Indigestion and flatulence are common conditions experienced by people of all ages. Not surprisingly, anxiety and depression, that are culprits to most ailments, also happen to be major triggers in creating a weak digestive system. Indigestion is the feeling of fullness and discomfort one gets during or after a meal. This can translate to a burning sensation in the stomach, bloating, belching, nausea, vomiting and an acidic taste in your mouth.
Instead of opting for temporary fixes, yoga can help you with a more permanent solution. It helps your body from the inside out, naturally restoring balance. Here are a few postures you can do to jump-start your digestive system. All you need is a yoga mat and loose, comfortable clothing.
1. Bhujanasana, Or Cobra Pose
- Lie down on your stomach, keep your chin out and neck flat on the floor.
- Place your hands underneath your shoulders, very close to your chest.
- Make sure your fingers are not parted and the tops of your fingers stay in line with the top of your shoulders.
- Apply equal pressure on both hands.
- Squeeze your elbows down towards your hips.
- Make sure you squeeze your legs and hips together, contracting every muscle from your stomach down to your feet.
- Look up towards the ceiling and lift your upper body using your lower back strength.
- Come up half until your belly button touches the floor.
- Be sure to lift your chest, push your shoulders down and constantly keep your gaze up.
- Hold for 10 counts and slowly relax.
2. Ardha Matsyendrasana, Or Spine Twist
- Sit down on the floor.
- Bend your left knee like you would when sitting cross legged on the floor.
- Place your right foot’s heel against the outer part of your left knee.
- Make sure your hips are placed evenly on the floor, spine straight and chest lifted.
- Place your left hand down, stretch your right arm up and bring it over your right knee.
- Push your knee with the help of your elbow and grab your left knee. You should see your heel, knee and wrist all in one line.
- If you cannot reach your knee grab your mat for leverage.
- Bring your left arm and aim to grab the inside of your right thigh.
- Turn and look behind your left shoulder.
- Repeat using opposite leg.
3. Kapalbhati, Or Deep Breathing
- Sit down in Vajrasana.
- Place your hands on your knees, keep your spine straight and relax your stomach.
- Exhale air out of your body by lightly parting your lips and pushing air out like the way a dog pants.
- Be sure to exhale with force so you don’t feel a cramp in your stomach or experience dizziness.
- Perform one set of 10. Rest. Swallow a few times and perform one more set of ten but this time a little faster.
- Start with 10 repeats and build up as you increase your stamina.
Remember to do these posesfour to six times a week, eat small, light meals at regular intervals and drink plenty of water.