After a long weekend of overindulgence and rich foods, you may be feeling sluggish and bloated. Let us help you re-energize and reduce that bloated feeling with these six twisty yoga poses that will gently squeeze and massage your digestive organs.
As with all twists, be mindful to lift and lengthen on each inhale, and twist deeper with each exhale. Hold each pose for a minimum of five breaths, and remember to practice the poses on both sides of your body.
Revolved Downward Facing Dog
From Downward Facing Dog, begin to shift your weight into your left hand. Twist your torso to the left as your reach for the outside of your left thigh, calf or ankle with your right hand. Gaze up under your left armpit.
Revolved Side Angle Pose
From Downward Facing Dog, step your left foot forward between your hands as you lift onto the ball of your right foot. Bring your hands together in prayer in front of your heart, and twist your torso to the left. Hook your right elbow on the outside of your left thigh. Press the back of your right arm firmly into your left thigh as you twist deeper with each breath.
Half Lord of the Fishes Pose
Sit on your mat with your legs extended straight in front of you. Bend your right knee so that the sole of your right foot is flat against the floor. Step your right foot over your left thigh. Bend your left knee and slide your leg to the right so that your left foot rests next to your right hip. Place your right hand on the floor behind you. Hook your left elbow on the outside of the right thigh, and twist to the right.
Revolved Chair Pose
Stand tall with your feet together and your arms extended overhead. Bend your knees, bringing your thighs parallel to the floor. Roll your shoulders down and away from your ears. Sink your weight back onto your heels—try lifting your toes from the mat to confirm that your weight is shifted properly. You are now in Chair pose. In order to revolve the pose, lower your arms and bring your hands to prayer in front of your heart. Twist your torso to the left, and hook your right elbow on the outside of the left thigh. Press into your hands for extra leverage to twist further. Glance down at your knees. If your right knee is protruding forward more than your left knee, make an effort to pull the right hip back in space.
Revolved Wide-Legged Forward Fold
Place your hands on your hips, and step your feet apart about four feet. Turn your feet so that your second toes are parallel to one another. (You may feel slightly pigeon-toed in this stance.) Hinge forward from the hips, as you keep your torso long and extended. Lightly place your fingertips onto the mat. Place your right hand on the ground, equidistant from your feet. Twist your torso to the left, and extend your left arm toward the sky. Try to make a straight line from fingertip to fingertip.
Supine Spinal Twist
Lie on your back, and draw your knees into your chest. Extend your arms out to either side. Shift your hips to the left by two to three inches, and gently drop your knees to the right. Keep both shoulders flat on the mat as you twist, and feel free to place your right hand on top of your thighs to intensify the stretch.