You’ve overindulged on the weekend, sat too long at a desk, been too busy to exercise and now your insides are paying for it. Something I never noticed took a toll on my digestion was sitting for long periods of time. When I’m in the zone working on something (ok on pinterest…) combined with poor posture, my body gets super stiff and irregular. Eating a raw food diet is a great way to make sure you are getting the fiber you need, but if you’re anything like me some times that isn’t enough.
I was amazed after starting my first full time job that after doing two days of yoga, my body felt loose, rejuvenated and everything was functioning properly (if you catch my drift). I began to worry that I couldn’t manage the healthy fit lifestyle I desire if I’m sitting at a desk 40 hours a week. Yoga showed me that I can have the best of both worlds and now it is integrated into my lifestyle.
You don’t have to be a super yogi to be able to do these poses. I recommend making yoga part of your routine in general, but until then use these poses to help loosen up.
POSES FOR DIGESTION
(Note: you don’t necessesarily have to do them in this order).
1. Cat (Marjaryasana): Come to a table top position with you hands placed shoulder width apart directly under your shoulders. Take a deep breath and then exhale as you curve your tailbone under and arch your back. Tuck your chin to your chest and lengthen through your arms. Note: do not tighten up your shoulders. Relax, stretch and come back to table top.
2. Cow (Bitilasana): Cow comes perfectly after Cat. After you have inhaled into your arched back (cat position) exhale and transition into Cow. Drop your belly to the floor and lift your chest forward and up. Curve your tailbone out and up towards the sky. Continue to stretch and lengthen your body until you can’t inhale any more.
Repeat Cat, Cow as you inhale and exhale. Let the breath fill your body and feel the stretch in your belly an shoulders. Repeat for 1-2 minutes.
3. Marichi’s Pose (Marichyasana III): This is a seated twist. Start seated on your mat with your feet out in front of you. Inhale, bend your right knee and place your right food by your inner left thigh. Be sure to keep your tail bone level and grounded on your mat. As you exhale, twist your torso to the right side and place your left elbow on the side of your right leg. For support, place your right hand behind you and with each exhale continue to twist. Keep your heart and shoulders back as you twist. Repeat these steps on the left side of your body.
4. Bridge pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana): Start laying on your back with your knees bent and arms to the side. As you inhale, lift your tailbone and pelvis towards the sky (firm your butt as you do this). Clasp your hands under your pelvis to pull your shoulders closer together. Create space between your chin and chest. As you exhale, unclasp your hands and slowly lower the spine one vertebrae at a time, starting from the neck down. Continue to do this pose 5-6 more times as you inhale and exhale. Let your breath fill your body.
5. Upward Dog (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana): Start this post laying on your belly. Place your hands directly below your shoulders. As you inhale, push your body up and reach your chest out and upwards. Position your body as if you were going to swing your torso through your arms (don’t actually do that, just envision it). Lift your body completely off the mat with your arms, chest to the sky. Make sure you are not sinking in your shoulders; they should be stretching away from your ears. The only other thing touching the mat should be the tops of your feet. Note: if this is too hard to hold, feel free to try cobra pose instead.
6. Revolved Triangle Pose (Parivrtta Trikonasana): Start with your feet spread apart, right leg in front. Both of your toes should be pointing towards the front of your mat. With your legs and torso straight rotate your body and place your left hand by your right angle. Lift your right hand up towards the sky, creating a straight line with your arms and shoulders. Lengthen in your twist each time you exhale. Repeat on the left side of your body.
Pictures from the A-Z yoga pose list from YogaJournal.com
You’ll find that the gentle twists and stretching are like a massage for your digestive track and stomach. Do these poses and feel free to add in your own. The stretching will loosen you up. This combined with raw fruits and veggies will have you feeling clean and fresh in no time! Want more? I love to recommend Youtube channels and online yoga videos. They can be done from anywhere. My current favorite is Yoga With Adrienne. I like her because she is super fun and totally relatable. I always enjoy a yoga session way more when the instructor inspires you to practice yoga in a way that suits you as an individual best.
Anyway, I’ve now had another full day at work and am inspired to practice what I preach. Time to hit the mat. Good luck with your practice!