Welcome to a brand new year! Over the past weeks, most of us have been indulging in feasts after feasts. While it’s a great time to treat yourself and gather with the ones we love, many of us probably end up eating foods that are sweeter and richer than usual. This is burdensome for our digestive system and we may experience some major discomfort in our stomach.
To help ease any possible indigestions or discomfort, here are some simple stretches you can do in the comfort of your home!
1. Knees to chest
Great for alleviating any gas pains or constipation, this stretch encourages the release of gases (also known as farting), and reduce bloatedness.
- Lie down on your back, and bend both knees such that they touch your chest.
- Hug your knees, and gently rock them from side to side.
- Tighten your hug for a few seconds before releasing your knees and allowing your toes to touch the ground for 3 seconds.
- Repeat the cycle over and over again for one minute.
2. Seated Heart Opener
Photo: Meditation Relax Club
This stretch helps to reduce the pressure on the chest and belly, soothing any belly cramps and is great in general for relaxing the body.
- Kneel down and sit on your heels.
- Lean back and position your palms flat on the floor behind you, shoulder-width apart with fingertips pointing backward.
- While exerting pressure through your palms into the ground, lift your chest up as high as possible and arch your back. Your hips should stay in contact with your heels.
- To intensify the stretch, allow your head to tilt backward so that your throat and the front of your chest are stretched.
3. Happy Baby
Besides being a great hip opener to help stretch the inner thighs, groins and hamstrings, this stretch also massages the stomach organs and can stimulate the digestive system to get the food moving.
- Lie flat on your back and bend your knees such that they reach your chest.
- Open up your legs and keep them slightly further than shoulder-width apart.
- Flex your feet and hold both feet with your hands. Ensure that your arms are on the outside of your legs.
- Using your upper body strength, gently press both knees down towards the floor under your armpits. Keep your upper body relaxed.
- Stay in the position for about 10 to 12 seconds.
- Resume to starting position.
4. One-legged Seated Spinal Twist
Photo: Debby Andersen Yoga
This stretch maintains the flexibility in the spine, alleviate lower back pains and soreness in joints. It also releases the toxins in the digestive tract and improves constipation.
- Sit on your mat and extend your legs straight in front of you.
- Bend your right knee and position your right heel as near to your right butt as possible.
- Extend your right arm behind you and position your palm firmly on the ground.
- Bring your left elbow across your right knee and position it outside of your right knee. Form a 90 degrees angle with your left arm, with your palms opened and fingers clasped together.
- Flex your left foot to maximise the stretch.
- Hold for 10-12 seconds, slowly release and switch sides.
5. Extended Wide Squat
Relieve some gas pains while stretching your hips and working your lower back!
- Position your legs about shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees and sink into a deep squat. Your knees should be almost as high as your shoulders.
- Bring your palms together and use your elbows to pressure against the insides of your knees so that your hips can be widened further.
- Stay in this position for 10-12 seconds, and slowly place your hands on the floor in front of you. ‘Walk’ your palms away from your feet to extend the stretch in your hips and lower back.
- Hold in this position for 10-12 seconds. Reverse the steps to recover.
In between these stretches, you will realize that your body starts releasing gas (such as burping), and that your stomach no longer feels as bloated as before.
Cover Image: Posta.com.tr