We live in an era where we pleasure ourselves with delicious food which is just a few clicks away. Even if we happen to dine-in, going a few kilometres out of the way to give our taste buds a blast of flavours is not a big deal anymore. Today’s market is filled with tempting food choices to spoil our taste which ultimately compels nutrition to take a backseat.
Excessive oily, salty, spicy and sweet food results in problems like indigestion, acidity, bloating and stomach related disorders.
The typical way to deal with such problems is to pop pills; however, there is one cure that has gained recognition in the recent past – Yoga for Food Digestion.
Read More: Indian food and gut health
Understanding the digestive system
A well-performing digestive system needs strong Agni (fire – metabolism) to break down food, absorb nutrients and turn them into healthy tissues in the body. Think of Agni as a gas stove, if the heat is high, you’ll end up burning the food. And if it’s low, it is under-cooked.
The same goes for our digestive system. Nutritious food doesn’t always mean good digestion. If your digestive system doesn’t have the right amount of Agni, it won’t be able to absorb all the nutrients. What should one do to increase the digestive fire?
Why exercise is crucial for a good digestive system?
- It increases blood flow towards the muscles and digestive tract.
- Exercise helps move food throughout the digestive tract.
- It helps burn fat, cures the problems of gas, and stomach cramps.
- It controls the metabolism of the body.
Read More: 5 signs you have an unhealthy gut
How do Yoga asanas help in digestion?
- Asanas help strengthen the digestive system and digestive Agni.
- Boost metabolism and increase natural appetite.
- Yoga for cleansing the stomach regulates bowel movement and relieves constipation.
- Helps in eliminating fatty deposits.
- Asanas to release gas provide relief from pain and acidity conditions.
- Yoga to improve digestion aids in flushing out toxins from the body.
- Asanas keep the mind active.
Best Exercise to Improve Digestion and Increase Digestive Speed
Thinking about ‘How to improve the digestive system by Yoga’? How to increase digestion speed? Looking for the best digestion tips? Try out these simple yet effective asanas that can help cure acidity, gas and improve digestion. Make sure to warm up your body before you practice these postures.
In case of extreme constipation or piles, practice yoga mudras such as Ashwini Mudra to boost your digestive health.
Trikonasana means triangle pose and is to be considered the best exercise for digestion problems. It is beneficial for people suffering from IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), as this asana puts pressure on the colon, thereby stimulating movement. Let’s discuss the procedure of Trikonasana.
The procedure of Trikonasana:
- Stand straight, keep a 2 to 3 feet distance between legs.
- Stretch arms to the shoulder length.
- Keeping your bodyweight equally on both feet, bend your right arm towards the right leg and exhale. Do this gently so that you don’t lose balance.
- The left arm is pointed towards the sky.
- Hold this position for a few seconds and exhale while returning to the original position.
- Repeat with the left arm. Perform this for four to five rounds.
Note – Do not perform this asana if you have had an injury of the back like a slipped disc or disc bulge.
Paschimottanasana is a classic seated forward bending exercise that massages the intestine while at the same time stretches the back. It also stimulates digestion and improves the secretion of digestive juices.
- Sit on a plain ground, with your back straight.
- Stretch your legs forward and flex your toes towards yourself.
- While inhaling, raise your arms and bend your body forward towards the toes. Do this as comfortably as you can and exhale.
- Lastly, try holding the toes with fingers while your nose touches the knees.
- Hold for 5 seconds and keep breathing.
Inhale and release. Do this for two-three rounds.
Note – Avoid this posture in case of spondylitis.
Ustrasana is a back-bending yoga posture. It helps to improve digestion and flexibility of the spine.
- Kneel on the floor.
- Toes should be resting on the floor and should be pointing back.
- Knees and the feet should be one foot apart.
- While inhaling, bend backward slowly.
- Exhale deeply and place the right palm on the right heel while the left palm on the left heel.
- The head is tilted backward. Avoid straining your neck in this process.
- Hold as long as you can, and keep breathing.
- Exhale slowly, and come back to the original pose.
Note – Avoid this posture if you have a neck or back injury.
A good option for asana after dinner can be Vajrasana.
Yoga for digestive system isn’t a new concept. It’s an age-old technique followed by people all over the world. For a healthy body and a better system of digestion, ditch the pill ‘kyunki Yoga se hi hoga.