Practicing yoga is an excellent way of improving gut health. Research has shown that practising yoga benefits your gut microbiome – a diverse ecosystem, like an internal garden, living inside of you comprised of symbiotic bacteria that helps to maintain a healthy digestive system. Not only does yoga offer a lot of health benefits and overall healing, but also has a myriad of postures that aid in digestion, circulation, and detoxification.
Yoga Poses for improving gut health:
A. Supine Twist
This pose is excellent as it massages intestines, tones abdominal muscles, promotes bowel movements and also relieves constipation. This pose helps to squeeze the organs in a way that helps drain them of old and congested fluid. It also facilitates a rush of healthier fluid back into the system.
- Lie on your back. Bend knees and plant feet flat on the floor.
- Spread your arms wide like a T shape and bring both knees to your chest.
- Allow knees to fall to the left while keeping your right shoulder on the ground and try to point your belly to the right while breathing deeply.
- Turn your head to the right, gaze at the right fingertips while alternating pressing shoulders into the ground and knees to the floor.
- Take 5 deep breaths.
- Exhale, return to center.
- Repeat on the opposite side.
- Finish by hugging knees to the chest and then slowly exhale and lower the legs to the floor.
It is believed that practicing this asana regularly increases metabolism and improves digestion. According to Yogi masters practicing this pose consistently, will give one the power to eat anything they want and have perfect digestion. This pose places a lot of pressure on the digestive organs due to which the blood supply to the said organs is cut off for a moment. Therefore once the pose is released lots of fresh, oxygen-rich blood flows to the digestive organs, which in turn ends up improving their function. The compression will also help move anything through that may be stuck. This is an advanced pose which can be attempted by the practitioner once he/she is familiar with the yogic routine.
- Begin by sitting on your heels while keeping your knees wide apart.
- Place your hands on the floor, and let your fingers point towards your body.
- Gently bend your elbows and press them towards your abdomen.
- Drop your head on the floor, and work up the strength in your stomach.
- Stretch your legs out, such that your knees are straight, and the upper part of your feet are facing the floor.
- Your shoulder blades must be firm and pushed into your back.
- Tighten your buttocks and raise your head and set your gaze forward.
- Shift your body weight forward and lift your legs off the floor. Your body must be lifted with the weight on the hands and be parallel to the floor.
- Hold the pose for about 10 seconds.
- To release, drop your head and feet on the ground. Relax.
This asana is also called the Seated Forward Bend or the Intense Dorsal Stretch. Paschimottanasana is known as a great digestive aid posture. This asana covers a whole lot of systems in the body and is particularly useful for diabetes and high blood pressure. This asana also gives the entire body a good stretch. You must make sure to keep your stomach and bowels empty before you practice this asana.
- Sit erect, with your legs, stretched out in front of you.
- Make sure that your toes are flexed towards you.
- Inhale and raise your arms over your head.
- Exhale and bend forward.
- Stretch out your arms, and let them reach the furthest they can but make sure that you don’t stretch too far.
- Then, place your head on your legs, and hold the pose.
- Inhale and come up back to the sitting position.
- Exhale and lower your arms.
Savasana is also known as the corpse pose. It is regarded as the ultimate posture for all healing. As you lie still, you allow all stresses to melt away which creates a healing environment for your body. Due to the body’s relaxed state, the blood will start to flow away from your extremities and towards the digestive organs. This increases oxygenation to the digestive organs and creates the ideal environment for digestion, cleansing, and healing.
- Lie flat on the floor, ensuring that there will be no disturbance for the duration of the pose (It will be best if you lie on a hard surface).
- Close your eyes.
- Place your legs such that they are comfortably apart.
- Make sure your legs are relaxed completely and your toes are facing sideways.
- Your arms must be placed along your body slightly apart, leaving your palms open and facing upwards.
- Now, slowly draw attention to every area of your body, starting from your toes.
- Breathe slowly, yet deeply, setting your body in a state of deep relaxation.
Yoga has the power to heal everything from head to toe, and the proper functioning of the digestive system is one of the most important functions of the body. Practice yoga to live a healthy and a fit life.