There’s nothing a yoga pose can’t solve right? If you’re suffering from indigestion, too many hours hunched at a desk or even anxiety, you might want to roll out your yoga mat. Rather than reaching for medicines to treat common health ailments, relieve your aches and pains with healing yoga poses.
Indigestion: Malasana – Garland Pose
Also known as the Yogi Squat. Squatting is believed to help with digestion. As the pelvis lowers, it encourages downward flowing energy. This pose also helps to lengthen the spine as it rounds into a forward bend and increases mobility in the hips. Allow yourself to feel taller and less ‘blocked up’ in this pose.
Standing in Mountain Pose, place the feet a little wider than hip distance apart and bring the hands to the chest in prayer position. Slowly bend the knees and squat down.
Cramps: Balasana – Child’s Pose
We’re all familiar with child’s pose but its benefits extend beyond a mid-class rest! Child’s pose is also great for those who suffer from menstrual pains as it soothes the lower back by gently stretching the spine. Make the pose even more comfortable by placing a bolster or cushion underneath your torso.
Begin on your hands and knees. Spread your knees wide apart while keeping your big toes touching. Sit up straight and lengthen your spine up. On an exhalation, drop your head forward and lower your chest between your thighs. Keep your arms long and extended, palms facing down.
Tight Shoulders: Uttana Shishosana – Extended Puppy Pose
This is the perfect pose for stretching the spine and shoulders. This pose counteracts hunching over a desk for a long period of time as it opens up the chest and heart and improves the flexibility in the shoulders.
Begin on your hands and knees. Slowly begin to walk your hands out in front of you, lowering your chest down toward the ground. Keep your hips over your knees and your arms wider than shoulder distance apart, and gently release your forehead down to the ground.
Tight Hip Flexors: Low Lunge – Anjaneyasana
This pose stretches the hamstrings, quadriceps, and hips and allows a full range of motion in the lower body. It’s perfect for cyclists and runners, strengthening and lengthening muscles that can easily tighten.
From a downward-facing dog, step your right leg in between your hands. Lower your back knee and untuck the toes. On an inhale float your torso up and let your arms line up with your ears.
Anxiety: Legs Up The Wall Pose – Viparita Karani
Legs Up The Wall Pose is a restorative yoga posture that allows the mind and the body to relax, relieving stress and tension and symptoms of anxiety. The pose relaxes the whole body and boosts circulation by reversing the blood flow in the legs so it’s a great pose to do when we’re in need of grounding.
Begin the calming yoga pose by sitting with your left side against the wall. Your lower back should rest against the bolster if you’re using one. Gently turn your body to the left and bring your legs up onto the wall. If you are using a bolster, shift your lower back onto the bolster before bringing your legs up the wall. Use your hands for balance as you shift your weight. Lower your back to the floor and lie down. Rest your shoulders and head on the floor.
words by Molly Jennings