Whether it’s from a food intolerance or that time of the month, nearly everyone has dealt with the dreaded belly bloat. When that uncomfortable feeling strikes, it’s tempting to dive under your doona with a packet of Tim Tams and hide out until it passes. This, of course, usually leaves you feeling much worse!
Next time you’re battling the bloat, why not try a few gentle yoga poses instead? Practicing yoga is like a massage for the body, compressing the internal organs and increasing circulation, which works to removes toxins that can contribute to bloating.
We asked one of our favourite yogis, Claire Grieve, to share her favourite de-bloating yoga sequence.
Bloated? Try this quick and calming yoga sequence
- Mountain Pose: Stand tall with your feet together, weight is evenly balanced. Lengthen your spine, soften your body. Place your hands at heart center.
- Standing Forward Bend: Exhale, bend forward from the hip joints, lengthen the front torso and draw the belly in.
- Chair Pose: Inhale, raise your arms parallel above your head, palms face each other. Exhale, bend your knees and sit back, weight is on your heels.
- Downward Facing Dog: Hands shoulder width apart, feet hip-width apart, lift your hips up and back, press heels down.
- Up Dog: Lay face down, hands under your shoulders next to lower ribs. Inhale, press into the palms and straighten arms lifting the torso and tops of the thighs off the floor. Relax shoulders away from your ears.
- Bow Pose: Bend your knees, reach for your ankles. As you inhale raise chest and lift hips up off the floor. Press shoulder blades against the back to open your heart.
- Bound Angle Pose: Seated on your mat, press the soles of your feet together and let your knees drop open.
- Wide-Legged Forward Bend: Stand in mountain pose, step your feet parallel and wide apart. Exhale, bend forward from the hip joints, place the hands on the ground bending the elbows. Press the thighs back, keep the front torso long and relax your head.
- Revolved Triangle Pose: Step feet 3 to 4 feet apart, right foot in front, hips and torso forward, place left hand on the outside of your right foot. Twist from belly reaching right arm up towards the ceiling, gaze follows. Inhale, lengthen the spine. Exhale, twist. Repeat on opposite side.
- Warrior II Pose: Step feet wide apart heels align, turn your right foot 90 degrees toes point to top of mat bending your knee, left foot pivots inwards 45 degrees keeping the leg straight. Raise arms to shoulder height, parallel to the floor. Repeat on opposite side.
- Revolved Triangle pose (repeated) OR Camel Pose: Kneel on the floor with your legs hip-width distance. Engage your lower belly, lift your rib cage and reach your hands back to your heels. Gently lower the head, neck, and gaze towards the nose. OR Childs Pose: Sit back on your heels, knees hip width apart, sink your torso down and reach your arms in front, pressing your forehead into the floor. OR Plow Pose: Lay flat on your back. Inhale, engage your core in raising your legs up towards the ceiling. Exhale, bend at the hip joints slowly lowering your toes above and beyond your head, support your lower back with your hands. Align your hips over shoulders, create space between chin and chest.
- Half Lord of the Fishes: Sit with your legs stretched out in front. Cross right leg over left, sole of your foot outside left outer hip. Place right arm behind you, reach up with the left bend and hook elbow over the right knee. Inhale, sit tall lengthen the spine. Exhale, twist deeper. Repeat opposite side.
- Knees to chest: Lie on your back, hug both knees up and into your chest.
- Cat: Start in table top. Shoulders stacked over the elbows and wrists, hips in line with the knees. Exhale as you round your spine to the ceiling, releasing your head to the floor.
- Cow: Inhale let your belly sink to the floor, chest toward the ceiling and lift your head to look forward.