Yoga can relax your mind, strengthen your body and relieve uncomfortable abdominal bloating and abnormal stomach gas. Before starting yogic postures for treatment and prevention first we should know about abdominal bloating. This is a condition in which the belly (abdomen) feels full and tight. Your belly may look swollen (distended).
Bloating can be vague and difficult to pinpoint but most people describe an uncomfortable feeling of fullness, tightness or swelling in the abdomen. This can be accompanied by pain, excessive gas (flatulence), frequent burping or belching and abdominal rumbling
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– Too much gas in the intestine
– Imbalance of microorganisms that usually live in the bowel (sometimes the result of taking antibiotics)
– Food intolerance
Specific yoga postures that can help reduce abdominal bloating. Some are good for beginners, but others are more complex and will require more flexibility and a trained yoga teacher one-on-one or in a class. Poses to learn and practice :
1. Paschimottanasana (the seated forward bend):
– Sit up with the legs stretched out straight in front of you, keeping the spine erect and toes flexed toward you.
– Breathing in, raise both arms above your head and stretch up.
– Breathing out, bend forward from the hip joints, chin moving toward the toes. Keep the spine erect focusing on moving forwards towards the toes, rather than down towards the knees.
– Place your hands on your legs, wherever they reach, without forcing. If you can, take hold of your toes and pull on them to help you go forward
– Breathing in, lift your head slightly and lengthen your spine.
– Breathing out, gently move the navel towards the knees.
– Repeat this movement two or three times.
– Drop your head down and breathe deeply for 20-60 seconds.
– Stretch the arms out in front of you.
– Breathing in, with the strength of your arms, come back up to the sitting position.
– Breathe out and lower the arms
2. Marichyasana (Marichi’s Pose)
Sit straight elevating the pelvis on blankets to help you to lift up and extend the sides of the trunk if necessary.
– Take hold of the back of the left thigh and draw the knee in, keeping the muscles of the left leg as soft as possible.
– Plant the left foot flat on the floor with the heel in line with the sitting bone.
– Inhale and reach the left arm up, extending through the left side.
– Exhale, keep the lift in the side body and place the arm against the inner thigh.
– Inhale and lengthen up through the left side.
– Exhale, roll the chest and upper abdomen to the right, away from the left thigh.
– For a more advanced variation, bring the left arm around the left shin and the right arm behind you. Clasp the left wrist in the right-hand. Hold onto a belt if the hands do not reach.
– Hold the pose for 20 to 30 seconds.
– Inhale and release out of the pose.
– Exhale and return to Sitting posture.
– Repeat on the second side.
– Come to your hands and knees with the wrists underneath the shoulders and the knees underneath the hips.
– Curl the toes under and push back raising the hips and straightening the legs.
– Spread the fingers and ground down from the forearms into the fingertips.
– Outwardly rotate the upper arms broadening the collarbones.
– Let the head hang, move the shoulder blades away from the ears towards the hips.
– Engage the quadriceps strongly to take the weight off the arms, making this a resting pose.
– Rotate the thighs inward, keep the tail high and sink your heels towards the floor.
3. Adho mukha svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog)
Prevention tips: Chew food well and don’t talk while chewing! If you are eating with others, put your fork down while eating. DON’T EAT and TALK at the same time!
– Don’t eat fruits after a meal. It will be gas forming and produce bloating
– Pay attention how your body reacts to dairy and wheat/flour products. If you feel bloated after them, you might have to reduce your intake or remove them completely.
– Avoid drinking anything 30 minutes after a meal. It will dilute digestive juices and will make it harder to digest food.
Keeping aware of the foods you eat, how you eat and keep track any adverse abdominal reactions is a great way to prevent the unwanted abdominal bloating . But if you are feeling that abdominal pinch, inhale deeply and flow through the above Yoga moves for instant relief.