People everywhere are talking about the gut, from its link to our brain to the role it plays in our overall health. And a key aspect of maintaining a healthy gut is digestion. When we become blocked up, bad bugs and bacteria get stored in the gut can can cause a number of diseases and other inflammatory health conditions. Luckily, yoga can offer a solution.
If you’ve ever been constipated, had indigestion, or experienced bloating (hello, everyone), chances are you could benefit greatly from incorporating just a few yoga postures into your daily routine. The best part is, yoga for digestion doesn’t have to include a rigorous, sweaty practice. With the eight moves below, you can easily encourage a healthy flow of energy that will heal, protect, and nourish your digestive system all from the comfort of your own bed.
For best results, practice these postures either in the evening before you go to bed, or an hour after a heavy meal. Each one of these yoga poses offers healing benefits for the gut and will help you feel your best!
Seated Forward Fold
- Begin sitting with your legs straight out in front of you and your hands on your thighs.
- Sit up tall by pulling the belly up and in, drawing the naval towards your spine as you inhale.
- As you exhale, fold forward over your legs, leading with your chest (think heart to toes rather than head to toes) before relaxing your head down. For extra support, you can place a pillow or two on top of your legs.
- Stay in this posture breathing deeply into the belly for five to 10 breaths. It should feel really yummy!
Seated Spinal Twist
- Begin seated with your legs straight out in front of you, sitting up tall.
- Bend your right knee in so that the sole of your foot is on the ground, then place the right foot down over the left knee.
- On an inhale, draw both of your arms up above your head.
- On an exhale, twist over to your right side, placing your right hand down on the ground behind your hips like a kickstand to keep your back up straight.
- Use your left arm to grab hold of the right knee, drawing the knee toward the left armpit to gently pull yourself deeper into the twist.
- On each inhale, sit your spine up taller. On each exhale, twist over a little more.
- Repeat this motion for five to 10 breaths, then perform on the other side.
- Come into a tabletop position on all fours with your shoulders stacked above your wrists and hips stacked above your knees.
- Slowly start to walk your hands out in front of you while keeping your hips stacked over your knees.
- Walk your hands out slightly to the sides and allow your chest to sink down towards the bed.
- Rest your forehead down if it’s comfortable. Pressing firmly down into your hands and arms, drop your chest further down towards the bed.
- Breathe into the shoulders and rib cage for five to 10 breaths. Tip: If you need an even deeper stretch, rest on your chin instead of your forehead.
- Begin lying on your stomach with your hands down by your sides.
- On an exhale, bend your knees and bring your heels up toward your bottom. Keep hips-width distance between your knees, making sure they’re not splaying out to each side.
- Reach back and grab a hold of your ankles with both hands.
- On an inhale, pull your ankles gently to lift your head and chest up and back. You shouldn’t feel any pressure in your lower back. If you do, come down until you feel comfortable.
- Breathe here for five to 10 breaths, aiming to draw the head toward the heels.
- Begin lying on your back. Draw your knees in and place your feet down so knees are facing up and your heels are down as close to your bottom as you can get them.
- On an inhale, lift your hips up toward the ceiling, pressing feet firmly into the bed.
- On your exhale, draw the belly in and lift your hip bones up a little higher and draw your shins forward.
- Stay in the pose for five to 10 breaths.
- Begin lying on your back with your legs straight out in front of you, arms down by your sides.
- On an exhale, draw your knees into your chest and grab hold of them with your arms.
- On an inhale, extend your left leg back down in front of you, foot resting down on the bed.
- On an exhale, pull your right leg in towards your chest.
- Remain here breathing deeply for five to 10 breaths, then repeat on the other side.
- Starting on hands and knees, walk your knees out wide, bringing your big toes to touch behind you.
- Rest your bottom down onto your heels and bow your upper body forward and down. You can either extend your arms out in front of you or bring them along your sides toward your heels.
- Rest your forehead on the bed and breathe deeply into the back body, pressing the hips down into the heels actively.
- Stay here for five to 10 breaths.
- Lay down gently flat on your back with your palms facing up, extending the legs in front of you and arms alongside the body.
- Keep the legs a bit wider than hip-width distance, and let the feet splay out to the sides comfortably.
- Close your eyes and relax deeply into the posture, taking full, deep, breaths into the belly.
- Thank yourself for the effort you put into your body and well-being today. Stay in this pose for five minutes, breathing intentionally.