I hope your Thanksgiving was fabulous, even if you ate too much like I did. The thing with overindulging during the holiday season, is that stuffed, blah feeling. Luckily, from experience, I know several yoga poses that are the antidote to thanksgiving bloat. These yoga stretches can help your body fend off the food or beverage coma haze. The rich foods we don’t usually indulge in can wreak havoc on how we feel. These stretches can help you get back to yourself.
Of course talk to your medical professional before attempting any new form of exercise including yoga poses. Also, go slowly and pay attention to your body. You should feel the stretch but not pain. Stop immediately if you feel pain and consult your doctor. Otherwise, trying the following exercises slowly can aid digestion, relieve gas, and open your lungs, spine and shoulders. It will feel so much better.
The post-thanksgiving bloat may be common, but it is incredibly uncomfortable. This pose is easy for beginners as well as advanced yogis. More importantly, it can help prevent and relive gas. It aids digestion and helps stimulate the colon by gently massaging the abdominal organs. That stimulation also releases tension in the belly area, hips and low back.
- Lie on your back. Bend one or both knees to your chest.
- Hug your knees and gently rock your knees from side to side as you breathe.
- Release your knees and slowly lower your legs to the floor, one at a time. Rest a few seconds then repeat two or more times.
Seated Forward Bend
This pose relieve lower back pressure, and stretches the hamstrings and spine. Depending on your fitness level, you can begin by sitting on a chair, or sit on the floor. Reaching with your hands, bend forward at the hips keeping the legs and spine straight. If you start from the floor, you may choose to wrap a resistance strap around the feet, and hold it, gently pulling yourself forward.
Downward Facing Dog
This pose is a staple, but it also aids digestion, relieves headaches, opens the shoulders, chest, spine and hamstrings. If you are less mobile, use a chair to get this stretch. Face the chair from a standing position. Place your hands on the back (least flexible) or seat (more flexible) of the chair, and lean forward toward the chair. Try to keep your head past your forearms for the full shoulder stretch. Bend the knees slightly to relieve pressure on your hamstrings.
If you are fully flexible, you can forego the chair, and go to the floor on hands and knees. Place hands shoulder distance apart on your mat and raise your butt until your legs are nearly straight, hip distance apart. Your feet and hands should face forward. Tuck your head under your arms for the full shoulder stretch. Look between your feet or toward your navel and hold for 5 to 10 breaths. Then walk your hands back until you can safely stand. Rest for a moment before repeating.
The Child’s Yoga Pose
Kneel on your hands and knees, keeping your knees shoulder width apart. Stretching your hands forward, sit your hips back onto your heels. With your stomach resting on your thighs, extend your torso forward. Relax tension you might still have in your face and jab. Breathe as slowly and deeply as possible opening up between your shoulder blades. This is great for releasing tension, relieving back pain and aiding digestion.
More Yoga Poses at the Virtual Dojo
These are just a few of the yoga poses that offer relief for Thanksgiving bloat. We show our students even more at the virtual dojo Yoga Play for beginners and Yoga Play advanced online courses. Come join us or this season. Call Grand Cane Master Mark Shuey at (775) 772-9471 or contact us to buy a subscription for yourself or someone you care about. It’s a wonderful, caring gift, and will give them a great start to 2023!