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5 Yoga Poses to Improve Digestion Naturally

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The holidays are upon us, and with them come the joys of spending time with far-flung family and friends; parties that feature festive music and holiday sweaters abound. You’ll be able to enjoy plenty of your favorite holiday dishes that you probably don’t get to eat on a regular basis. Overeating — coupled with the stress that often accompanies the holidays — can lead to indigestion. That’s where yoga comes to the rescue! These gentle yoga stretches and poses can help you detox and improve digestion naturally and ease the discomfort you feel from overeating.

1.Downward-Facing Dog – Adho Mukha Svanasana

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This iconic pose begins with you on your hands and knees. Keep your hands just slightly ahead of your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Exhale before gently and smoothly lifting your knees away from the floor. Lift your tailbone away from your pelvis and gently push your thighs back while stretching your heels down. Avoid locking your knees. Stretch between one and three minutes.

2.Knee-to-Chest Pose – Apanasana

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This is also sometimes called the wind-relieving pose. Simple and effective, it works to gently move excess gas from your system. First, lie down on your back with your arms relaxed and your legs bent at the knees. Inhale and put your hands on your knees, then exhale and bring your knees to your chest. Hugging your knees, gently rock them from side to side to get the full effects of the stretch. Continue to do this for at least five to ten breaths before you release your knees.

3. Cat-Cow – Marjaryasana-Bitilasana

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The cat-cow pose begins with your hands directly beneath your shoulders and your knees under your hips. To do cow pose, inhale before gently pushing your belly button toward the ground. Simultaneously lift your hips and heart to the ceiling. Seamlessly move into cat pose by rounding your upper back toward the sky and dropping your head so you are able to look at your navel. Spread your fingers and press your hands and feet gently into your mat. Aim for ten cat-cow poses to help with digestion.

4. Extended Puppy Pose – Uttana Shishosana

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The extended puppy pose is a natural one to do after completing cat-cow. It’s also an ideal way to stretch your belly open to relieve the cramps that can sometimes follow overeating. Start on your hands like you are in cat-cow pose. Keeping your hips stationary, gently walk your hands forward. Allow your head to naturally release onto a block or the floor. Open your heart to gravity.

5. Reclined Twist – Supta Matsyendrasana

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This supine twist is a great way to stretch your spine and soothe your tummy. Lie down on your back and hug your knees. Inhale. On the exhale, allow your knees to drop to the left. Turn your head to the right while stretching your right arm in that direction, too. Breath in this position for up to ten breaths before returning to center. Repeat on the other side for best results.

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