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Yoga Poses that Aid in Digestion

Hi. I'm Liz McDonald and I'm teaching Yoga at my studio here in Los Angeles called Brazilian Yoga and Pilates. Today we're going to do a couple of poses to aid digestion and the main thing that this poses have in common is that we're going to be stimulating the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve is a nerve that runs from the cranium all the way into the abdomen and its the kind of thing that keeps our brain and our stomach talking to each other. So, it keeps that relationship healthy in terms of when I'm hungry, when I'm not hungry and when and during digestion as well. So this can be a little bit painful at first. They definitely take time to actually soften into them and I'm gonna show you 2 different poses that you can do. If the second one is too intense, you're welcome to stay more time in the first pose. For the first pose, we're going to need a blanket. We're gonna take just any... any old blanket that we can about an inch thickness on after we fold it up and we're gonna want it to be about a mat width. Then we're gonna roll it up and make a little Burrito and place it to the side. We want to make sure that our knees are directly in front of our hips and we're comfortably seated on our heels. If that's hard for you to do, you can take a second blanket and you can pad up your heels a little feet so that your Buddah has a bit of a cushion. Meanwhile, we're going to take this guy and roll it up. We wanted to sit right in the soft section of our belly. We're about to bend forward. Before we do so we want to inhale and really stretch the spine long in both directions, exhale to start folding over the blanket. We want to ribs to clear the edge of the blanket so that might take a second to settle in and then slowly walk the fingers forward, bringing the head down to the mat. Now my roll feels a little bit thick. So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna come up again and I'm gonna show you the pose again. I'm gonna roll this guy a little bit tighter. Place is across my thighs , get my spine a little bit longer and then kinda lay it down piece by piece until I really feel the ribs clearing. So what this does is it stimulates the vagus nerves and kinda swooshes everything towards the spine a little bit. Though its gonna be a little painful at first and the reason is because we don;'t do this everyday. The tenderness will subside if you keep breathing and relaxing. You can stay on the pose anywhere from five to infinite rest. And whenever you're finish, go ahead and slowly use the hands to walk up and you'll find out that its actually quite a lot work. It doesn't look like much, but you'll feel flushed a little bit because we've just stimulated our entire digestion and circulatory systems. So, the next thing that we're going to do is kind of pump it out a notch is we're going to lay on top of the roll. This one I give a shout out to Ana Forrest. I learned this in a workshop that she gave recently and it was very effective. So, we're gonna place the blanket on her mat so that its with... with (??) and then this is going to be the place right again where that soft part of our belly lands. So, you kinda wanna estimate that and then come forward, bring the hands forward on the mat and then slowly, slowly , slowly walk the knees back. And find that soft spot. Its probably already talking to you after you did the last exercise . You can even feel that nerve pulsating a little bit. We're gonna inhale, catch our breath. Laying from the spine again. We're kind of passing through cobra here. And then whenever you feel that everything is in the right place, its gonna be a little different for everybody and you're gonna once again make sure that the ribs clear the role and then go ahead and lay the head to one side. This is definitely a moment where you can actually feel the heart beating in the belly. Take a few breaths here and just allow space to become a little bit more vulnerable. One of the reasons why we can have problems with digestions is because once again, stress and tension. The universal bad guy. We're always cleansing these things up instead of allowing... allowing them to just do their job. If we would relax a little bit. The bodies with them would take over. So, gently soften the belly. Stay here for a few breath. At least a minute. And then of course anyone here really wants to go for it can come back up to cobra for a moment, bend the leg and try their luck reaching back into (Dona Rasma?) , this is crazy. This is my variation. I can't recommend it for all. But you can inhale a gradually start to feel the legs up and feel the chest up and then really get into the areas that you need to be working. So you'll see my face is turning bright red. This is quite a bit of work. You might only stay in there for a breath or two and then slowly come down, take a moment. I'm Liz teaching from Brazilian Yoga and Pilates. Again, these are a couple poses that we did today on the rolled up blanket to stimulate the vagus nerve and aid indigestion.