There are so many tips out there on what to eat for your gut, what supplements to take, and what foods to avoid. It can get a little overwhelming and cause stress with so much to think about when it comes to your eating routine. Thankfully, there are other ways you can improve your gut that don’t involve food.
Did you know you could heal your gut by simply moving your body? Yoga has been known to improve gut health by increasing the diversity of healthy bacteria in your microbiome.
A study researched the gut environments of active people versus sedentary people and found a higher presence of Akkermansiaceae in the active group. This strain of bacteria is linked to reduced inflammation in the body and a reduced risk for obesity. Yoga can help a diverse range of healthy bacteria flourish within the gut.
Yoga is also commonly known to reduce stress, which definitely benefits the microbiome. The stress hormone, norepinephrine, can alter the bacteria responsible for communicating with your brain. This can alter your mental and emotional balance. Chronic stress will impact gut flora, causing slowed metabolism, depressed nervous system, and decreased nutrient absorption. Decreasing stress is reason enough to add a little yoga into your daily routine.
Here are some easy yoga poses to introduce into your exercise routine for a healthier gut and reduced stress.
Twists benefit the body because they aid in digestion and gut health. Every time you twist the body you are applying pressure to internal areas associated with the digestive system. Twists help rinse and release toxins
Try revolved lunge by stepping into a lunge position with the right leg bent in front and left leg extended behind you. Bring your hands to heart center and twist to the right, hooking your left elbow to the outside of the right knee. Repeat on the other side.
Revolved lunge can help get your digestive system moving properly and release belly pain. This pose will stimulate your digestive system helping you eliminate more easily.
Backbends On The Belly
When you lie on your belly, you’re applying gentle pressure to the abdomen—this type of pose can also help stimulate the digestive system. Think poses like bow, cobra, superman, or upward facing dog.
Bow pose is excellent because you can rock back and forth massaging the belly. This movement increases blood flow and oxygenates these internal organs. To get into bow pose, lie on your belly and bend your knees. Reach your hands behind you to grab ahold of each foot. Press your feet into your hands to lift both your knees and your chest off the mat. Rock a little forward and back.
According to Ayurveda and Hindu theory, digestion occurs through producing heat. This allows food to burn in order to create energy. The best way to create internal heat is to move through several sun salutations to warm the body up.
Come to the top of your mat and inhale to reach your arms overhead. Exhale and fold from the hips. Inhale and lift halfway up, extending the back. Exhale to fold forward and step into plank. Either move through a chaturanga, or lower your knees to the mat and then lower the chest. Inhale, upward facing dog. Exhale, downward facing dog. Repeat several times and notice how warm your body feels inside.
About the author:
Kate is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach with a concentration of stress reduction and the plantbased lifestyle. She is also a 200-RYT certified yoga teacher in Nashville, Tennessee. As a certified meditation teacher, Kate loves helping people reduce stress to improve their digestive health and overall happiness.
Instagram: @meditatekate / website is meditatekate.com