If there was ever a day to turn a blind eye to your diet, it’s on Thanksgiving! With turkey, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and plenty of pies to go around, there’s plenty of room for your cravings to be satisfied … but we all know that achy, tight feeling of full belly bloat. Thankfully, we have a few yoga poses to help aid digestion for you to add to your list of gratitude this year!
Here are six of the best yoga poses to help aid digestion after Thanksgiving dinner.
Legs Up the Wall Pose
Photo from Yoga Journal
This pose starts off exactly how it sounds. Find a wall, lay down with your feet facing it, and move your body forward until your legs are resting up the wall at a vertical angle. You may want to experiment with props like blankets, pillows, and blocks for back comfort and pelvic elevation. Legs Up the Wall pose is helpful for digestion because it helps you move stagnant fluids and tension in your body thanks to gravity. It also helps regulate your blood pressure and is deeply relaxing! Try remaining in this pose for 10-15 minutes.
Photo from Yoga Basics
When you do Supine Twists on both sides of your body, it opens your hips and shoulders and stretches the back muscles and the spine. It also stimulates the kidneys, abdominal organs, urinary bladders, and intestines, which is ideal for digestion. To do a Supine Twist, lay down on the ground on your back, bend one knee, and cross it outside of the opposite foot. Use your hand to add slight pressure on the bent knee – this will help push it further toward the floor, giving you a good stretch. Your shoulders should remain squared and rooted to the floor. Your hand that is not on your knee should be extended, and your eyes should gaze toward that hand. Once you’re done, switch and twist to the other side!
Photo from Popsugar
Cat/Cow pose is familiar to many regular yoga practitioners and offers a perfect gentle flow. It stretches your back and neck while activating and strengthening your organs, particularly your kidneys and adrenal glands. To practice Cat/Cow pose, start on your hands and knees, keeping your knees directly below your hips. Point your fingers forward. Slowly inhale as you curve your back upward your belly to the mat in Cow. Gaze upward. Then, exhale and draw your belly toward your spine, rounding your back toward the ceiling. This is Cat, because you’ll look like a cat stretching! Repeat 5-20 times.
Extended Puppy Pose
Photo from Yoga Journal
Extended Puppy pose is a sort of cross between Child’s pose and Downward-Facing Dog. It lengthens your spine and stretches your body, giving your food a chance to move easily down your digestive track. To do this pose, start on your hands and knees, walk your hands forward a few inches, and curl your toes under. Exhale, stretch your bottom back, and stretch your hands out, keeping your elbows off the floor. Let your neck relax. Press your hands down and your bottom back to deepen the stretch.
Seated Forward Fold Pose
Here is another great pose for stretching! Seated Forward Fold pose stretches your spine, shoulders, and hamstrings, stimulates your liver, kidneys, ovaries, and uterus, and improves digestion. Don’t worry if you can’t stretch all the way forward on your first try. The more you practice this pose, the more flexible you’ll get. Sit on the floor with your legs in front of you, folding forward to grab the outsides of each feet (or your thigh or calf, however far you can reach). Slowly stretch further with each inhale. Stay in this pose for 1-3 minutes.
Ah, you knew this one was coming! Savasana typically happens at the end of your yoga class. This pose is the very best for a state of relaxation and allows you to gradually enter a meditative state to close out your day’s practice. Though Savasana is typically practiced by laying down flat on your back with your hands out by your side, you can alter your Savasana pose however is most comfortable for you. This pose is great for aiding in digestion as you slowly relax each muscle and open your diaphragm – and it’s also the perfect prelude to a long, after Thanksgiving nap!
Happy Thanksgiving to all! We hope you enjoy your day spent with your friends and family, and we are grateful for your support. What are you most grateful for this year? Learn more about Chasing Nirvana Yoga at www.chasingnirvanayoga.com, and connect with us today to learn how to bring onsite yoga and wellness classes to your office building, tenant-owned facility, and community.