There are days when you wake up and feel slimmer and lighter than a feather, and then there are days when you wake up feeling inflated. You look down at your stomach and just have to look away, feeling ashamed of the bloat. Rather than resorting to chemical “anti-bloat” supplements that seldom work, there are several yoga positions that can help you naturally de-bloat.
Before we get into the yoga poses, you need to understand that specific foods can assist with the de-bloating process. While certain foods make you feel bloated, others can do the opposite. Many people are unaware of foods that make them feel bloated, which is why it can be beneficial to do a food sensitivity test. This may help you identify the culprits that make you bloated. Some of the best anti-bloating foods include:
- Fennel seeds
- Apple cider vinegar
- Green tea
- Fermented vegetables
- Steel cut oats
If the above foods aren’t doing the trick, engage in the following yoga poses to help decrease bloating.
Standing Forward Fold
Is that little muffin top larger than normal? A few forward folds will help to stimulate intestinal movement and assist with moving stool through the digestive tract. Start by standing straight up with your feet hip-distance apart. Slowly fold forward, hinging at the hips, and then round your back to hang your arms and head down. It’s okay if you can’t touch the floor. You can support yourself by placing your hands on your legs, or resting them on a chair that you place in front of you. Hold this pose for 10 seconds before rising back up. Repeat two more times.
When you collapse on the digestive system, you help to massage your intestines. If you feel uncomfortable or extremely bloated, this pose may provide relief. Kneel on the floor and relax onto your heels. Widen your knees so they are facing outwards, and the insides of your big toes are touching. Lean forward and extend your arms out onto the ground above your head. Remain here as long as you need.
Twisting poses are some of the best natural ways to get rid of stubborn belly bloat. Your intestines will thank you as you wring them out, so to speak, because they sit stagnant all day. To perform this pose, sit on your buttocks and extend your legs out in front of you. Bend your right leg and place your right foot flat on the ground next to the inside of your left knee. Reach your left hand across your right thigh and use it as a brace as you twist. Support yourself with your right hand on the ground behind you. Don’t twist hard because you only need to twist slightly for this pose to be effective. Hold this pose for 20 seconds and then repeat on the other side.
Not only does this help to stretch your hamstrings and groin, but it is also a great pose to relieve intestinal stress. It has been known to encourage bowel movements, so you may need to head to the restroom shortly after this pose. Stand straight up and extend your right leg forward, keeping your foot facing forward. Turn your left food out to a 45-degree angle. Your legs should form a triangle. Slowly reach your right hand toward your right ankle and open your body to the left, extending your left arm up to the ceiling. If you can’t reach your foot, then support yourself on your shin, knee, or thigh. Hold this pose for 20 seconds before repeating on the other side.
There’s nothing wrong with adding more movement to the abdominal area, especially when you’re bloated. The goal is to move things through the digestive tract, and this pose can help with that. Start in a tabletop position, with your hands on the ground beneath your shoulders and your knees beneath your hips. Start by rounding your back, dropping your head down and engaging your buttocks to tuck your tail bone toward your head. Hold this for a second before arching your back, extending your head back. Do at least 10 repetitions of this pose.