December 1, 2001

2 Min Read
Yoga For Digestion

The following hatha yoga poses are specific to certain digestive issues but should be done on an empty stomach. Remember, don't ever force poses; move into them gently, and stop immediately if you sense any pain.

Eka Pada Pavanamukstasana (One-legged, wind-relieving pose). Lie on your back with legs straight out. Bring your right knee toward the right side of your chest as you inhale, lifting the head toward the bent knee and keeping the spine straight. Hug the knee with both arms to squeeze the thigh into the chest. Exhale as you release the leg and head back down to the floor; repeat on other side. Repeat three to five times on each side.

Supta Sukhasana (Reclining, easy, cross-legged pose). Sit on the floor with legs crossed comfortably. Lie back on bolsters or blankets arranged to lift and open your chest and abdomen while supporting your head and neck comfortably. Let your arms relax out to the sides. Close your eyes and breathe in a deep, relaxed manner for up to 10 minutes, then cross your legs the other way and continue for the same amount of time. This pose is very soothing for heartburn (acid reflux) and improves overall digestion by increasing blood supply to the intestines.

Intestinal massage. Start in Supta Sukhasana pose. Start just above and inside the point of the pelvic bone at the right hip. Using the fingers, massage gently up the right side of the abdomen, where the ascending colon is. Continue across the diaphragm (upper abdominal area) to massage the transverse colon, and then down the left side, to complete the process on the descending colon. You should be able to feel (and possibly hear) gas bubbles and blockages being moved along. This massage is excellent for improving elimination problems, including constipation.

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