5 after-dinner yoga asanas to boost digestion

Yoga can bring harmony to the body, mind and soul if practiced regularly. In addition to improving breathing, practicing holistic yoga can help heal a person from various health problems. Although the best time to do yoga is early in the morning, some people even practice yoga after dinner, before going to bed. Yoga after dinner can help in better digestion, relieve bloating and also improve sleep quality.

Health Shots contacted yoga expert Abhishek Otwal of Abhishek’s Ashtanga Yoga, to know more about practicing yoga asanas after dinner.

Easy Yoga Asanas to Do After Dinner

Before we tell you about some of the best after dinner yoga asanas, let us warn you. A normal yoga session involves a mix of stretching, strength and flexibility exercises which can hinder your digestion process at night. Indeed, when we eat, our food breaks down because of the digestive enzymes secreted in the intestine. So you need to be careful while choosing yoga asanas in the evening as an intense session can do more harm than good to your gut.

Vajrasana is a wonderful yoga asana for digestion. Image provided by: Shutterstock

According to the expert, people should divide their after-dinner yoga practice into two categories: immediately after dinner and three hours after dinner. This will force you to eat a meal on time – around 7 p.m. – every day.

Yoga asanas to do immediately after dinner

1. Vajrasana (lightning bolt pose)

Practicing this asana after dinner can help improve digestion by increasing blood circulation around the abdomen.

How to practice Vajrasana?
• Start by sitting up straight with your spine and legs.
• Bend the right leg and place it under the right buttock, and the left leg under the left buttock.
• Place the feet so that the big toes touch and keep the hands on the respective knees with the spine straight.
• Hold this position for 3 to 10 breaths.

Yoga asanas to do three hours after dinner

After allowing some time for digestion, you can practice the following relaxing asanas while lying down.

1. Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclining Angle Pose)

This asana helps open the hips and promote relaxation.
How to perform?
• Start by lying on your back and move your feet toward your hips.
• As you exhale, bring your knees toward the floor.
• You can lower your hands to your knees and press down on your legs when you are ready to release.

Also read: Bedtime yoga: here’s how to relax for a good night’s sleep

3. Ananda Balasana (Happy Baby Pose)

This asana releases tension in the hips and stretches the lower back.

How to perform?
• Lie on your back and assume happy baby pose by holding the outer edges of your feet and beginning to press down.
• Your knees should go down toward your armpits and the floor.
• Try to push your tailbone toward the floor.
• If you feel some stiffness, you can also move from side to side.

yoga asanas after dinner
Don’t forget to elevate your legs for the sake of your gut health! Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

4. Viparita Karani (Legs against the wall pose)

Placing your legs against a wall in this asana can help with relaxation and improve circulation a few hours after dinner.

How to perform?
• Find a wall and put your rug down. Make sure your hips are pushed against the wall.
• Lie down and gently raise your legs, making sure both hips are pushed against the wall.
• Stay there for 3 to 5 minutes, breathing relaxed.

5. Setu Bandhasana (Bridge Pose)

This yoga asana stretches the spine and opens the chest, promoting relaxation.

How to perform?
• Lie on your back
• Bend your knees and place them hip distance apart.
• Start by rolling your shoulders down.
• Press your arms and feet down to lift your hips into bridge pose.
• As you hold, you can place your hands under your tailbone and engage your leg muscles.
• To release, relax your hands and relax.

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