Yoga for Your Food Coma: Three Poses to Help Digestion
While we know the holidays aren’t our healthiest time of year, we still try to keep an eye on our wellness. And while some our lifestyle may turn a tad toward the overindulgent, we’re always looking for ways to balance things out. So, we grilled our friend and yoga guru Jacyn Fain of Matthew Kenney Wellness, and asked for some poses that could help with our food comas and general post-indulging discomfort. Jacyn’s advice:
Let go of the guilt and try something new this year. Instead of popping a Tums and plopping your self back on the couch for a nap, think about a more natural way to help ease your stomach troubles and aid digestion.
Practicing yoga is an excellent way to enhance your mind/body connection, which can lead to more mindful eating and better digestion. Here are my top three yoga poses to help you find some relief this holiday season.
Apanasana, knees hugged to belly, is known as the “wind-relieving pose.” So try at your own risk! ;) Hugging the right knee into the belly massages the ascending colon, while hugging the left knee in massages the descending colon. Try this simple pose for improved digestion:
Come to lie on the back. Settle into your yoga mat or wherever you are. Place your feet to the floor, directly beneath the knees. On an inhale, take your hands to your knees. On an exhale, hug the knees comfortably to the belly. Only hug in a comfortable amount. Stay here for at least 5-10 full breaths.
(Optional: follow with hugging one knee in at a time, first the right and then the left).
Twist twist twist!!! In my opinion, the BEST for helping digestion, and relieving gas & bloating! Compressing the colon in specific ways (right to left) can really aid in digestion. Detoxifying twists can stimulate the movement of those toxins that accumulate in the body and help usher them out.
While lying on your back, hug the knees in gently and take an inhale. On the exhale, drop the knees to the left, compressing the right side of the body. Turn the head to the right for a nice neck stretch. Stay for at least 5-10 full breaths. On an inhale return the knees to center and repeat on the other side.
Balasana, Child’s Pose, compresses the abdomen and massages the internal organs. Similar to apanasana, this pose stimulates the digestive system. It’s also a great way to ground down and find some much needed quiet time after a busy day full of food, family and fun.
Come to kneel on the knees and sit back onto the heels. Bringing the knees comfortably wide, fold over the legs and rest your forehead on the floor. Either place the hands back by the feet or stack them under the forehead as a little pillow. Deeply inflate the lower belly against the upper thighs with each breath in Balasana, and remain here for at least 5-10 full breaths.