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May 17, 2018

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Yoga for digestive health

My blog is 99% inspired by my students, so thank you for helping me to conjure up my creative content! Each time one of my yoga students turns up to class with a health issue, the yogi part of my brain starts thinking of ways in which yoga may be able to help restore them to former health.

 

In class this week, one of my dedicated yoga students let me know they have been experiencing extreme discomfort with their digestive system.  This blog post is to support you and anyone experiencing digestive discomfort that would like to restore their gut to it's former glory!

 

Follow this yoga sequence to support your digestive system and boost your energy naturally. These yoga postures will massage your organs as you compress and lengthen your intestines, encouraging fresh blood to the epithelial cells, responsible for healthy gut function.

 

Bitilasana/Marjaryasana

Begin in an all fours position on your mat. Ground your palms into the earth and align your wrists underneath your shoulders.  Inhale as you drop your navel toward the earth, lifting your heart and drishti toward the sky. Exhale in the opposite direction as you round your upper back toward the sky, dropping your drishti to your navel. Repeat for 10 rounds.

 

Adho Mukha Svanasana

Transition from all fours into Adho Mukha Svanasana/ Downward Facing Dog.  Your hands should be shoulder width apart and feet outer-hip distance apart. Bend your knees gently to create length in your spine. Draw deep breaths into your abdominal cavity to nourish your intestines for as long as feels comfortable for you. 

 

 

 

 

Utthita Trikonasana

Step your right foot to the inside of your right hand and come into a low lunge.  Follow by stepping your left foot forward a few inches and turn that foot to face the side of your mat or to a 45 degree angle in relation to the front of your mat.  Ground both feet into the earth below and straighten your legs.  Rest your right hand lightly on your right shin and reach your left palm to the sky.  

Take 5 deep breaths in this posture before revolving your triangle in the opposite direction to come into Pavrtta Trikonasana for a further 5 breaths. Repeat on your left side.

 

Uttana Shishosana

 

Returning to your dads and knees. Keep your hips where they are and walk your hands toward the front of your mat.  Lower your forehead towards the earth or a block and open up your heart.  Uttana Shishoasana/Puppy pose is great for stretching your abdominal cavity to relieve cramps. Take 10 deeply restorative breaths here.

 

 

Setu Bandhasana

Bridge Pose is a superb backend for compressing the digestive organs, while simultaneously delivering fresh blood to your heart and relieving fatigue that may be caused by a poor digestive system.  Start by bending your knees and placing your feet flat on the floor.  Inhale as you lift your pelvis toward the sky and hold while you take 10 deep breaths. Gently lower your spine back down to the earth. Bring both knees into your chest to neutralise your spine afterwards.  The compression of this posture will assist elimination by stimulating your transverse colon.

 

Savasana

Aaaaand relax!  Not to be underestimated, Savasana is perhaps the most important posture of all as it calms your nervous system. Gently straighten your legs to the ground and allow the earth to support your body weight, palms facing up toward the sky.

Deep relaxation helps to counterbalance the effects of stress which can lead to digestive disorders such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome IBS.

Grant yourself a minimum of 10 magical minutes in Savasana to begin to feel the benefits, longer if possible.  Draw deep breaths into your belly, creating spaciousness around your digestive organs and letting go of any tension you have left.

 

 

 

 

 

This yoga practice should help you digest all of those Easter eggs over the bank holiday weekend and ease up any discomfort from over - indulgence!  If you do struggle with your digestive system on a regular basis, it may be worth-while incorporating this one into your daily life.

 

Happy Easter!