5 Yoga Poses to Support Digestion

Riv

Superbloom Contributor
Riv
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When your gut is off, your day is off. Gut health has become a topic of conversation in the wellness world. As we start to be more conscious of how stress, food, and other factors are correlated to how we feel, the more important it is to have a tool kit when your digestive tract is feeling a little backed up. Yoga can help with that. How? Think of yoga as a massage for your internal organs. Certain postures like twisting and stretching around your stomach can help enhance digestion and encourage your detoxification organs by increasing the amount of oxygen to the area. Use these yoga poses to support digestion, bloating, and to regulate your bowels.

Cat & Cow Flow

How to do it:

Start on all fours with your back in tabletop position— stack your shoulders over your wrists and your hips over your knees. Evenly distribute weight through your hands and legs to neutralize your spine. Spread your fingers wide, so that you feel the webbing in between start to stretch while pressing the tops of your feet into your mat. With your inhale, tilt you’re your tailbone towards the sky and expand your belly towards the floor. Lift your gaze and pull your chest forward while squeezing your shoulder blades together behind you.

As you exhale, tuck your tailbone down and lift your belly button towards your spin. Hollow out your chest as you push the mat away with your hands, broadening your shoulder blades. Let your neck relax as you let your chin rest on your chest. Complete as many rounds as feels intuitive for you, while initiating movement from your tailbone. Feel free to add in additional movement that feels organic in order to wake up your body.

Why it works:

Cat & Cow flows stretch the back torso and neck while providing a massage to the spine and belly, to help get your digestion started

Bhujanghasana – Baby Cobra Pose

How to do it:

Lay on your belly with your feet hip-distance apart and your hands placed beside your ribs. Extend your feet straight back and press the tops of your feet into your mat. Keep minimal to no weight in your hands as you start to raise your head and chest off your mat. Roll your shoulders back and down while keeping the back of your neck long by focusing your gaze on the bridge of your nose. Hold for for five to ten breaths, then release back onto the mat.

Why it works:

Back bends help stretch and length your abdomen. Cobra is a foundational pose to prep your body for deeper bends so you don’t break! It is a great posture to boost energy and fight the fatigue that comes with digestive discomfort.

Uttanasana – Forward Fold

How to do it: 

In a standing position with your feet hip width distance— fold your torso over your legs. Find a generous bend in your knees (seriously!) so that your belly and/or chest can rest on your thighs. Let your head and arms hang heavy as you shift your weight into the balls of your feet. Take a long slow deep breath into the belly and relax into the shape.

Why it works:

Forward bends are simple, yet extremely healing. This pose calms the brain, helps relieve stress, and stimulates our detoxification organs (liver and kidneys). A forward fold can help improve digestion as well as reduce fatigue and anxiety.

Supta Matsyendrasana – Supine Spinal Twist

How to do it: 

Lay on your spine, hug your right knee into your chest and let your left leg go long onto your mat. Cross your right knee over your body to the left, stretching your right arm straight out to the right. For a deeper stretch, use your left hand to gently push your right knee closer to the earth or take your left hand to your outer right foot and extend the leg straight out. Twist as long as feels good, then switch sides.

Why it works:

Supine Twist is a gentle twist that massages the abdominal organs and supports the kidneys and liver. This pose is great for facilitating digestion and reducing constipation. It stretches the glutes and back, allowing a release in the hips and shoulders.

Supta Matsyendrasana – Revolved Crescent Lunge

How to do it: 

From a standing position, lunge back with your right leg. Ensure hips are frontward facing and both feet are pointing forward. Twist your upper body to the left. Place your hands in prayer position and connect your right elbow to the outside of your left knee, twisting from your waist. Gaze up at your left elbow and hold for three-five breaths. Inhale as you slowly stand up again, then repeat on the other side.

Why it works:

Revolved Crescent Lunge massages the abdominal muscles and twists the internal organs to help stimulate digestion. Compressing the colon in specific ways (right to left) can support digestive health. This pose can also stimulate the movement of toxins that accumulate in the body and flush them out.

To learn more about yoga for digestion with Riv, follow her on Instagram @rivyourbestlife.

Riv

Superbloom Contributor
As a certified yoga teacher, Riv has fallen in love with inspiring her students through dharma and intentional movement. She works to conceptualize and curate a sacred space for all things healing, using her own perspective and journey as a foundation for sharing. She seeks to hold space for exploration through her trials and tribulations of redefining relationships with food, the physical body, and mental state.
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