3 Ways Yoga Can Help With Digestion

Samantha Wilson
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I consider myself extremely lucky to have found my way into yoga. After a devastating injury to both my knee and foot led me unable to run – my usual form of exercise, or “mental therapy” as I refer to it – I needed to do something to keep myself active. I stumbled across a yoga instructor that shared her teachings online, and fell in love from day one. While the yoga helped tremendously in the recovery of my knee and foot, I came across an additional benefit: digestion.
 
Here are a few ways that yoga aids in your digestive health:
 
1. Instills calm

It is widely understood that digestive upsets can often be attributed to what we eat, especially if you suffer from food intolerances, sensitivities, or allergies. There is also a large part of your digestive health that is aligned with your mental state; some even call the digestion system the “second-brain.”
 
Your gastrointestinal tract is sensitive to emotion, so when life makes you stressed, worried, or anxious, your digestion is interrupted and stomach troubles, such as bloating and constipation, can ensue. Yoga helps to calm both your mind and body, and in return, you’ll have better digestion and a flatter belly.

2. Creates a focus on healthy eating

The more often I engage in my yoga practice, the better I feel about myself and my body, so naturally I want to apply this feel-good-way of living to my diet. When reaching for an afternoon snack, or thinking about my lunch preparation for the week, I choose items such as lean protein (chicken and fish) and leafy greens (kale and spinach) instead of selecting items like cookies and white bread, which contain inflammatory ingredients such as gluten and sugar.
 
Healthy, natural foods such as bananas, pineapple, kale, quinoa, etc., are full of fiber and digestive enzymes that will help to keep your digestive juices plentiful and flowing.

3. Twists and turns

My favorite yoga sequences are ones that include numerous twisting poses, as they help to wring out your digestive tract and get things moving. Incorporate a few into your daily yoga practice, such as one-legged seated spinal twist, “Trikonasana” or open triangle pose, and extended side angle. Another great pose, or stretch, to alleviate bloating and gas is “Apanasana”, where you hug your knees to your chest.

If you’re dedicated to your yoga practice, you should notice a flatter belly and better digestion within just a week or two. Adding some twisting poses will speed up your digestion and get you the results you want.

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Samantha Wilson

Samantha holds a journalism degree and enjoys sharing her love of a healthy and active lifestyle. She found her way into yoga after a devastating foot and knee injury and has never looked back. She is a recent transplant from Chicago to Charlotte and loves exploring her new city and getting involved in its yoga and running scene.

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