Twisting for Digestion
By Becca DiCenso
Your digestive system can be disrupted by food, movement, stress level, hormones, and much more! The good news is there’s a variety of natural ways to help improve your digestion and keep your body performing at its best.
A few simple dietary and lifestyle changes can help reduce digestive issues, including increasing your activity and adding more fiber to your diet by incorporating more fruits and vegetables. Another way to get your system moving is by adding a yoga practice to your routine. Yoga poses that emphasize twisting can play a vast role in good digestion.
When practicing twisting poses, here are some things to keep in mind:
Twist to the right first, followed by the left.
This is particularly important because when you twist right, you open the ascending colon (that travels up the right side of the colon), and when you twist left, you compress the descending colon (that travels down the left colon), generally pushing everything in the right direction and relieving digestive distress.
Breathe through your twists.
With each inhale, lengthen your spine by reaching the crown of your head toward the sky, then rotate as you exhale. Inhaling prior to twisting also allows your body to open, elongate, and prepare for the twist.
Keep your twisting even.
Breathe equally on each side while twisting to keep your body in balance.
Stay mindful during twists.
The lower back and neck can be easily strained during twisting, so be mindful. You may not feel like you’re doing too much in the moment, but over-twisting can cause pain and irritation if your body isn’t used to it.
Whether you start or end your day with easy twisting, just a few poses can help get your system moving and aid digestion for a happy and healthy body!
Here are some simple poses to include in your everyday life:
Ardha Matsyendrasana or Half Lord of the Fishes Pose
Supta Matsyendrasana or Supine Spinal Twist
Parivrtta Trikonasana or Revolved Triangle Pose
Parivrtta Utkatasana or Revolved Chair Twist
Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana