If you’re one that experiences bloating on a regular basis, there’s a sequence that will massage your internal organs and ignite your digestive fire (agni), help alleviate bloating and gradually improve your gut health.
Imagine your colon, small intestines and stomach are a big sponge full of dirty water aka toxic build up (which we all have, it’s a just part of life!). These poses are squeezing out all that dirty water so you are left with a clean sponge ready to be replenished with nourishing clean water, aka fresh blood and oxygen!
These yoga poses can help aid and improve digestion and alleviate your bloating BUT if you are having serious gut and digestive issues you may want to seek further medical help.
Your gut is your second brain, it is an incredibly amazing part of our bodies that truly deserves a deeper investigation. We need to respect the complexities of our bodies and come at it from all angles.
Kaphalabati – Breath of fire:
This is an awakening pranayama (breathing practice) that stimulates your “agni” (your digestive fire).
Sitting in a comfortable position with a straight spine, breathing through your nose only, focus on contracting your belly on the exhale and relaxing on the inhale which will just happen naturally (eventually).
Start by taking a deep inhale and then contract (suck in) your belly as you exhale and continue contracting and relaxing with the exhale and inhale breath. In the beginning, this will be quite challenging and the breath will be slow, gradually you will develop more control over the belly and be able to breathe fast in a meditative state. Always start with an inhale breath and finish with an exhale.
Single Leg twist
Lying on your back, hug your right knee into your chest. Send your right arm out to the side in line with your shoulder and pull right knee over to the left. Make sure your right shoulder stays glued to the floor, you can really roll onto the outside of your left leg. Relax your right leg, look to the right if you want to stretch the neck and enjoy the release for a few deep breaths. Repeat on the left side.
Wind Relieving pose – shooting arrow
Lying on your back hug your right knee into your chest with both palms, take a deep inhale and as you exhale, lift your head and chest up to your knee and hold here for a few breaths. Using the thigh as pressure on the colon to alleviate gas (sometimes the culprit behind bloating) you will feel instant release after the pose.
Lying on your back, knees bent, hip-width apart, and parallel. Reach side to side and check your fingers tips can just barely graze your heels (that way your heels are below your knees) from here take a deep inhale breath to lift your torso off the floor into bridge and at the same time lift your arms up over your to the floor behind, on the exhale lower everything down (vertebrae by vertebrae using your abdominal muscles to control you) and continue letting the breath guide the pace of your movement. Try to move the body and arms in sync with each other and ideally breathing to the count of 4 or even longer if comfortable. This pose is also a beautiful way to calm and focus the mind, a gentle moving meditation.
Sitting with a straight spine, extend your left leg straight out and bend your right knee over the left, foot flat on the floor. You can keep left leg straight or bend it in so your foot rests next to your right buttocks. Bring your right fingertips behind your lower and hook your left elbow over the right knee. Twist towards the back and if the neck allows look over your back (right) shoulder and continue squeezing your right thigh into your stomach – ringing out that dirty sponge! Hold for 3 – 5 breaths and repeat on the other side.
Sitting with a straight spine, both legs extended out in front of you. Feet are flexed and can have a little bend in your knees if needed. Take a deep inhale breath to straighten your spine and as your exhale hinge forward from hips keeping your spine straight. Take 3 – 5 breaths here and the completely fold forwards allowing your spine to round and relaxing your head and neck. You can stay here another 3 – 5 breath exhaling with an open mouth to help you completely relax.
Take a few moments to simply lie flat on your back, totally relaxed and allow some time for everything to settle into stillness.
If at any point you feel any sharp pains please don’t continue with a pose and listen to your body if you need to stop or just skip onto the next. Remember that our body is always communicating with us and often when we are having issues with bloating and gut health that is our body asking for a little help so it’s always nice to stop and check in.