Yoga for Improved Digestion

By the Editors of SilverSneakers |

When you need relief from bloating or discomfort, these yoga poses will come in handy.

Yoga is a gentle, calming practice with many tried and true benefits. Try these moves after a meal or whenever you need a little relief.

Chair Pose

Start by standing tall in front of a sturdy chair with your feet pressed firmly to the ground. Roll your shoulders up, back, and then down and bring your hands together in front of your heart. Next, inhale as you bend your knees and shift your weight to the heels of your feet. Sink your hips back as if to sit on a chair and gently hinge forward from the hips. Hold here for a moment, if you feel comfortable. Then, as you exhale, slowly return to standing. Chair Pose is a simple but effective move for building lower body strength while also progressing balance.

Revolved Chair Pose

Now, let’s move from Chair Pose into Revolved Chair Pose. Take a deep inhalation then bend your knees and gently sink your hips back and down. Remember to keep your back straight and core muscles tightened. Stay in Chair Pose and rest both of your hands on your right thigh. Then, if you want a little deeper stretch here, take your right hand off your thigh and extend your arm out to the right and toward the back of the room. Repeat this Revolved Chair Pose twisting to the opposite side. Sink back and down, then twist from your torso to place both hands on your left thigh. Stretch your left arm out and back for a deeper twist.

Finally, exhale deeply as you return to standing tall in front of your chair. Then bend your knees, sink your hips back and take a seat.

Seated CAT/COW Pose

Sit tall in your chair with your back straight. Rest your hands on your thighs and roll your shoulders up, back, and down. Cat Pose will remind you of a black cat on Halloween. Round your back to curl your shoulders forward and pull your navel to your spine. You should feel a nice stretch in your upper back. Next, move into Cow Pose. Roll your shoulders back to lift your chest up toward the ceiling and feel the stretch in your chest, shoulders, and core.

Modified Locust Pose

Start by sitting in your chair and facing the front of the room. Then, keeping your knee bent, open your right leg out to rest on the right side of the chair. Rotate your body toward the right side of the room to face your right knee. As you twist, bring your left knee off the chair, tuck your left hip in and sink your knee down toward the floor. This will feel like a seated lunge. Keep your right hand on your right thigh and sit tall with your chin lifted slightly to straighten and elongate your neck. Lift your heart up toward the sky. Then, extend your left arm behind you to open your heart even more and lengthen your upper body.

Twisted Lunge

Now, let’s gently transition from Modified Locust Pose to Twisted Lunge. Stay in the seated lunge position, then bring both hands to rest on your right thigh. Next, twist your upper body to the right and toward the back of the chair. For a deeper stretch, extend your right arm out and back behind you. If you’re feeling comfortable and want an added challenge, plant your feet to the floor and use your lower body strength to lift yourself up and hover over the chair in a lunge position.

Bring yourself out of this pose by gently sitting back down in the chair (if you were hovering) and twist your upper body toward your right knee. Place your hands on the chair for support, step your left foot back to the center in front of your chair, rotate and return to a comfortable seated position facing forward.

Feel free to add a few Cat/Cow poses to massage your muscles before you repeat the Modified Locust Pose and Twisted Lunge on the opposite side of your body.

As always, safety is key. If you have a chronic condition (including osteoporosis), an injury, or balance issues, talk to your doctor about how you can exercise safely.

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