Practicing yoga can help balance the energy in our bodies which keeps all our systems running smoothly and calms our mind.
The unique systems within the body are interconnected and reliant on one another. It is beneficial to cultivate the awareness of this interconnectedness so that we can create a practice which supports our entire selves.
It can be easy to segment portions of our bodies, or our wellbeing, and look at health issue as isolated pieces, rather than a part of a much larger whole that must be taken into consideration and attended to as well.
When we are experiencing bloating, poor digestion, or really any other physical symptoms, the first place to start is to evaluate how the rest of us is doing.
A few questions to ask: Am I stressed? Is there discomfort in another area? Have I practiced self care lately? What is happening with my breath?
If you find that you have been lacking self care practices lately, feel tension in other areas, and are possibly experiencing stress or anxiety, a good place to start is with the slowing down process.
It is easy to glaze over this part of the journey, but it is through the practice of slowing down that we are really able to see what is happening within us. Otherwise we are seeing our condition through a rushed and confused perspective which will often miss the subtle messages our bodies are sending to get our attention and let us know something is off.
We spend so much time living in our fight-or-flight response that we can easily forget to slow things down and create safe spaces for our body and mind to relax.
The following yoga poses help you to do just that.
Through slowing down the pace of our life for a few moments, we are able to calm our mind which signals to the body that everything is okay and it can relax. Often, but not always, issues with digestion come from an inability to relax which creates tightness in the body that prevents it from functioning properly.
For the following practice, we have put together a combination of postures that are calming to our entire self as well as postures that target the abdomen, stimulate the digestive system, and bring relief from bloating and stomach discomforts.
Find a comfortable seated position. Let your hands rest in your lap. Gently close your eyes when you are ready.
Take a moment to soften your body and relax your face and shoulders.
Start to find calming inhales and exhales.
Focus on finding full belly breaths, making sure that you are allowing your abdomen to fully expand.
Filling your belly up like it is a balloon with every inhale. Slowing releasing the breath with every exhale.
Do this for 2-5 minutes.
Begin standing with feet hip distance apart. Press gently down into your feet while keep a micro bend in your knees.
Imagine a line of energy moving up from your feet through the crown of your head, allowing the crown of your head to lift towards the sky.
Reach your arms overhead while keep your fingers active and your palms facing one another.
Draw your shoulder blades down your back.
Visualize space being created in your body, specifically the area surrounding your abdomen, as you expand upwards.
Find 6-10 breaths here.
From your mountain pose, bring hands to the hips.
Hinge at the hips to fold forward, bringing your hands down towards the ground.
Grab opposite elbows so that your forearms drop towards the ground.
Let your neck be long while your head hangs heavy.
Find 6-10 breaths here.
Come onto all fours. Keep your hips stacked over your knees.
Walk your hands forward as far as you can.
Bring your forehead down to the ground. If the ground isn’t accessible for you, feel free to place a pillow or blanket under your forehead to elevate the ground.
Stay in the position for 6-10 breaths, or as long as is comfortable.
Come to lying on the ground.
Hug both knees into your chest until you feel your abdomen is compressed. To hug the knees in, your hands can come to the knees or you can wrap your arms around your knees, grab opposite forearms or elbows if that is accessible.
Find 6-10 breaths here.
Staying on your back, stretch both legs out long.
Hug your right knee into your chest.
Using your left hand, guide that knee across your body to the left, bringing that knee towards the ground on the left side of you.
Make sure that your right shoulder stays grounded.
You are welcome to keep left hand on the knee, gently pressing it towards the ground.
Hold for 6-10 breaths and switch sides.
There are many reasons that we can experience digestive issues.
It is quite common these days so know that you are not alone.
If you are regularly experiencing discomfort, we highly recommend you seek out a doctor or holistic health provider who can help you understand what is happening in your body.