Gut health coach and yoga teacher Mellissa Laycy shares some simple asanas to help boost digestion and relieve gas, bloating and constipation
How often during your busy day do you take time to stop and breathe? I mean really breathe – where your belly inflates like a baby, your mind centres and you feel your whole nervous system relax?
Yoga is one of those rare time outs that keeps guiding you back to your breath, which is an important element of the practise. Ujjaiy – or yogic – breathing is key to helping you reduce anxiety and stress, which can be a huge contributing factor to how well your gut functions.
Have you ever experienced butterflies in your stomach, a tight knot that won’t unwind or the need to run to the toilet before an important event? This interlinking of outside events and internal reactions is down to the gut-brain axis. The gut-brain axis is a nerve pathway connecting two important organs: your brain and your second brain (the gut). The gut-brain axis facilitates communication between the two – hence why IBS-related symptoms are so closely related to your state of mind.
When you become stressed or anxious, your body transitions into fight or flight mode. Your blood moves away from your gut, your esophagus spasms and your stomach acid increases, compromising the health and functionality of your digestion.
But certain yoga postures, sequences and proper yogic breathing can help to activate your parasympathetic nervous system (also known as ‘rest and digest’) and restore harmony in your mind and body to support gut health.
Some of the best poses for good gut health are:
- Reclined spinal twist.
- Revolved crescent lunge
- Half lord of the fishes pose
- Cat cow
- Camel pose
- Bow pose
- Apanasana (also known as the wind relieving posture).
Each of these poses works to massage, stretch, stimulate and detox the internal organs which, in turn, help to relieve gas, bloating and constipation.
Visit Mellissa’s website for a short, guided yoga and breathwork sequence designed to relieve anxiety, aid digestion and promote a good night’s sleep.