Yoga is often considered a holistic exercise, because each of the asanas work on different parts of the body. Indeed, there are exercises that help with digestion and appetite. Whether it is constipation you suffer from, or flatulence, or even indigestion and lack of appetite, yoga has an asana for it.
Traditionally, Ayurveda believes that agni, or fire, is the driving force of digestion.1 Asanas for digestion aim to increase the ‘fire’ in the belly, figuratively, so as to help with smoother digestion and an increase in appetite. Here are some asanas you can practice.
1. Naukasana For Insulin Secretion
The boat pose, as any Yoga guru will tell you, is very taxing on the abdominal muscles. Internally, this pose stimulates the pancreas to secrete more insulin.2. As we know, insulin has a role to play in regulating blood sugar, which in turn regulated metabolism. Metabolism is responsible for everything in our body, digestion included.
2. Paschimottanasana For Better Intestinal Movement
Food waste can stay in your intestines, most commonly because of constipation. Sometimes, you may just not get the right combination of fiber and water to help pass stool easily which in this case, paschimottanasana can help. The seated forward bend entails touching your head as close to the knees as possible, while you bend from the lower back. This asana can help food waste move easily through the bowels.3
3. Trikonasana For Acidity
Those with a pitta (fire) composition often suffer from upper gastrointestinal issues such as reflux and
4. Pawanmuktasana For Flatulence
When the name itself means ‘wind liberating pose’, what doubt can there be about its application? When done correctly by pressing the folded legs against the stomach, and loosening the muscles of the pelvis, it can help release flatulence to a great degree. Pawanmuktasana also has a host of other benefits such as stimulating the digestive system and strengthening abdominal muscles.5
5. Matsyasana For Increased Liver Function
There is some reason to believe that a person’s appetite depends on how well their liver performs. Matsyasana or the fish pose helps increase appetite. In this pose, the liver and spleen are gently massaged, stimulating bile secretion.6 This is a slightly complex pose, and is best when done under supervision.
6. Bhastrika Pranayama For Improved Digestive Health
Bhastrika pranayama is the practice of taking a deep breath and exhaling the air by force. It helps stimulate blood circulation to all parts of the body. Bhastrika pranayama helps improve overall digestive health, as well as helps with blood purification and detoxification. Since most toxins in our body come from what we put in it, bhastrika can make a good accompaniment to asana practice.7
Remember, yoga is not just one asana over
|↑1||Yoga asanas for good digestion. The Art Of Living Foundation.|
|↑2||Gidwani Tiwari, Payal. From XL to XS: A fitness guru’s guide to changing your body. Random House
|↑3||Claire, Thomas. Yoga for Men: Postures for Healthy, Stress-Free Living. Career Press, 2003.|
|↑4||Yoga Journal. Active Interest Media, January 2001.|
|↑5||Messenger, Joanne. How to Balance Your Hormones. Balboa Press, 2014.|
|↑6||Frawley, David. Ayurveda, Nature’s Medicine. Motilal Banarasidas Publications, 2004.|
|↑7||Dale, Cyndi. Llewellyn’s Complete Book of Chakras: Your Definitive Source of Energy Center Knowledge for Health, Happiness, and Spiritual Evolution. Llewellyn Worldwide, 2015.|