We already know how beneficial yoga can be for improving strength, balance, and flexibility as well as increasing energy and circulation, and boosting our mental and emotional well-being. But were you aware that yoga may help relieve digestive issues and improve general gut health?
Our guts directly react to psychological and physical stress, creating symptoms like stomach aches, diarrhea, constipation, nausea, and changes in appetite and digestion. Additionally, people suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Inflammatory Bowel Disease may also find some symptom relief through yoga.
Yoga poses that promote movement of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract bring the autonomic nervous system into healthy balance by stimulating the parasympathetic system, which stimulates blood flow to the digestive system, brain, and extremities.
Here are some yoga poses that might help relieve GI issues.
1. Seated Side Bend stretches obliques, belly muscles, and lower and upper back and may help alleviate bloating and gas and support general digestion.
2. Seated Twist stretches the abdominals to promote bowel regularity and alleviate bloating.
3. Knees to Chest is a relaxing stretch that can relieve lower back tension. This pose may gently massage the large intestine to promote bowel movements.
4. Cobra Pose stretches your abdominal muscles and improves posture. This pose may aid in general digestion.
5. Belly Twist stretches your internal obliques, external obliques, and quadratus lumborum muscles.
6. Bow Pose stretches your back and can aid digestion and constipation.
While yoga may prove beneficial in the relief of digestive issues, it shouldn’t be a replacement for any medications you may be on to treat specific conditions.
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