Anyone who thinks that delicious Thanksgiving food is reserved for one day only has clearly never experienced the sheer joy of leftovers. Stuffing, turkey, pumpkin pie, and cranberry sauce goodness can easily go on for weeks after Turkey Day, and it's literally glorious. But what's not so glorious is your seemingly permanent, achey food baby. That lump in your tummy needs relief ASAP, which is where a few yoga poses for stomach pain are sure to come in clutch.
Even if you're not about that Thanksgiving leftovers life, the holiday season is still very much upon us, and that means a whole bunch of scrumptious, homemade food and rich desserts are quickly coming your way. Heck, even when it's not the most festive time of the year, it's only human to overindulge at times and find yourself dealing with a not-so-happy tummy after the fact.
Thankfully, there are lots of yoga poses that are amazing for dealing with indigestion, bloating, and cramps. Plus, yoga teaches you how to breathe through uncomfortable moments, and gently soothes your mind in the process. Having these tools and strategies at the ready is the best way to overcome any discomfort you might be feeling when it seems like your belly is about to birth a food baby right on the couch. Here are a few poses to try the next time your tummy is about to burst.
1. Knees Hugged To Chest (Apanasana)
Knees-to-chest pose is also known as "wind-relieving pose," because it's super soothing when you're feeling especially gassy or bloated.
Practicing this pose will rejuvenate your digestive organs and restore the normal flow of fluids in your stomach. The gentle pressure of your legs against your stomach will feel soothing and allow you to decompress, both physically and mentally.
2. Triangle Pose (Trikonasana)
Triangle pose may seem simple from afar, but there is so much going on in this asana that will help you combat a stubborn food baby.
Trikonasana helps improve digestion by toning the muscles in your mid-section, and the combination of strength and flexibility required in this pose will divert your attention away from your achy stomach.
Breathe deeply as you stack your shoulders and direct your gaze upward. Pretend that your hips are between two panes of glass to achieve a strong alignment in this pose.
3. Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)
Bridge pose is technically an inversion, even if it doesn't seem like it is. Since your head is technically beneath your heart, this pose promises all of the same benefits that come with flipping yourself fully upside down.
This asana helps you de-stress while relieving unpleasant aches and pains. Opening up your body will stimulate your digestive organs and increase blood flow, relieving any uncomfortable tummy symptoms that you might be experiencing.
4. Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana)
Seated forward bend is a grounding pose that restores balance in the body, which will help you decompress after a bit of indulgence.
Notice the sensation of your stomach against your thighs, and relax your upper body fully into this asana, no matter how deeply you're able to bend.
Remember, it's not about touching your toes in this pose (or any pose, for that matter). Honor wherever your body may be in the present moment, and slowly allow yourself to melt into the forward fold, vertebrae by vertebrae.
5. Supine Twist (Supta Matsyendrasana)
If your belly feels incredibly unsettled and cramped up, a supine twist will soothe your stomach pains and gently stretch out your lower back.
As you inhale, draw your knees into your chest, and extend your arms out to either side of your body. As you exhale, drop both knees over to one side of your body, and gaze over your opposite shoulder.
Hold this pose for a few deep breaths, and then repeat it on the other side to maintain balance and equilibrium throughout your entire body.
6. Child's Pose (Balasana)
Child's pose is an incredibly comforting and calming asana that will relieve any remaining discomfort within your body and mind.
Try spreading your knees out wide in this version of balasana, so that your belly can rest in between your knees. Close your eyes, and keep your breath even, slow, and steady. Think of all the things that you are grateful for, as you feel any discomfort slowly drift away.