A healthy stomach is a happy stomach. Have you ever given a thought to how much of our mood depends on how our stomach feels? Just like we take good care of how we look and how we feel, it is important to take care of what we eat and the effects it has on our well-being. Food and digestion play one of the most important roles in our lives. Many people experience chronic discomfort in the form of bloating, acid reflux, indigestion, pain and constipation. In such conditions practising yoga is not only effective to alleviate the problems but it also prevents them from occurring in the first place.
In this series we will take you through a sequence of postures that improve and strengthen the digestive system.
Though these postures are easy to do and can be done by all at home, as with all exercise, it’s advisable to consult a doctor before starting them.
Utthanapadasana (Raised Leg Pose)
This is a classic pose that is performed in the supine position. The meaning of “ut” is to lift, “tan” is to stretch and “pad” is leg. This pose involves raising the legs and is used as an exercise to reduce and tone the stomach and to improve digestion.
1. Lie on your back in the supine position with your hands by your sides and palms flat on the mat.
2. Inhale and raise one leg up as high as is comfortable keeping the leg straight.
3. The leg on the mat should remain straight and in contact with the mat.
4. As you exhale, raise your head and upper back off the mat until you can feel a light contraction in the stomach and hold this position for as long as you are comfortable. Maintain normal breathing while holding the pose.
5. Repeat the same with the other leg.
1. This posture strengthens the abdominal muscles and massages the internal organs improving the digestive system.
Caution: People suffering from lower back pain can do this posture by slightly bending their knees and easing the load off the lower back.