Yoga

Yoga Poses for Better Digestion

When it comes to scoring better digestion, everyone sings the praises of probiotics. And while those people definitely aren’t wrong, yogurt and supplements aren’t the only way to boost your digestion—yoga can also be good for your gut. Since the practice works to put you in a state of relaxation, it can ease the stomach issues that come with anxiety and stress. Poses that involve twists are extra helpful, as they aid in the absorption of nutrients and the elimination of waste.

This sequence combines the best yoga poses for digestion into a five-minute flow. (Puffy? This yoga for bloating workout is specifically for days when you feel super blah.) Practice these poses consistently to help keep your digestive system running smoothly.

Ardha Matsyendrasana

A. Start sitting with legs outstretched and feet flexed. Place right foot flat on the ground next to left knee, right knee pointing toward the ceiling.
B. Wrap left arm around right knee, hugging it tight into chest. Place right palm flat on the floor behind hips.
C. Gaze over the right shoulder. Inhale to lengthen the crown of the head toward the ceiling and exhale to gently twist deeper.

Hold for five breaths. Switch sides; repeat.

Apanasana

A. Start lying faceup on the floor.
B. Hug knees in to chest. Gently rock from side to side to massage the lower back.

Hold for five breaths. Switch sides.

Bridge Pose

A. Start lying faceup on the floor. Place feet flat on floor, close enough to touch heels with fingertips.
B. Press heels into ground to lift your hips, forming a straight line from shoulders to knees.
C. Interlace fingers under hips. Keeping arms straight, rock from one shoulder to the other to lift hips a bit higher.

Hold for five breaths.

Plow Pose

A. Start lying faceup on the floor with legs extended.
B. Extend legs and lift feet over hips. Lift hips off the ground and slowly reach feet backward overhead, trying to touch toes to the ground.
C. Press triceps and elbows into the floor in line with shoulders, and place palms on lower back for support.

Hold for five breaths.

Shoulder Stand

A. From plow pose, lift feet toward the ceiling to create a straight line from shoulders to feet.
B. Continue to support hips and lower back with arms, keeping gaze straight ahead toward feet.

Hold for five breaths.

Reclining Twist

A. Start lying faceup on the floor with legs extended. Hug right knee in to chest.
B. Using the left hand, guide right knee across the body to the left side of mat, stacking right hip over left. Extend right arm to the right side and gaze at right fingertips.
C.  Inhale, then exhale to gently twist deeper.

Hold for five breaths. Switch sides; repeat.

Child’s Pose

A. Start sitting on feet with knees and heels together, shins pressed into the floor.
B. Fold torso over legs, reaching hands forward, allowing forehead to rest on the mat.

Hold for 10 breaths.

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