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Stress due to COVID-19 may cause digestive problems: 5 yoga poses to boost digestion

You can practise the cat-cow pose at any time of the day. ©Shutterstock

Is COVID-19 stress affecting your digestion? Try these amazing yoga poses to boost your gut health.

Written by Sanyukta Baijal |Published : May 31, 2020 2:15 PM IST

Have you ever felt a stomachache when you feel anxious or stressed? This happens because there is a connection between the brain and your gut. All thanks to the COVID-19 outbreak, which is on a rise, a lot of people are suffering from the gastric problems. Many have been complaining that their stress and anxiety trigger contractions in the gastrointestinal tract has caused stress-related digestive problems.

Yoga for digestion

Apart from keeping a check on your stress levels and food habits, you may try a few yoga poses to improve your digestion. These asanas may help stimulate your abdominal muscles, circulation to the gut organs, and relieve stress too. You can practise these poses at any time of the day. Throughout the session, keep breathing deeply. For 30 seconds to 1 minute hold each pose.

Cat/Cow stretch

Practising cat-cow position can be nourishing for your digestive tract as this pose gently stretches and massages your organs, while creating a space in your abdomen.

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How to

  • Start with the kneeling position sitting on the heels (Thunderbolt Pose).
  • Now, come on all fours, placing your wrists just below your shoulders and knees underneath your hips.
  • Keep your head parallel to the floor.
  • For the cat pose, drop your head and lift your belly while inhaling.
  • For the cow pose, gaze up, bringing your belly down as you exhale.

Forward fold pose

Forward fold pose may help you increase your blood circulation to the abdominal organs like the spleen, pancreas, liver, intestines and kidneys. This improves your digestion and stimulates metabolism.

How to

  • Stand straight, raise your arms up and bend down.
  • Try to touch your feet with your hands, keeping your legs straight.
  • Inhale and exhale throughout the process.

Camel pose (Ustrasana)

Camel pose or ustrasana helps in stretching and strengthening your shoulders and back. This expands the abdominal region, improves digestion and elimination. This pose also improves your posture and respiration.

How to

  • Come on to your knees, keeping them hip-width apart. Keep your feet in line with the hips.
  • Place your palms on both sides of the waist, taking both the thumbs to the sacrum (the bone between your hip bones).
  • Look up and lift your chest as you inhale.
  • Gently take your head back keeping your neck relaxed and shoulders open as you touch your heels with your palms.
  • Exhale as you take your head down.
  • Engage your abdominal muscles in the whole process and press your hip bones forward.
  • Continue to lift your chest.
  • Hold this position for 30 seconds. Come up slowly to release.

Upward dog pose (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana)

Upward dog pose stimulates the abdominal organ and stretches the muscles which results in flushing out the toxins from the body and an improved digestion.

How to

  • Lie on your tummy, palms and wrists down at the sides of your waist and arms bent at the elbow.
  • The top of your feet should touch the floor.
  • Straighten your arms to lift your body up.
  • As you hold the position keep your neck relaxed and quads tight.
  • Breathe in and breathe out.

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