For thousands of years, yogis around the world have been experiencing the many benefits that regular yoga sessions boast. In this day and age, yogis are mostly practicing in the third limb, or asana, which is a series of physical postures that are designed to purify the body of physical and mental ailments (per Yoga Journal).
Aside from the obvious benefits, like improved strength, balance, and flexibility, yoga also helps relieve existing ailments, like arthritis, stress, back pain, and stomach issues (via Johns Hopkins Medicine). To achieve the prolonged benefits of yoga, it is recommended that yogis practice various healing poses at least two to three times a week, for an hour or more at one time. However, what makes yoga such a unique practice is that some poses can actually relieve certain ailments almost immediately (per Yoga Journal).
More specifically, those suffering from stomach pains and discomfort can benefit from over half a dozen yoga poses that, similar to probiotics and certain foods, work to regulate your digestion system — at least temporarily (via Elite Daily).
Wind-relieving yoga pose
When your stomach is filled with painful gas bubbles, the wind-relieving yoga pose is sure to provide some relief. To do this pose, lay on your back and bring both of your knees to your chest. As you hold that pose, take deep breaths to feel its full effects. This pose is designed to work out these gas bubbles, so, given that you’re likely to pass some gas while in the pose, it might be best to do this in the comfort of your own home (per Elite Daily).
Aside from combating gas and bloating, the wind-relieving pose also increases blood circulation in the hip joints, eases tension in the lower back, and strengthens the abdominal and back muscles (via Yoremi Kids).
Another pose that could help, and is easily transitioned into from the wind-relieving pose, is the bridge pose, in which you lay flat on your back, with your feet pressed firmly on the ground and hips raised in the air. As New York-based celebrity yoga trainer Kristin McGee notes, “This position helps take pressure off the back and abs, while also stretching the front body, which can play a role in relieving gas discomfort and bloating” (via Gas-X).
Twisting yoga poses
Twisting yoga poses have the ability to relieve bloating, trapped gas, and constipation. There are several variations of the twisting yoga pose, like the supine spinal twist, in which the yogi is flat on their back with one knee draped over the leg in a twist; the half lord of the fishes pose, in which the yogi is seated and places one foot over the knee of the opposite leg to engage in a twist; and the revolved chair twist, where the yogi stands in a chair pose, with both knees bent and hands pulled together in a prayer pose on one side of the body (per Yoga Journal).
Specifically, the supine spinal twist offers several other benefits for the body, like lengthening the external rotators in the spine and hip, improving spinal flexibility and relieving pain in the lower back (per beYogi). To ensure that you get the most out of this particular twisting yoga pose, be sure to breathe deeply while holding your posture.
Heart-opening yoga poses
When you’ve eaten too much or are suffering from stomach cramps, a heart-opening yoga pose can help. Take the seated heart opener, a yoga pose said to ease the cramps and tension related to an upset stomach. The pose can be executed by sitting on your heels, leaning back, and placing your palms about eight inches behind you with your fingertips pointing away from your body. Then, as you press your hands into the ground, lift your chest, arch your back, and breathe deeply to feel that stretch in your abdomen (via Health.com).
Various heart-opening poses are able to relieve cramps by massaging the abdominal muscles and gently detoxifying the internal organs. There are numerous variations of the pose, from the more challenging dancer’s pose to the relaxing puppy pose (via Corepower Yoga). Meditative breathing, or diaphragmatic breathing, can also help ease cramps and menstrual pains, as it brings movement to the body (per Moreland OB-GYN).
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