My Five Favorite Yoga Poses to Help With Digestion

After a couple days of indulging in your favorite holiday treats and traveling to visit friends and family, your digestive system may be a little off.  Here are a my favorite yoga poses to help with digestion.  

Remember to take deep belly breaths in each pose, holding for at least six breaths.  For each twisting pose, make sure you do both sides for equal amounts of time.  

1. Child's Pose

Childs pose

Keeping your thighs together, sit your hips back to your heels and rest your arms by your sides.  Allow your forehead to rest on the ground and take deep belly breaths so that your belly presses into your thighs.

2. Supine Twist

Laying on your back with legs fully extended, draw your right thigh into the body, but outside of the rib cage.  With the left hand, guide the thigh across your torso.  Extend your left arms out to the side in a "T" or goalpost position.  Make sure left shoulder remains in contact with the ground.

3. Revolved Triangle

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Begin with feet in a straddle stance, about 3 - 4 feet apart with feet parallel.  Turn left toes out 90 degrees and right toes forward 45 degrees.  Square hips and shoulders to the left foot and place hands on hips.  On an inhale breath, extend right arm up toward the ceiling with the bicep by the ear.  As you exhale, begin hinging at the hips, reaching right arm straight out in front of you, bicep still by the ear.  Before folding all the way down, draw your left hip back to lengthen the left side body.  Finally, reach the right hand down inside or outside of your left foot and reach your left arm up toward the ceiling.  You may need to use a block underneath your right hand to keep proper alignment in the pose. Square your hips to the ground and square you shoulder to the left side of your mat.  Keep the back heel anchored down.

4. Half Lord of the Fishes

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Begin seated with left knee bent, left heel just outside of the right hip and right knee bent toward the ceiling with right foot crossed over the left knee.  Make sure both sitting bones are pressing down to the ground and if you cannot get the right hip to go down, straighten out your left leg.  Place your right arm behind you like a kickstand, with the heel of your hand close to the base of your spine.  With an inhale, extend your left arm up toward the ceiling, reaching the crown of your head up, lengthening the spine.  As you exhale, twist to the right, hooking your left elbow outside of the right knee.  You can also wrap your left arm around the right shin if needed.  

5.  Supported Floor Bow

Place a bolster or rolled up yoga mat below your bellybutton.  Prop yourself up with your forearms and one at a time, bend your knees grabbing for one foot at a time.  Once you have your feet, kick your feet back behind you, pressing your knees down to the ground and let the kick pull your shoulders back.  Spread collar bones wide and reach the crown of your head high to the sky.  Remember to gently release.