Feeling bloated is never comfortable or fun but can happen to anyone. It commonly occurs from poor eating habits like not chewing your food well enough, multi-tasking, or eating mindlessly. Being bloated can also be related to stress, PMS, weak digestion, poor food combining for those with sensitive stomachs (such as eating starch with protein, protein with protein, and so on), having a food allergy or sensitivity, or other medical conditions (some serious). When you experience the sense of being bloated from poor eating habits like eating too quickly the experience is anything, but enjoyable. So what can you do about it?
Believe it or not, yoga can help to move your digestion along. Yoga poses can help stimulate, cleanse and boost your digestion. The next time you are feeling bloated after a meal, try these poses (Note: It is best to wait 2-3 hours after eating before practicing these).
Bloat-fighting Yoga Poses:
- Camel Pose (Ushtrasana) – This pose stretches the stomach and intestines which can improve digestion and help to relieve constipation, which can contribute to bloating.
- Warrior II with a twist (Virabhadrasana II) – Any asana that includes a twist is great for relief of bloating because you are essentially squeezing your digestive organs, and when you release this twist fresh blood (including nutrients and oxygen) is delivered to your digestive organs. This improves their function and also aids in removing toxins from your body.
- Triangle pose (Trikonasana) – Trikonasana helps to improve digestion by calming and balancing the intestines, making it great for any digestive problems including bloating.
- Forward bending pose (Paschimottanasana) – This pose helps to relieve digestion problems by stimulating bowel function and relieving bloating, constipation, and acid reflux.
- Bridge pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana) – This asana stretches your digestive organs which in turn can help to relieve bloating.
These poses won’t only aid in digestion, but will help you connect your mind and body, and also lower stress which can commonly contribute to digestion issues. Additionally, pranayama (yoga breath exercise) such as Agnisar can be used to treat your digestive organs to a gentle massage and improve bloating. Include these specific poses and pranayama in with your regular yoga practice for improved digestion and a happier gut, or do 15-20 minutes of these poses when you feel bloated. Make sure to take 5-10 breaths with each pose. Helping to clear out toxins and stimulate your digestive tract with these poses will also boost your energy levels!
Britt Martin is the founder of Fitbrittnutrition, a Holistic Nutrition Consulting company based in LA. She is a Holistic Nutritionist and Certified Yoga Teacher who is passionate about teaching her clients and community how to nourish their bodies and live more holistic lifestyles. She considers herself a health-foodie who aside from holistic nutrition and yoga, loves hiking, cooking, her dog-child Logan, and traveling as much as possible. Follow her on Instagram: @fitbrittnutrition