5 Yoga Poses that Benefit the Digestive System

 Photo credit: http://www.stylecraze.com/articles/pawanmuktasana-yoga-what-is-it-and-benefits/#gref

Photo credit: http://www.stylecraze.com/articles/pawanmuktasana-yoga-what-is-it-and-benefits/#gref

 

  • Pavanamuktasana (Wind relieving pose), great for trapped wind and sluggish digestion. Hugging the right knee into the body massages the ascending colon and hugging the left knee into the body massages the descending colon. This pose is generally best performed just before bed, so it would be best suited at the end of a yoga class (after twists or inversions and before savasana).

  • Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Lord of the Fishes), works on the ‘squeeze and soak’ property. The twisting in this pose stops blood flow to the digestive system, upon release fresh, oxygenated blood floods the organs for removal of toxins. To speed up digestion (e.g. for constipation), work from right to left. To slow down digestion (e.g. for diarrhea), work from left to right. This pose could be sequenced after some seated forward bends (Paschimottanasana or Janu Sirsasana).

  • Paschimottanasana (Seated forward fold), on inhale this pose allows compression of the digestive organs and upon exhale a slight massage of the same area. This stimulates blood flow and toxin removal. As for sequencing, this pose can be positioned after Uttanasana (standing forward fold) or Utthita Balasana (Child’s pose) and before Matsyendrasana (Half Lord of the Fishes).

  • Ustrasana (Camel pose), great for boosting energy and toning the digestive muscles. I would position this pose after a few rounds of Surya Namaskar A, as Urdhva Mukha Svanasana or Bhujangasana are a good preparatory pose for Ustrasana.

  • Savasana (Corpse pose) accesses the Parasympathetic Nervous System's ‘rest and digest’ response. It is best when utilised as the very last pose of the yoga class as it creates a healing environment for your body.

 

By Alyssa McLeod

 

References

Yoga to Improve Digestive System | The Art Of Living Global. 2016. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.artofliving.org/yoga/health-and-wellness/yoga-for-digestion. [Accessed 15 August 2016].

mindbodygreen. 2016. 3 Yoga Poses For Improved Digestion [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-8747/3-yoga-poses-for-improved-digestion.html. [Accessed 15 August 2016].

DOYOUYOGA.COM. 2016. 5 Yoga Postures To Improve Digestion. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.doyouyoga.com/5-yoga-postures-to-improve-digestion/. [Accessed 15 August 2016].