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It's so easy to overdo it during the holiday season that we start the year by being bloated and feeling really, seriously heavy. If you want to get rid of the typical seasonal bloating and give your digestive system a boost, guess who's here to help? Yoga!
Yoga can help you in a lot of different ways, but when it comes to digestion, there are some simple yet truly effective poses that can really up to your detox game and boost your digestive system.
When we practice these postures, it allows our stomach, liver, spleen, kidneys, pancreas, and nerves to be supplied with rich blood, which keeps them working efficiently.
Essentially, the best postures for digestion are seated forward bends. And among the many poses available, Janu Sirsasana and Paschimottanasana have proven to be the most effective. Now, the names might sound complicated, but they literally translate to "head-to-knee" and "intense stretch of the West", respectively. The folding forward action of these postures massages the abdominal organs and improves the contraction and relaxation action of the bowels, helping to relieve constipation.
Head-to-knee or Janu Sirsasana
Sit on the floor with your legs outstretched in front of you. Bring the sole of your right foot to your left inner thigh. If you feel like you're dropping backward, sit on a cushion. Start with your spine straight. Inhale, lift your arms up and exhale, fold forward. Reaching towards your left foot, keep length in the front of your torso as well as the back.
If you reach your left foot you can take hold of it with both hands. If not, place your hands onto your knee or shin. Try not to round your back, and stay there for a couple of minutes, taking deep abdominal breaths. Exit the posture the same way you came in and swap your legs so your right leg is straight.
Intense stretch or Paschimottanasana
Sit with both legs stretched in front of you. If you were using a cushion for Janu Sirsasana, remain sitting on it. Inhale, lift your arms up and exhale, fold forward. Keep the length through the front of your torso, aiming to keep as straight as a spine as possible.
If you reach your feet, take hold of the outside edges. If not, allow your hands to rest on your legs.
Stay here for a couple of minutes, taking deep abdominal breaths. Stay here for a couple of minutes taking deep abdominal breaths.