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Yoga and digestion

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I am often asked about Yoga and digestion.

Our hectic modern lifestyles may mean we skip meals or indulge in unhealthy snacks when we are short on time.  Our digestion can suffer as a result and this may worsen as we mature.  Certain yoga postures can help with digestive issues such as constipation, acid reflux, heartburn, gas and IBS.  Twisting yoga postures (rotating from the waist spiralling upwards) can help alleviate these problems because they encourage the involuntary contraction and relaxation of the muscles that move food along the digestive system as well as massaging digestive organs (liver, gallbladder, spleen and pancreas) and lessening gas and constipation.  Try this seated twist:-

Seated twist practice for Yoga and digestion

Sitting high on your sit bones with both legs lengthened in front of you bend the left knee towards you and place the left foot on your mat outside your right thigh and close to your torso.  Holding your left thigh with your hand or forearm, place your right arm on the mat behind you close to your tail bone so your arm almost becomes like a second spine for support.  Inhale and as you exhale rotate from the waist to look over your right shoulder.  Hold for 5 breaths and then exhaling de-spiral back to the start position.  Change the configuration of the legs and arms and repeat on the other side.  Sit with both legs lengthened in front of you for a moment and breathe.  For further information, see Yoga for Life (Josephine Fairley).

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