Amy Shah, MD, an Ivy League-trained, double board certified physician, is one of the few doctors who masterfully integrates mainstream medicine with Eastern thought and a mind-body approach. This week, we're thrilled to share Dr. Shah's expertise in a new series on total gut health. To learn more, head to her new mindbodygreen course: The 7-Day Gut Reset: How To Get Your Digestion Back On Track In Just One Week.
Yoga didn't come easy for me. I was never naturally flexible, and as a busy doctor and mother of two, I thought it was a waste of precious workout time. But that was before I dove deep into learning about hormones and the gut.
I realized that excessive cortisol—our main stress hormone—was ravaging my gut and hormones at the same time. I was bloated, tired, moody, and gaining weight despite exercising hard and eating very few calories.
I started to reset my gut through diet, but soon realized that I needed to change my lifestyle, too. I needed a routine to help calm my stress hormones and activate my parasympathetic system (the "rest and digest" part of the nervous system). That's when I found yoga.
I'm no yoga expert, but through trial and error I found some yoga sequences that really helped my digestion. I simply start my morning with this 4-minute sequence, or sometimes couple it with a full 90-minute class.
Use this routine along with a gut-friendly diet, and you'll be surprised at the power of a healthy gut!