Unhealthy digestive system is a condition suffered by many but talked about by few. Apart from being extremely unpleasant and painful, digestive problems can lead to a series of other health problems since the toxins aren’t being defused from the body properly. The causes vary from bad diet, stress and an altogether unhealthy lifestyle. Looking for how to improve digestive health, many people opt for quick fixes in the form of medication such as laxatives which bring more harm than good since they are aggressive and can be highly addictive.
How to improve digestive health the right way
As with any other health problem, we should address the root of the issue. Busy lifestyles most often leave no time to focus on the right diet and stress free living, yet there is always a way to make the most out of our free time and dedicate it to making healthy meals and exercising. Yoga is one of the best ways to improve not only your digestive health, but its benefits also include:
- muscle and bone strengthening
- weight loss
- body toning
Since it involves deep breathing, it allows your digestive organs to get enough oxygen to function properly. Moreover, since it requires activity, your intestines’ muscles become more active as well, providing regular food disposal.
And you can do it from the comfort of your home. Here are 8 yoga positions that you should implement into your daily routine if you want a healthy digestive system, and, as a bonus, you get to look and feel great as well.
1. Child’s pose
- kneel down with your forehead touching the floor and arms extended in front of you
- separate your knees slightly wider than your hip-width and keep your toes touching
- do 10 deep breaths, leaning forward as you exhale
This pose will keep your stomach area warm which allows digestive juices to flow regularly.
2. Bridge pose
- lie down on the floor with your stomach facing up
- as you exhale, press your feet and arms to the ground and lift your hips as high as you can, your hands locking your ankles
- take a few deep breaths in this position and slowly return to the beginning position
- repeat 5 times
As you stretch your abdominal muscles in this pose, your digestive system gets stimulated. Plus, your heart and thyroid get stimulated as well, giving you more energy and getting your metabolism in order.
3. Downward dog
- start by kneeling down with your arms extended pressing the floor in front of you
- raise your hips, straightening your knees with your arms still on the floor and your head between them
- relax and take ten deep breaths
This position relaxes your gastrointestinal tract.
4. Supine twist
- lie on your back
- bend your left knee and cross it over your right leg
- press your left knee with your right hand
- left arm remains extended with both shoulders pressed to the floor
- breathe deeply for a minute and then switch sides
The supine twist position stimulates the kidneys, abdominal organs, urinary bladders and intestines.
5. Camel pose
- get down on your knees keeping your shins on the floor with your knees separated by one hip-width
- as you inhale, put your hands on your hips; as you exhale, slightly arch your back placing your weight on your knees
- continue breathing and place your right hand on your right heel, and your left hand on your left heel lowering your head behind you
- take five deep breaths
This pose helps to relieve constipation as it stretches the stomach and intestines.
6. Triangle pose
- start by standing with your legs about four feet apart, arms raised parallel to the floor
- point your left foot to the left and lower your left hand to the ground in front of your left ankle
- gaze at the right arm stretched above your head
- after a minute in this position, repeat on other side
Triangle pose helps your digestive health as it alleviates constipation.
7. Extended puppy pose
via American Council on Exercise
- get down on your knees with your shins on the floor
- bend down slowly walking your hands in front of you with your posterior up
- stay in this position for a minute
As you are stretching your abdominal muscles in this position, it will help you relieve cramps.
8. Pawanmuktasana or a wind relief pose
- lay down with your back on the ground
- bend your right knee and press it against the right side of your ribcage
- keep your left leg on the ground
- breathe deeply in this position for two minutes, then switch sides
This pose is very helpful for releasing abdominal gas.
Now that you know how to improve digestive health. Get your yoga mat and start stretching!