Yoga to improve digestion: 5 postures to boost your metabolism
Whether because of a very heavy meal, excesses committed at parties or special dates, or a chronic problem, we have all suffered from indigestion from time to time . Its symptoms are not at all pleasant: the slow or unbalanced digestion makes us feel bloated, heavy, lethargic. It is a very annoying problem and, in some cases, even painful.
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Fortunately, there are positions and exercises that can provide an alternative solution for this malaise.
Digestion and yoga
Many traditions of alternative medicine, such as Chinese medicine and Ayurveda , consider digestion as the foundation stone of the health of the organism . Better digestion is synonymous with more energy, a healthier and more vigorous body. Therefore, we know that it is a thousand-year-old concern of man. The metabolism is responsible for breaking down the matter of food and transforming it into the energy that the cells need.
So it should not surprise us that one of the great physical benefits that yoga gives us is to help us release toxins and cleanse our system, stimulating and helping the digestive system to fulfill its functions .
This happens in several ways. On the one hand, the combination of asanas with rhythmic and deep breathing helps to bring in more pure air, vital to rejuvenate and cleanse all that toxic residue from an unhealthy lifestyle, from a bad diet. etc.
In addition, the metabolism is very linked to the nervous system. Have you ever heard about the importance of sitting down to eat and doing it consciously, without discussing work issues, for example. Yoga helps us to go down to earth, to be more present when we eat our food, allowing a better record of what we consume and helping the food to be processed.
Yoga postures for better digestion
Although it is not advisable to practice yoga right after eating, particularly if it is a heavy and / or heavy meal, the symptoms of discomfort usually do not appear until after a few hours. Then you can practice a small sequence, about 15 minutes, that will help you overcome the indigstión.
A combination of restorative postures on the floor, and some a little more demanding, form the ideal routine to enhance the digestive system and help the body to overcome excesses.
The most recognized benefit of Malasanais, of course, that of favoring the opening of the hips. It also helps us strengthen the legs, work the balance, provide elocution to ankles and torso, etc.
However, what is relevant today is its excellent function as an activator of the digestive system, particularly of the colon, thus collaborating with the elimination of toxins and waste . It is one of the most recommended postures for these cases, since it places the body in the ideal position to line up and prepare to easily dispose of everything it does not need.
The Position of Crouching, or Frog , as they are also known, is habitual and quite natural in many cultures. For Westerners, however, it can be a little uncomfortable for lack of habit. Practice with constancy and you will see how the discomfort factor is lost. Squat, trying to keep your heels off the ground. If the latter is very difficult, you can place a folded blanket underneath.
Navasana, the Posture of the Boat , is one of the most essential postures when working the area of the center of our body. And, of course, the benefits are not only for the muscles (which of course they tone up and gain strength over time), but they go deeper.
Much of the digestive system is located in this area of the body, so it is a perfect posture to activate and regularize the functions of the liver, stomach, intestines, etc.
To do it, sit with your legs flexed, resting the soles of your feet on your mat. Look for an upright posture, with a neutral back, and be sure to keep it, without bending the spine at any time. Slightly lean back, seeking balance on your ischia. Slowly, begin to take off the feet from the ground, raising the legs to an angle of about 45 degrees, and place your calves parallel to the mat.
Once the balance is found, you can try to stretch your legs, but remember: if your posture starts to change, that means you are not ready to take this step. Do not worry! With consistency you will be able to do it. You may need to tone the abdominal area, for which we recommend these positions .
Finally, stretch the arms to the sides of the body, but if you need it you can also keep them on the floor for stability, or under your thighs, for better support.
In addition to helping us maintain a healthy spine, helping us elongate, Paschimottanasana is an excellent position to activate the digestive system, as it potentiates blood flow to that area, and promotes the production of gastric juices .
To do the Pinza Pose , simply sit on Dandasana , with your back straight and supporting you on your ischia. You can use a folded blanket or some other support under your buttocks if you are short of elongation. Inhale and feel how you rise up from the top of the head, allowing the spine to fully extend. Then exhale and begin to lean forward, initiating movement from the hips, not from the waist. If you arrive, take your feet. If not, you can use an elastic band to hold the soles of your feet, or simply let your arms slide across the floor.
For a more complete Paschimottanasana guide, with all its benefits, variations, and tips.
Adho Mukha Svanasana
Adho Mukha Svanasana is one of the most recognized yoga postures. Its name means “Posture of the Dog Head Down” , since when doing it, we imitate the inclination towards a dog forward.
It is an integral pose, extremely beneficial for the body as a whole as it rejuvenates and gives it energy. However, a benefit that perhaps is not attributed to him enough, is to help us fight indigestion and its symptoms: swelling, stomach pain, nausea, etc. It is also advisable to practice it first thing in the morning, on an empty stomach, to activate the metabolism . You can do it as part of a Sun Salutation .
To practice Adho Mukha Svanasana, stand on all fours, on hands and knees. At all times, be sure to keep your hands firmly on the ground, with your fingers straight and pointing forward. Look to turn your shoulders forward, keeping your arms straight, and separate the feet at the height of your hips. Exhale and begin to bring your hips back and belly up, trying to keep your heels supported and looking for the inverted “V” shape. If you find it very uncomfortable, you can start practicing it by keeping your knees slightly bent.
The Head Down Dog Pose is extremely rich and more complex than it may seem at first glance.
We recommend finishing the sequence with Apanasana , one of the best postures to detoxify the body. Not for nothing is an old home remedy: the Chest Knee Postureplaces us in the ideal position to release gases, one of the main discomforts that digestive discomfort can cause.
It is a very easy pose to perform: stay lying on your back, with your feet resting on the floor. Place your hands on your knees and use them to help bring your knees to your chest during an exhalation. Do the movement slowly and deliberately. Then, you can bring your hands to your stomach and breathe deeply, feeling how it rises with each inhalation.
You can also place your hands on your knees and press gently to help the movement of the digestive system. Close your eyes and listen to your body.