Yoga melts away stress, improves your mobility and flexibility, and works as a moving meditation. If you choose the right poses, it can even be good for your digestion, says Kate Lombardo, yoga director at YogaRenew Teacher Training. “You wouldn't want to eat a big meal and then jump into a sweaty vinyasa class focused on inversions,” she tells Bustle. “But taking time to move through poses that aid in digestion can be very beneficial.”
Yoga can be good for your gut in two ways. First, “it helps to reduce stress and bring more balance to the body, which allows for all systems — including the digestive system — to work at an optimal level,” Lombardo says. Do yoga on the regular, and you’ll likely notice that you have better digestion — and less bloating, constipation, cramps, etc. — as a result.
Lombardo recommends doing these yoga poses first thing in the morning as a way to set your digestive system up for a good day. You can also do them later on in the day, whenever gut issues strike. “If you're experiencing any discomfort or signs of poor digestion after a meal, then moving through some gentler twists about 30 minutes after eating can help the body to digest food,” she says. Scroll through for some of the best yoga poses for better digestion.
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