You have enough things to worry about when you wake up in the morning; a bloated stomach shouldn’t be one of them. But alas, some days we wake up with painful bloat, and when this is the case, one of the best things you can do is get up and moving. There are plenty of ways to get your digestion flowing when you wake up, from a cup of coffee to a morning walk, but one of the best things to do is stretch your body with some soothing yoga poses.
To discover some of the best yoga moves for kicking bloat to the curb, we spoke to yoga teacher Lindsay Monal from YogaRenew Teacher Training. She told us her go-to poses are crescent lunge, happy baby, and supine twist. Find them all below!
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1. Crescent Lunge (Anjaneyasana)
According to Monal, the crescent lunge offers so many benefits. For one, it can open your hips and lengthen your abdominal muscles—but the real winner here is the fact that it can really “help get your digestion flowing,” which is exactly what we need when we wake up feeling bloated!
Luckily, this pose is also quite simple. She tells us how it’s done: “From a neutral tabletop position step your right foot forward between your hands,” she says. Then, you should lift your chest and rise into a lunge, resting your back knee on the ground. From here, “you can rest your hands on your front thigh, or lift them up over head for a full body stretch.” Once you’re in this pose, hold it for a while, taking a few breaths “as you lengthen the whole front body.”
Next, it’s time to come out of the posture by placing your hands on the floor and stepping your right foot back to tabletop. Then, simply repeat on the left side! Hopefully, you’ll be on your way to smoother digestion after this.
2. Happy Baby (Ananda Balasana)
Just as with the crescent lunge, there are numerous reasons to try out the happy baby pose, including the fact that it can “create flexibility in the hips and groin.” When it comes to soothing bloat, in particular, Molan says that “hugging the knees into the chest is a great way to release gas, and this Happy Baby variation will help release any tightness keeping you bloated.” Perfect!
She gave us a rundown on how to do this pose. “Begin on your back and gently draw your knees into your chest,” Molan instructs. If you want, you can even hold this pose for a bit. Once you’re ready, you should grab your feet or your ankles, flexing your feet and pressing them into your hands. Next, “Press your shoulders and tailbone down into the mat” and take several breaths while holding the pose. Once you’re ready to move on, simply bring your arms and legs back down onto the mat. Simple as that!
3. Supine Twist (Jathara Parivartanasana)
The supine twist pose is all about stretching your spine, which Molan says helps beat bloating by “wringing out your abdominal organs.” She explains that “when you breathe in this posture it’s like you’re giving your stomach a massage, and this will help you release gas and wake up your digestive system early in the morning!” Sounds like the perfect anti-bloating pose!
Here’s how to do it: “Begin by lying down on your back with your knees bent,” Molan says. From the floor, you should then open your arms wide and press your shoulders into the mat. “Draw your knees into your chest and begin to let both knees slowly fall over to the left side. Let them fall comfortably towards the mat,” she instructs. You can either rest your gaze in the opposite direction of your knees or stay facing your knees if that’s too much for you. What’s important is that you “focus on deepening the twist” with each exhale. You should hold the pose for several seconds before rotating sides.
Overall, moving your body can do wonders to improve digestion and keep bloating at bay—and when in doubt, introducing some of these yoga poses into your morning routine could make all the difference!
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