mbg moves: A 10-Minute Yoga Flow For Healthy Digestion
As a health coach and yoga instructor, I love learning and sharing all the ways this ancient practice can support our overall well-being. One great example: digestion support! That's right, yoga is not only a fantastic tool to get your body flowing, but it can also help keep your digestion moving, as well.
A gentle yoga flow that involves a lot of twisting and abdominal massage, in particular, is thought to help relieve bloating and gas, plus support regularity. In fact, gastroenterologist and mbg Collective member Marvin Singh, M.D., previously told mbg that massaging and twisting our abdomens not only feels very relaxing but can also help support digestion and encourage elimination.
That's why I created this gentle 10-minute yoga flow. It's fantastic any time you need a little extra help with digestion, plus the sequence also supports spine health and mobility. Since it's so quick and accessible, this is a great flow to mix into your weekly routine any time you need it.
Equipment: Yoga mat
Instructions: Move from one exercise to the next, following the flow cues as noted.
- Come to all fours. Ground down through your palms.
- As you exhale, drop your belly, and bring your gaze up to the sky.
- As you inhale, curl and round your spine, and bring your gaze toward your belly button.
- Repeat for a couple of breaths, then continue to downward dog.
- Start in a tabletop position on your mat.
- Inhale as you lift your hips up high, coming into a downward-dog position.
- Ground down through the soles of your feet and your hands, allowing your hips to be the highest point. You can also pedal out your dog here, lifting one heel, then the other.
- Hold for a couple of breaths, then continue to three-legged dog.
- From a downward-dog position, inhale as you lift your right leg up to the sky.
- Hold for a breath, feeling the stretch in your hips.
- From here, bring your knee to your nose, then drop it in between your hands and continue to high lunge.
- Begin with one foot in between your hands and your left leg extended backward. Ground down through your front foot, and lift onto your left toes.
- Slowly rise up into a high lunge, bringing your arms overhead and keeping the gaze in front of you.
- Hold for a couple of deep breaths, then continue to warrior 2.
- From a high lunge, pivot your back heel down, and open your body to the side. Your back foot should be turned in slightly. Your front knee should be right over your ankle.
- Energetically stretch your arms in opposite directions, keeping a soft gaze over your fingertips.
- Hold for a couple of breaths, then continue to reverse warrior.
- From warrior 2 pose, flip your front palm, bring the left hand down behind you, and allow it to rest on the back of the left thigh.
- Keeping the right biceps by your ear, reach your arm backward. Gently bend your spine, gazing toward your fingertips.
- Hold for a breath, then return to warrior 2. From here, continue to triangle pose.
- From warrior 2, straighten your front leg.
- Bring your arms into a "T" position, then hinge at the hips, shift your body forward, and bring your right hand to rest on your right foot or shin.
- Lift your left arm up toward the sky, and gaze toward your top fingertips.
- Hold for a couple of breaths, then continue to triangle twist.
- From a triangle pose, bring your left arm down to the mat.
- Twist your torso, and open up to your right side.
- Bring your right arm up to the sky, and gaze up at your fingertips.
- Hold for a few breaths, then move into downward dog. From here, repeat three-legged dog, high lunge, warrior 2, reverse warrior, triangle pose, and triangle twist on the opposite side. Continue to half wind-relieving pose.
Half Wind-Relieving Pose
- Come down to your mat, and lie on your back.
- Hug your right knee into your chest. Hold your knee close to you, and start to sway it side to side. Create circles with your knee, massaging out your belly.
- Repeat for five to eight breaths. Then repeat on the left side. Continue to reclined twist.
- While lying on your back, bring both knees into your chest.
- Slowly allow them to fall to the right side. Let your left hand extend out to the side, and bring your gaze to your right hand.
- Hold for five to eight breaths, then slowly bring your legs back up to center, and repeat on the left side.
- Bring your knees back to center, and roll side to side for a couple of moments. Close out your practice in savasana.
Juanina Kocher is a certified yoga teacher, health and wellness coach, and creator of Flex Flow Wellness. Kocher offers health and wellness coaching, membership-based yoga flows, meditation and breathwork, as well as quick and easy recipes to accommodate a busy lifestyle. Her philosophy is that (consistent) baby steps are big steps towards achieving your health and wellness goals.