While eating healthy is a great way to enhance your well-being, taking a holistic view of cleansing your system means being aware of your body at a more subtle level. That’s where the practice of yoga comes in. The alternate stretching and tightening of your muscles in yoga not only helps stimulate your digestive system, but also helps your circulatory system work more efficiently.
Yoga asanas help the lymphatic system collect and remove unwanted substances. And, the mind-body nature of a yoga practice can help trigger calming responses in the brain. Yoga is also useful for detoxifying your thinking. Every time you tell yourself about your tight hamstrings, bad balance or weak arms, you feed your mind a diet of negative thoughts. That can be a toxic way of thinking. Making the choice to practice means you believe in yourself enough to take on the challenge of whatever yoga class or at-home practice offers. Somewhere inside, you know you can move forward and grow. The more you focus on a positive attitude, the easier it will be to remove the old thought patterns that hold you back and limit you.
These 4 poses will help your digestive system. Try them the next time you feel bloated or sluggish.
1. High lunge twist
Begin in high lunge with right foot forward.
Place your hands in a prayer position at the center of your chest. Take a deep inhale, using your thumbs to slightly lift your chest.
Use your exhale to engage your abdomen and twist your torso to the right.
Place your left elbow outside of your right thigh. Breathe for at least three deep breaths
Repeat on the other side.
Strengthens the quadriceps and gluteus muscles
Stimulates abdominal organs
Improves digestion and elimination
Stretches the psoas and hips
Relieves sciatica pain
Develops stamina and endurance in your thighs
Improves your balance, concentration and core awareness
2. 1-Legged Downward Dog
From Downward-Facing Dog extend one foot up to the sky while the opposite foot is rooted into the earth.
The hips are squared and the toes are active.
The forehead reaches for the earth as the shoulder blades move back (opening the heart area).
The gaze is towards the belly button.
Stay for 5-7 breaths, then lower your leg
Repeat on other side.
Calms the brain
Helps relieve stress and mild depression
Relieves menstrual discomfort when done with the head supported
Helps prevent osteoporosis
Relieves headaches, insomnia, back pain, and fatigue
And it is therapeutic for high blood pressure, asthma, flat feet, sciatica, and sinusitis
Strengthens the glutes, arms, and core
3. Plank Pose
Start in pushup position with your hands under your shoulders, arms perpendicular to the floor
Engage your abdominal wall and draw it slightly in
Press the front of your thighs up toward the ceiling
Lengthen the back of the neck and looks down at the floor (keeping throat and eyes soft).
Breathe for 5 breaths or more
Strengthens the arms, wrists, and spine
Tones the abdomen, strengthens the core
4. Boat Pose (modified)
Sit on the floor with your legs straight in front of you.
Lift through the top of the sternum and lean back slightly (make sure your back doesn’t round)
Keep your arms straight out in front of you with arms parallel to the floor
Exhale and bend your knees, then lift your feet off the floor
Slowly straighten your knees (for a modified version, keep your knees bent), raising the tips of your toes slightly above the level of your eyes
Stay in the pose for 10-20 seconds. Gradually increase the time of your stay to 1 minute
Release the legs with an exhalation and sit upright on an inhalation.
Strengthens and tones the abdomen, hip flexors, and spine
Stimulates the kidneys, thyroid and prostate glands, and intestines
Helps relieve stress
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