Fierce Grace Founder and Yoga Expert Michele Pernetta explains how yoga can massage your abdomen, increase circulation, and promote detoxification and help you experience the benefits of improved digestion and elimination.
Are you struggling with digestive issues like constipation and bloating? Did you know that yoga can help improve digestion and elimination? Research has shown that certain yoga can help a range of digestive conditions from IBS to constipation (1). Certain yoga poses can massage the abdominal area, increase circulation, and promote detoxification. In this article, we'll explore the benefits of yoga for digestive health and share seven poses to incorporate into your yoga practice.
One of the ways yoga can benefit digestion is through the movement and compression of the abdominal area. Just like a massage therapist uses deep pressure to stimulate circulation and promote movement, yoga poses like forward bends, twists, and backbends can stretch and massage the abdomen, aiding elimination and detoxification.
Yoga can also affect blood chemistry, hormones, and metabolism, helping resolve some of the issues that might be at the root of your digestive issues. For instance stress is known to cause constipation. Deep breathing and relaxation techniques used in yoga can calm the nervous system, relieving stress that can contribute to constipation.
If you're looking for a yoga practice that focuses on improving digestion, consider trying more vigorous classes that involve compression, twisting, and extension of the abdominal area, like most FG classes. These types of classes can increase oxygenation and circulation of the blood, further promoting detoxification and elimination.
Here are 7 yoga poses to try if you want to improve digestion and elimination:
- Breath of Fire - A massage for the internal organs. Promotes detoxification.
- Half Tortoise - This pose involves pressing and pushing up against the abdominal area, aiding digestion and elimination.
- Wind Removing Pose - Does exactly what it says on the tin!
- Camel - This pose stretches tight muscles in the abdomen that can impede circulation. Pushes internal organs from the posterior side.
- Reclining Twist - This pose promotes relaxation and stimulates the digestive system.
- Seated Head to Knee Pose - This pose involves deep pressure on the abdominal wall, promoting detoxification and improved digestion.
- Yogi Twists (From FG’s WILD class) - This kundalini yoga exercise invigorates the abdomen, spine, and breath, promoting optimal bodily function.
Incorporating these poses into your yoga practice can help improve digestion and elimination, but don't stop there. A short yoga routine first thing in the morning can also help flush out toxins released during the night and speed up elimination. Whether you're practising in the morning or any time of day, remember that movement, breathing, sweating, compression, and extension can all aid the body's natural processes and prevent stagnation in the abdominal area.
For more quick yoga routines focused on digestion, check out Michele's Morning Routine on FGTV. Start incorporating these poses into your practice today and experience the benefits of improved digestion and elimination through yoga.
1 - See studies such as "Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Yoga as Remedial Therapy https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4438173/ or Role of yoga therapy in improving digestive health and quality of sleep in an elderly population: A randomized controlled trial https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34391308/