How Yoga Helps Digestion
Yoga is known to have a positive impact on cognitive performance and physical health , and research has also reported that it aids digestion and improves symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) . Scientific media Live Science explains why yoga helps digestion.
Yoga for digestion: How it works | Live Science
It is said that 60 to 70 million people in the United States have some kind of digestive system disorder or disease, and the causes are diverse, such as diet and sleeping habits. Eve Kalinik, a registered nutritional therapist in the United States, points out that stress can also play a role in digestive problems, saying, 'Stress hormones like cortisol are known to increase intestinal inflammation. 'Stress can impair the protective function of the gut and the balance between 'good' and 'bad' bacteria , and disrupting the balance causes you to experience more inflammation throughout your body.' . Stress hormones also negatively affect intestinal motility, which can affect bloating and bowel movements.
Multiple studies support the results that ``IBS patients who practice yoga have significantly reduced symptoms,'' suggesting that yoga can be an effective treatment or option for IBS. Kalinik also argues that yoga's basic breathing technique, abdominal breathing , raises and lowers the diaphragm, which may stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system to reduce stress levels and support gut health. I'm here.
Live Science also points out some simple yoga exercises that are said to aid digestion.
◆1: Abdominal breathing
• Sit upright in a comfortable position and place your hands on your abdomen.
-Close your eyes and focus on your breathing.
Inhale deeply and slowly through your nose, expanding your lower abdomen.
As you exhale, feel your abdomen contracting toward your back.
- Continue this for 5 to 10 minutes.
Abdominal breathing not only reduces stress with mindfulness, but also has the effect of massaging the gastrointestinal tract with breathing using the diaphragm and supporting digestion.
◆ 2: Cat and cow pose
・Get on all fours with your wrists shoulder-width apart and straighten your spine.
As you exhale, round your back and turn your chin toward your chest (cow pose).
・Inhale while straightening your spine and looking up (cat pose).
・Repeat 5 to 10 times.
Cat and Cow Pose supports gastrointestinal health by stimulating the vagus nerve and activating the parasympathetic nervous system, according to Live Science.
[Refreshing Easy Yoga] Move your back and improve your posture Cat and cow pose - YouTube
◆ 3: Crocodile pose
・Lie face down with the top edge of the folded blanket on your ribs and the bottom edge on your waist.
- With your feet hip-width apart and your toes pointing in or out, fold your arms and place your forehead on top.
・Inhale and exhale while being aware that the abdomen is being massaged.
It relaxes the back muscles, strengthens the diaphragm, and activates the connective tissue of the stomach and the vagus nerve.
◆ 4: Pose to twist while sitting on a chair
・Sit on a chair with your back straight, spread your legs hip-width apart, and place them flat on the floor.
・Put your left hand on your right thigh, put your right hand on the back of the chair and twist your upper body clockwise.
・After taking 3 to 5 breaths, return to the original position and twist again in the opposite direction.
Twisting poses work your back muscles and digestive system, gently massaging your stomach and stimulating blood flow.
[Refreshing Easy Yoga] Pose to sit in a chair and twist to prevent summer heat by stimulating the built-in - YouTube
◆ 5: Wreath pose
・Open your legs wider than your hips and squat down slowly with your heels on.
- Press your elbows into your knees and bring your palms together.
・Breathe slowly for 1 to 3 minutes.
Wreath pose reduces bloating and stimulates digestion by increasing blood flow to the kidneys and intestines.
[Refreshing Easy Yoga] Gentle wreath pose Stimulates the digestive system for eating fatigue-YouTube
◆6: Forward bending
・Sit with your feet together and your feet pressed against the wall.
Inhale while extending your arms above your head.
・While exhaling, bend your upper body forward starting from your hips.
- Hold for 5 to 10 breaths.
Forward bending massages organs such as the liver, pancreas, and intestines, and improves blood flow, which can be expected to restore function.
◆ 7: Pose with knees on the chest
・Lie on your back and bend one knee.
- Place your hand on the bent shin and press it against your chest.
・Breathe about 5 to 10 times as it is and slowly twist left and right.
-Return your leg and do the same with the other leg.
According to Live Science, gentle stimulation of the abdomen relieves tension in the stomach and increases oxygen and blood flow to the digestive system.