Did you know? September is National Yoga Month! This national observance is designated by the Department of Health and Human Services and is designed to educate about the health benefits of yoga and to inspire a healthy lifestyle. A key concept to better health is eating right and proper digestion because the root cause of most of the diseases is inefficient digestion. Proper digestion aids the body in eliminating the body wastes and toxins that leave us feeling sluggish and ill. Symptoms of poor digestion may include heartburn, bloating, diarrhea, gas, stomach pain, and stomach cramps. Here are 3 easy ways to use yoga to improve digestion for National Yoga Month and beyond!
1.) Deep Breathing: Yoga is all about connecting breath and movement. It’s one of the many ways it benefits the body. Deep breathing in yoga is similar to a mild massage for the digestive organs. There are several different yoga practices to choose from for all ages, body types and abilities, but the essence stays the same. Inhale and let your belly expand from the diaphragm moving down, and on the exhale relax the stomach and let it fall in. The key here is not to force the movement of the stomach but to reduce all the tension that might get in the way of this natural movement. Deep breathing regularly cleans the body of toxic materials formed due to anything from stress to unhealthy dieting.
2.) Twists: Most yoga posture twists directly affect the area below the ribcage where most digestion happens. Twists squeeze your body’s liver which helps detoxify of all the junk we consume. While doing a yoga twist it’s important to focus on deep breathing. Some easy twisting yoga poses you can try are Half Lord of the Fishes Pose, and Marichi’s Pose.
3.) Forward Bending: Americans spend over $725 million on laxatives each year according to the National Digestive Disease Clearinghouse. Forward bending yoga poses are a wonderful way to stimulate appetite and alleviate constipation. Some great forward bending yoga poses to try to feel less heavy, sluggish and bloated include Head-to-Knee Forward Bend and Bound Angle Pose.
Yoga is a multi-functional tool that has countless benefits especially in relation to digestion. Best of all is yoga can help deal with these issues and people of all ages, sizes and abilities can do participate. And you don’t have to be able to twist and bend like a flexible pretzel to be able to reap the many benefits yoga has to offer. Incorporating yoga into your life helps oxygenate the digestive organs as well as creating an ideal environment for digestion, cleansing, and healing. So, the next time you’re faced with digestive upset, give some of these postures a try! You may be surprised how well they work!
If you’d like to learn more about how to use yoga to aid digestion or would like to learn more about balancing yoga with a healthier eating lifestyle, please contact Prajakta Apte, RDN of Right Nutrition Works. Prajakta treats each one of her clients exclusively by providing nutrition and health roadmaps based on their needs and goals, not just broad recommendations. If you are looking for help with nutrition and health based on YOUR needs, please contact us today!
Prajakta Apte, RDN is a registered Dietician and Nutritionist is Surprise Arizona who works with individuals who want to be more conscious about their health but who may struggle with knowing what’s accurate and want to have a complete makeover by learning how to transform their understanding of nutrition and health. By doing so, thy can be more confident about their nutritional health and be known as experts in health and nutrition among their tribe.