Don’t let tummy bloating be an excuse not to practice; pull out your Yoga mat to find instant relief. Have you ever skipped a Yoga class because you felt too bloated? If so, the next time you feel bloated and desire relief a Yoga class may be just the thing you need. Yoga is not only great for lengthening and strengthening your muscles, it gently massages your organs and gets ‘things’ moving again.

Backbends, Twists, Side and Forward Bends are all simple solutions to a distended belly. If there is a blockage or buildup of air, Yoga never fails to show you where. Even though these poses may seem like a breeze, just be sure that none of your Yoga friends are posed down wind.

If it is too uncomfortable to ‘relieve’ your body from bloated abdominal pressure during a public Yoga class, there are many simple poses that you can practice in the comforts of your own home.

Cause & Effect

Abdominal bloating and gas buildup is often caused by food. Generally speaking the discomforts associated with bloating can be prevented by monitoring what and how food is consumed. Below you will find common causes of bloating, and ways to avoid the uncomfortable result.

  1. Eating large amounts of food in a short period of time can cause bloating. Pace your meals and reduce your portions to avoid gas buildup.

  2. Foods high in fat digest much slower than protein and carbohydrates sources. Reduce fat rich meals to prevent bloating.

  3. Drinking straws, chewing gum and carbonated beverages can increase chances for abdominal bloating and irritation. Avoid these to prevent bloating.

  4. Foods that are difficult to digest like beans/lentils, brussel sprouts, cabbage and prunes are only a few of the long list that make cause gas buildup. Read this article for a longer list of Foods that Cause Bloating.

If you experience bloating frequently, it may be a great idea to create a food log with a special section for notes about bloating. This may assist you in pinpointing the causes of bloating and help you avoid the negative effects.

Cures and Relief

Here is a simple pose by pose yoga sequence that will assist you in finding relief. Modifications can be made for each pose to include solutions for when you are away from your Yoga mat but still seek comfort.

The most important thing to do during a Yoga sequence for ‘Bloating Relief’ is to breath deeply and clearly. This will greatly assist in moving abdominal pressures around and out with assistance from controlled movements of each pose.

HAPPY BABY POSE

  • Begin your sequence by laying on your back. Lift your knees to your chest. With your arms on the inner part of the legs, grab the soles of your feet or interior ankles. Gently press your thighs into your chest and belly. Slowly rock side to side, focus on deep breaths that move the entire abdomen in and out. Stay for 3-5 breaths then release your legs, place your feet on the floor.

  • If you are at work, or in a place where you cannot lay down, find a chair and repeat this pose in a seated position. Bend forward on your chair and place your arms to the interior portions of your legs and grab your ankles. Take 5 deep breaths in this position then release to regular seated pose on your chair.

CAT AND COW

  • Roll over and find yourself in Table Pose. Slowly inhale as you curve your spine upwards like a cat rolling your head forward, look towards your belly button as you suck your abdomen inwards. Once you reach the top of your inhale, slowly exhale as you extend your belly and reverse the curve of your spine. Your belly button should move closer to the floor during your exhale as you slowly raise your head to gaze forward. Repeat this 3 or 4 more times with exaggerated Cat Pose inhale and Cow Pose exhale. At any time you feel dizzy, release the movement and controlled breath. Breath normally in Table Pose until you are able to continue.

  • This pose can also be modified for seated and standing positions. Keep the breath the same and round and curve the spine into modified Cat and Cow Pose. Use your shoulders and arms to assist with the movement.

DOWNWARD DOG to PUPPY POSE to SPHINX POSE

  • Deeply inhale from Table Pose. Exhale as you lift your knees up and press your arms and torso back into Downward Dog. Knees can remain slightly bent in this position. Take a few breaths as you lengthen through your spine, inhale and exhale to the bottom of your belly.

  • Slowly Lower your knees back to the ground, extend your palms far out on the floor in front of you to Puppy Pose. Try to keep your thigh bones pointed straight up to the sky as you lengthen through the spine. Try to keep a 90 degree angle with your upper and lower legs. Relax your forehead on the ground. Breath deeply for 3-5 breaths.

  • Move slowly with your exhale, lift your head and bring the tops of your thighs towards the ground. Bend the elbows and rest your palms and forearms on the ground at a 90 degree angle to your shoulders to Sphinx Pose. Gaze forward, point your toes straight behind you and breath deeply for 3-5 breaths. Move back to Downward Dog and repeat this sequence several times.

If you are unable to complete this sequence, you can always flow between Swan Dive movements into a deep breathing forward bend. As you repeat this short forward bend sequence, concentrate on extending and retracting the abdomen for greater anti-bloating stimulation.

Keeping aware of the foods you eat, how you eat and recording any adverse abdominal reactions is a great way to prevent the unwanted bloating blues. But if you are feeling that abdominal pinch, inhale deeply and flow through the aforementioned Yoga moves for instant relief.

Kaeli Yarwood

Kaeli has always had an infatuation with keeping fit and improving life. Whether it is strength training, endurance building, or self-study research, she has devoted endless hours to them all. Her interest in health started at an early age. From swim competitions to long distance running, she discovered that keeping fit is an integral part of her life. After being diagnosed with... Read More

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