The One Yoga Pose You Should Do After A Big Meal

Supported Paschimottanasana for Digestion

The holidays are by far my favorite time of year—the food is reason enough to get excited. There’s something so inviting about a table set with various dishes and flavors, even though time spent with loved ones looks different this year.The only downside? I, like most people I know, tend to overdo it with my portions and often end up with a stomach ache after plate number three. (What can I say? I'm human.)

As a yogi, I turn to my mat to aid my body, especially during the holidays, when the desire to taste every flavor profile can easily overwhelm my digestive system. Not only does movement seem to help my digestion, but it also gets me back to feeling energized (and, of course, ready for dessert).

If you too tend to splurge a bit too much during the holiday season, I highly recommend working some yoga into your after dinner plans. In particular, I suggest giving the below asana a try—it's my go-to pose after I eat any sort of large meal. Here's how to do a supported seated forward fold.

Supported Seated Forward Fold

Ava Johanna - Forward Fold

Image by Ava Johanna

It's long been known that forward folds support circulation through the abdominal organs, and can even stimulate our digestion and metabolism. After a big meal, taking a bolster (aka a long, cylindrical pillow) to rest your stomach on supports your breath, and gently compresses and massages your abdominal organs.

How to:

  • Grab a bolster or roll up a towel and pillow to place on top of your thighs.
  • Note: The firmer the pillow the better to support in the gentle stomach massage.
  • Extend your legs straight and flex your toes back toward the face.
  • Fold your torso over the pillow or bolster and begin taking deep breaths into the belly and lower abdomen.
  • Hold here for as many breaths as you need to experience relief.

There you have it—simple, but effective movement that can make all the difference in how you feel post-meal. Happy holidays (and even happier digestion) to you all!

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