Yoga Poses and Their Benefits II: The Digestive System

Yoga Poses and Their Benefits II: The Digestive System
7 May, 2014

Yoga Poses that improve digestive system

In the digestive system, food is transformed into nourishment for the cells of the body. The functional processes of the digestive system are: Ingestion – food enters the body and is mixed with secretions of the salivary glands. Digestion – the food is chemically broken down into organic components in the digestive tract. Absorption – the organic elements are moved into the fluid that feeds the cells of the body. Assimilation – the nutrients of the cells are utilized. Elimination – the indigestible wastes are eliminated from the body. When there is a problem with the digestive system we cannot absorb the maximum nutritional benefits of our food and it leads to a weakened health condition and an accumulation of toxins, which become the cause of various diseases. When our digestion is strong, our body feels light and strong. When our digestions is weak, we lack energy. There are two types of conditions of the digestive system: Hypo Conditions, e.g. constipation or lack of digestive enzymes, in this case the area around the digestive tract need to be stimulated and engaged. And Hyper Conditions, e.g. ulcers, IBS, diarrhea, of the digestive system, in this case the area around the digestive tract need to be soothed and relaxed.
Asanas that gently stretch the abdominal organs and muscles and engage your back, which improves the digestive system, include the following:

  • Salabhasana (locust pose)
  • Setubandhasana (bridge pose)
  • Bhujangasana (cobra pose)
  • Jathara Parivritti (supine twist)          

Another list of Asanas that improves the digestive system is found below.  These postures however are doing the opposite actions compared to the list mentioned above.  These Asanas contract the abdominal organs and muscles and stretch the back muscles. 

  • Paschimottanasana (seated forward bend) with knees bent
  • Halasana (plow pose)
  • Yogamudrasana (the psychic union pose)
  • Jathara Parivritti (supine twist)
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