Eat. Yoga. Rep(eat).

July 27, 2013

**Guest post by Dan Gejay of Greater Than Sports:

If you’ve spent any time in Saratoga, or at least have a slight understanding of its culture, a few things come to mind. First and foremost: horse racing. That one’s a given. There may be other things that rank high on this list, but these next two are arguably number two & three: food, and yoga.

As Saratoga Food Fanatic has made it quite prevalent, there’s no shortness of food in the area. The downtown Broadway strip alone has some of the best dining around! Luckily for Saratogians, there’s definitely a sense of healthy living in the community. Yoga is huge here. Just take a stroll around town and you’re sure to see a handful of studios, people of all walks of life carrying their yoga bags and mats, and you might even see some people practicing their latest poses in Congress Park.

But did you know that yoga is an amazing way to help aid in the digestion of all that delicious food? Here are three easy-to-do yoga poses to improve your overall digestion!

First, lets start with why this is important to your body. Proper digestion is one of your bodies’ most important capabilities, and it has a real and noticeable impact on your overall health and well-being. When you’re feeling bloated and sluggish, it’s tough to operate. When you improve your digestion, your body can perform at a much higher level, and it’ll have an easier time either keeping, or getting rid of the things it needs or doesn’t need.

Whether you’re an avid yogi, or just someone looking to improve their overall health, these five poses are a great way to bring more consistent digestion to your body. Don’t forget to stretch before starting! It will make things much easier on your body.

Childs Pose:


When you’re bending forward in this pose, it creates additional heat in your core which helps keep your digestive system flowing. Not only is it great for digestion, but also it’s a great position to just relax in and gather your breath. Perfect for coping with stress!

Here’s how to do it:

  • Kneel on your mat with your knees a couple inches apart, with your feet under your bottom pointing away from you.
  • Take in a deep breath, and as you start to exhale, bring your torso down over the top of your thighs while trying to lengthen your spine by aiming the crown of your head away from your shoulders.
  • You can either place your arms along your thighs with your hands pointing behind you, or extend your arms straight out in front of you with your palms down.
  • Stay in that position for five breaths.

Hero Pose:


This pose is meant to help center your body. It relaxes you while also activating your nervous system. If you’re comfortable transitioning to other poses, this is a great one to start the sequence with.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Kneel on your mat with your knees together, but this time separate your feet and sit your bottom on the mat between them. Try to curl the arches of your feet around the curve of your rear.
  • From this position, you can either extend your hands directly above you with your head tilted back, or lean all the way back to the ground with your arms folded above your head. Try to engage your abs so there’s less strain on your back.
  • Try to focus on the line from the bottom of your spine all the way to the top of your head.
  • Stay in this position for five deep breaths.

Spinal Twist:


After you eat, you often get that sluggish feeling like all you want to do is sit on the couch. By doing this simple spinal twist, you can help jump-start your digestive system so you feel better faster.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Sit on your mat as if you’re sitting “Indian style”. Bend your right knee and place it over your left leg.
  • Place your left elbow on the outside of your right knee, and twist your back so you’re looking over your right shoulder.
  • As you breathe, continue to extend the twist. Stay there for five breaths, then switch and do the other side.

Seated Heart Opener:


After a meal, your torso is obviously more stuffed than usual. This pose helps to create space in your intestine.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Begin the pose by sitting on your heels. Lean back and place your palms down on the mat with your fingers pointing away from your body.
  • Put pressure on your hands as you lift the center of your chest as high as you can. Arch your back and let your head hang and relax.
  • Hold this position for five deep breaths and then sit up.

Bow Pose:


This one’s a little tougher…nothing wrong with a challenge! The Bow Pose is ideal for aiding in digestion and relieving constipation while stretching out your entire torso.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Lie flat on your belly. Bend your knees, and with your right hand, hold onto the outside of your right ankle. Then do the same with your left.
  • Once you’ve got a good grip on both ankles, lift your feet up as high as you can. You should be resting most of your weight on your naval, versus putting pressure on your pubic bone.
  • Keep your head pointing up. Hold this position for five deep breaths and then slowly release. Remember not too pull on your ankles too hard!

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