Last week I went to a wonderful presentation at the Ranch called Digestive Healing with Jennifer Young and Kathie Swift. I’m always intrigued to hear new information about digestion considering how much our digestive health affects our every day wellness. What I wasn’t expecting was the demonstration by Jennifer on how yoga can help our daily digestion. While I knew that yoga cleanses the body, I was curious to see which poses in particular aid in digestion. The good news is that I already do many of them on a daily basis.
The poses are simple and if you practice yoga, chances are you’ll already be familiar with them. Jennifer recommends taking these poses slow when doing them for digestion and holding them longer. Also, don’t forget to focus on breathing throughout all of these. The question came up of when is the optimal time of day to do these stretches. Jennifer said first thing in the morning on an empty stomach and in the evening before going to bed. She also said you can do them throughout the day about two hours after you eat. It’s also important to listen to your body and don’t hesitate to move into child’s pose if you feel any pain or tiredness.
Poses for Digestion from Jennifer Young:
- Being in Sukasana, easy pose, legs crossed in front, sitz bones evenly grounded, Dirgha Pranayama (the three-part yoga breath). Fill the belly, rib cage and chest in slow, deep breaths.
- Seated side stretch.
- Seated twist.
- Table – cat and dog tilts – arching then rounding the back.
- Gate pose – intense side stretch.
- Downward facing dog-walk the dog then walk feet to hands and hang in a forward fold.
- Bend knees and slowly roll up to standing.
- Half moon – hands interlaced above head and bend to the left and then the right.
- Step back four feet or so to Warrior II with back heel down and foot in a 45 degree angle.
- Dancing warrior and side stretch.
- Trikonasana – triangle pose.
- Repeat other side.
- Forward fold to floor to child.
- On your back bring both knees to chest and then to each side.
- Bridge and then supported bridge.
- Bound angle forward fold.
- Laying down with side twists.
- Feet up the wall or corpse pose.
- Nadi Shodhana
- Finish with meditation