3 easy stretches to speed up digestion
Indigestion is a general term typically used to describe an uncomfortable feeling in your upper abdomen.
Indigestion includes heartburn or acid reflux, as well as bloating and gas.
Yoga offers a variety of poses and stretches that can be helpful in massaging the abdomen and potentially helping with stomach-related concerns.
Here’s a list of them below:
1. Legs up the wall
This traditional yoga pose is one of the best things to do if you are feeling bloated or gassy. Or, if you just need time to rest and digest your food. It helps reverse the effects of gravity on your entire digestive system, helping to regulate blood pressure in the process, according to Megan Kearney, Yoga Medicine instructor.
How to: Start by sitting on the floor with one hip against the wall or close to it. Swing your legs up the wall, as you simultaneously lay back on the floor. Hang out for two to four minutes while focusing on taking deep belly breaths. The big belly breaths will get the diaphragm in on the massage effort by extending it deep into the stomach cavity.
2. Seated twist
Just as simple as it sounds, this stretch involves sitting upright and twisting to one side. Kearney explains that these twists help gently squeeze our organs, shunting blood away from the core and then allowing blood to return once we release from the twist. This gentle wringing movement will give you some bloat relief and also help gently massage the GI tract.
How to: Come to a cross-legged seated position sitting tall and elongating the spine. Gently twist to one side, bringing one hand behind you and the other to rest on your knee. Breathe into the twisted position. Make every exhale a little more pronounced by drawing the belly button back to the spine. Hold for five to six breaths per side and repeat.
3. Happy baby
If you frequent yoga classes, you’re probably familiar with this crowd-pleasing pose that involves laying on your back with your knees drawn into your chest and rocking side to side. Babies are notorious for their digestive issues and gassy constitutions. So, it’s fitting that a pose named after them might help you feel better too.
How to: Lay on your back and draw your knees into your chest. If you can, reach up and grab the outside edge of your feet and continue to draw the knees down alongside your body. If that feels accessible, start to open your knees by lifting your heels towards the ceiling. Breathe and stay for eight breaths. Maybe even rock side to side to massage the back.
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