When we’re young, we rarely think about our digestion. But often, after years of living with stress, eating on the run, overeating, eating the wrong kinds of food, all combined with the natural effects of getting older, our digestion may gradually weaken. We may experience heartburn, gas, or belching, or just feel uncomfortably full after a meal.
According to yoga, strong digestion is essential to our health. When our digestion is strong, our food is effectively broken down into the nutrients that provide us with strength, energy, and vitality. On the other hand, when our digestion is weak, our food doesn’t digest as well and fewer nutrients are efficiently assimilated and used by the body. Even after a healthy meal, if our digestion in weak, we may feel tired and bloated or experience heartburn, flatulence, belching, diarrhea, or constipation. Eventually, chronic poor digestion can lead to illness and disease.
One easy way to improve our digestion is by sipping plain warm water or warm ginger tea throughout the day. By contrast, cold drinks, especially close to mealtime or while eating, dampens digestion.
Another way to improve digestion is by regularly practicing yoga asanas. Asanas increase the circulation of energy, oxygen, and blood to our digestive organs, helping them to function optimally. A regular, balanced asana workout will help strengthen our digestion. If you want to focus on poses that are good for digestion in particular, choose asanas that gently massage the internal organs like this week’s asana, Wraparound Twist.