination.
How: Lie on your back and bend the right knee, interlace fingers at the shin and pull the right knee down toward the chest, just outside of the ribcage. Normal breathing through nose. Hold for 10 breaths. Repeat on left side.
Both legs: bend knees, drawing the knees into your chest. Place hands on knees or grab opposite elbows over shins and pull knees down, pressing thighs into lower abdominal wall. Breathe normally through the nose, holding the pose for at least 1 minute.
Benefits: Improves digestion. Relieves constipation and bloating. Releases depression.
How: Stand on knees, opening knees and feet to shoulder width. Place hands on lower back and drop head back, keeping neck muscles relaxed. Can lift one arm up (alternate) or place hands on heels. Take deep breaths and hold for 30 seconds-2 minutes.
Benefits: Improves digestion and relieves constipation.
How: Lie on your tummy, chin forward. Bend your knees and grab feet from the outside. Kick both legs up toward ceiling. Lift the torso and look up. Normal breathing through nose. Hold for 5-10 breaths.
Seated forward bend
Benefits: Stimulates the digestive system. Alleviates fatigue. Soothes the nervous system.
How: Sit with both legs extended. Place hands on legs and extend the spine forward onto the legs, lowering the forehead to knees. Take deep breaths through the nose. Hold for up to 1 minute.
Article by Carolan Hoffman, a former international model and the owner of Hot Spot Dupont. She left a career in international development to support others in healing through yoga.