While a proper diet and plenty of exercise are the real prescription for flat-belly success, taking time for a little yoga can assist when an uncomfortable, distended belly needs a little debloating. The following four asanas aid in digestion and will help you feel better faster:
Bow Pose engages the muscles in your belly, while stretching and lengthening out your torso:
- From Downward Facing Dog, bring your knees to the mat and come to lie on your belly. Bend your knees and hold onto the outside edge of your right ankle and then your left.
- Once you have a firm hold of each ankle, try to keep your toes together, either pointing or flexing your feet. Lift your feet up as high as you can and shift your weight forward so you’re resting on your naval instead of on your pubic bone.
- Hold for five deep breaths and then slowly release.
Wide-Legged Forward Bend C
The folding motion of Wide-Legged Forward Bend C squeezes in your belly to help move things along. If your belly pains are related to stress, this pose will also help you release tension:
- Stand with your feet three to four feet apart, turning heels out slightly wider than toes.
- Bring your arms behind your back, clasping your fingers and pressing the heels of your palms together in a fist.
- Fold forward, hinging at your hips, drawing the crown of your head and your hands toward the floor. Relax your toes, and try to shift the weight of your hips forward so they’re in line with your feet.
- Stay here for five deep breaths. Then press into your feet, engage your quads, and inhale as you stand up.
Keep reading for two more poses to help you debloat.
Photo: Jenny Sugar
Open Triangle offers your intestinal track all the debloating benefits of twisting and bending in one pose:
- Start in Downward Facing Dog. Step your right foot forward between your hands and rise up into Warrior 1. Open your hips, arms, and chest into Warrior 2.
- Straighten your right leg and turn your left toes slightly to the right, making a 45-degree angle. Keep both legs straight as you reach your right hand straight out over your right leg. Lower your right hand, resting it on your right shin or a block, or place your palm flat on the floor. Extend your left arm straight up and gaze at your left fingertips.
- Stay like this for five deep breaths. On an exhale, lift your torso up, drop your hands to the mat, and come back to Downward Facing Dog. Repeat this pose on the left side.
Photo: Jenny Sugar
Wind-Relieving Pose works. If you’re dealing with gas or bloating pains, move your body into this pose — just make sure you have privacy!
- Lie on your back and bend both knees into your chest.
- Hug the knees in tight and then rock your knees from side to side to help massage your abdominal organs and get things moving.
- Release the knees away from your belly, lowering the toes to the floor for a few seconds. Repeat a few more times.