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Yoga for Better Digestion

Hi Divas, I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “You are what you eat” many times.  But I’ve come to believe that’s not the whole story.  Many eastern approaches to health and wellness believe that a healthy digestive system is the cornerstone to healthy living.

You probably have a friend who eats whatever she wants and never gains weight or complain of symptoms of indigestion like bloating, gas, and constipation.  While another friend or perhaps yourself seems to eat a healthy and balance diet and constantly experience the discomforts of indigestion.  What’s up with that? 


Digestion


Ayurveda, the sister science to yoga and an ancient and wholistic healing tradition, would say it’s all about digestion.  So, it’s not only what we eat that determines the quality of our health  and well-being but how well we digest what we take in.

So, you could say “we are what we digest”. 

This goes for our experiences, emotions, as well as for food. 

A healthy digestive system breaks down what we ingest, absorbs the nutrients, convert it into energy and eliminate the waste.  But often our digestive system is thrown off leaving us feeling sluggish and uncomfortable.  Digestion discomforts usually come in two varieties.  One is from having too much digestive fire which takes the form of indigestion, acid reflux, and heart burn.  On the other hand, when our digestive fire is weak, we often experience constipation, excess gas, and bloating.


Simple and Practical 


Try these simple practices to gently and gradually bring harmony to your digestive system:

  1. Eat whole, real, and seasonal food (which we do in Fit, Fyne & Fabulous)
  2. Relax, eat slowly, and chew your food thoroughly
  3. Sip on warm water with lemon or hot tea before your meal 
  4. Do not drink cold beverages with your meal
  5. Take a 15 minute walk after eating
  6. Get regular exercise
  7. Practice yoga 

Yoga can help


A well-rounded and consistent yoga practice can do wonders for digestive health.  The yoga asanas and breathing exercises can be utilized to address specific digestive woes.  

This week’s yoga practice was designed to address constipation, bloating and excess gas in the system.  Right from the start, we tap into the healing power of the breath with diaphragmatic breathing to stimulate and soothe the digestive organs.  

The practice consists of two forward bends and one twist to calm the nervous system, cleanse,  and stimulate the digestion process.   The reclining backbend, included in the practice is to cool the system and relieve pressure.  This pose, supta baddha konasana, can be helpful with relieving indigestion, acid reflux, and heart burn after eating. The poses and techniques included in the practice are:

  • Diaphragmatic Breathing
  • Pavanamuktasana – Wind Relieving Pose
  • Dandasana – Staff or Stick Pose
  • Marichyasana – Spinal Twist Pose
  • Sputa Baddha Konasana – Reclining Bound Angle Pose
  • Uttanasana – Standing Forward Bend Pose
  • Inverted V Meditation

Daily Diva Yoga Assignment:


1. Watch the video.

2. Practice the poses and techniques as instructed.

3. Post in the group a pic of you doing one of the poses OR you on your yoga mat.

4. When posting your picture share how the post made you feel.

5. Tag Stephanie Perry-Bush when you post and use hashtag #yoga4divas #blackgirlsdoyogatoo when posting about yoga. (this helps us find the yoga posts easily)

6. Click the video below to get started (if you haven’t already on today’s challenge).

I would encourage you to do these moves right when you awake, or right after your workout, or right before bed, or if all else fails, anytime you can fit it in!  

Remember to allow 3-4 hours after a large meal and 2 hours after a light meal before practicing yoga.  You have all weekend to work with the practice.  Enjoy!

2 Comments

  • Imani says:

    Sharaym! Enjoyed this restorative practice & the addition of props. I really liked seeing proper alignment in your demo of the seated spinal twist. Many curvy & husky students often will struggle to get the heel tucked close and strain the knee, though. Please consider offering more modifications to guard against locking the joints…verbal cues if no demo. Many Thanks! Heri. Mer Aa

    • Stephanie Perry-Bush says:

      Hi Imani,
      Thank you for viewing the video and thanks for the feed back. I’m always looking for ways to improve my offerings.

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