Diet and digestion are two essential elements in maintaining good health. Exercise is also really important. Practicing asanas regularly is not only a great way to get exercise but can also improve our digestion over the long term.
One of the ways asanas can improve digestion is by stimulating manipura chakra in the navel region. This energy hub is the body’s center of heat and fire. When the prana, or subtle energy, in manipura chakra is strong, our digestion is strong. When the energy in the manipura chakra is weak, our food isn’t digested as well as it should be, leading to indigestion, heartburn, or other digestive problems.
Asanas that work our core muscles such as Boat Pose, Leg Lifts, or Mini Sit-ups stimulate manipura chakra, as do spinal twists. Backbends like Cobra Stretch gently stretch and massage the abdominal organs, improving both digestion and elimination. Of course, these are poses to add to your regular asana practice, not to do after dinner! The one pose you can do after dinner is Vajrasana, just kneeling, sitting quietly on your heels for about 5 minutes. This will help your food digest. Bon appétit!