This Thanksgiving I am thankful for turkey, stuffing, sweet potato casserole and the power of yoga to cure the inevitable bloat these foods will give me.
My three favorite yoga poses to cure the tummy blues that follow Thanksgiving day’s dinner symphony are downward dog, revolved triangle pose, and extended puppy pose. The benefits to these three poses lie in how they work hard to stretch out your stomach, relieving the fullness that occurs after eating a large meal.
Downward dog is beneficial to nourishing your intestines. This process works by taking deep breaths, and pulling your navel up and back toward your heart. To get into this pose, begin in plank lifting your spine up to the sky, putting your body into a position that looks just like a downward facing dog.
Once in this pose, take deep belly breaths, the goal being to direct your chest closer toward your knees. This movement pushes your tailbone closer to the sky, creating a deep stretch for your muscles and inside your stomach. A delicious recipe for getting rid of that uncomfortably full feeling.
The next pose, revolved triangle, simulates the movement of trapped toxins in the body, like that extra slice of pumpkin pie that seemed like a bright idea at the time. Getting into this pose is slightly trickier than getting into downward dog as it involves a twist of the body. To reach this pose, begin with your legs split, like a triangle.
From this position, bend down using your arm opposite from your leg standing in front, then lift your other arm, palm facing forward, to the sky. To get the full benefits of this pose, use your standing hand to push away at the floor and extend with your arm that is raised to the sky. This pulling and restricting helps to release the colon, helping that extra slice digest a little easier.
Finally, extended puppy pose is helpful in relieving cramps after a big meal. This pose is sweet and gentle like a puppy, easy to get into, and relaxing for your body. Begin by resting your hands and knees onto the floor then walk your hands forward enough to rest your head onto the floor. From here, you are finished. Allow gravity to do the rest of the work in opening up your heart, and your belly.