So many of us have some sort of GI issue, whether it's just the occasional bloating feeling or something more serious like irritable bowel syndrome. Unless we do have something that causes us constant discomfort, we often tend to just deal with it and hope that it goes away eventually. Our digestive systems are incredibly complex and any sign of discomfort is a sign that something isn't quite right - for example eating a certain food that our body can't digest - and should be something we act on to improve. Eating the right foods for our bodies, getting enough sleep and exercising regularly can all help with GI issues, and finding out what works for YOU (as are all different!) can mean you may never have to experience GI discomfort again.
Certain yoga poses which target the abdominal organs can be incredibly helpful to relieve GI discomfort, and with this, helps to restore energy in the body.
Try performing the 5 yoga poses below, in order, every day for a week to relieve GI discomfort.
Keep in mind though that these poses are not an excuse to over-indulge in rich meals and/or alcohol, you have to look after your body and what you're eating as well.
1) Marjaryasana Bitilasana
- Come onto your hands and knees onto your mat, ensuring your arms and legs are perpendicular to the floor.
- Inhale as you drop your belly button towards the ground, lifting your hips upwards. Do not sink into your shoulders as you do this, keep them strong and your arms straight.
- As you exhale, round your upper back towards the sky and draw your belly inwards and upwards as you gaze downwards towards your navel. Continue this for 10 rounds.
Focussing on your breath during these poses will massage your digestive organs and lengthen the intestines, bringing fresh blood to your digestive system, therefore helping blood flow and digestion.
2) Uttana Shishosana
(Extended Puppy Pose)
- Come onto your hands and knees as if you were moving into Cat-Cow pose.
- Then keeping your hips where they are, walk your hands forward.
- Release your head onto the floor or a block and allow gravity to open your heart.
Uttana Shishosana pose is especially useful for stretching the belly to relieve cramps after a large meal.
3) Ardha Pawamuktasana
(Half Gas Release Pose)
This pose does wonders to help relieve uncomfortable gas, hence the name of the pose!
- First, hug your right knee in toward the right side of your ribcage.
- Keep pressing your straight left leg into the earth as you clasp your hands around your right shin to pull it closer to the floor.
- Hold for 1 to 2 minutes. Repeat on the other side.
4) Supta Matsyendrasana
- Lie with your back flat on the floor.
- Bend your right knee and bring it up towards your torso, and then drop it down to your left, stretching your right arm straight out to the right.
- For a deeper stretch, use your left hand to gently push your right knee closer to the floor or take your left hand to your outer right foot and extend the leg straight out.
- This is a deep twist which should feel good in your spine and abdomen.
- Hold for as long as is comfortable and then repeat on the other side.
- Step your right foot forward into a low lunge and then straighten the leg.
- Walk your left foot forward 6 inches and turn the foot at a 45 to 60 degree angle to the front of the mat with your heel flat on the mat.
- Rest your right hand lightly on your right shin or the floor and reach your left hand to the sky with your palm facing outward.
- Stretch the crown of your head forward as you reach your tailbone toward your left heel.
- If your hand does not touch the floor, place it on a block and/or slightly bend your right knee.
- Hold the pose for 1 minute and then repeat on the other side.
Written by Carina Pullen - a mother, triathlete, beach loving yogi. Her love and passion for teaching & practicing yoga is contagious and I'm so excited that she is going to share a 12 week yoga series with you!
This HEALTHY YOU yoga series will target not only the whole body, but will take you through poses that boost your health and wellbeing in ALL areas - physical, mental and emotional.
*if you have any questions about this yoga series then feel free to contact Carina.