Feel Bloated? Try the Following 6 Simple Stretches...

 Bloating can attack anyone at any moment for a variety of reasons, including consuming foods that are not good for our bodies and drinking too little fluids during the day. No matter what caused the bloating, once it attacks you probably find it difficult to think of anything other than relief, but you'll be happy to discover that this can be achieved with 10-15 minutes of simple yoga stretching. The stretches below cause movements in the abdominal area that increase blood flow to your internal organs, and if you do them slowly, a few hours after a meal, they will relieve you of the annoying feeling of bloating.


1. Wind Relieving Pose

In Yoga, this stretch is called "Apanasana," which literally means “Wind Relieving Pose” in Sanskrit, a name that doesn’t need to be explained further...

  • Lie on a mattress, grab your right knee with your hands, and bring it close to your chest.
  • Straighten your left foot so that it is parallel to the floor.
  • Bring the left thigh as close to the floor as possible to stretch the abdomen.
  • Stay in this position for 10 seconds, then change legs.

2. Supine Twist

If you want to help the digestive processes in your body, twisting will speed up the flow of blood to the organs in your stomach.

  • Start with a knee-to-chest position, as you did with the previous stretch, but this time try to curl your body from the pelvis and abdomen to the opposite side of the leg you are holding - in the case of your right leg, turn to the left.
  • Place your left hand on your right knee and help it stretch the pelvic area as much as possible. At the same time, straighten your right hand beside it and keep it at shoulder level.
  • Turn your eyes toward your right hand. If your neck is sensitive to this movement, you can leave it straight and stare at the ceiling.
  • Stay in this position for 10 breaths, return the right knee to your chest, as in the position of knees to the chest of the previous exercise, and straighten it slowly. Repeat the stretch with your left leg.

3. Navasana

After you've curved and twisted your body while lying down, move on to the navasana position which will also help free you from the discomfort of bloating.

  • Sit on a mat and grab the bottom of your thighs with your hands.
  • Lift your right calf in the air so that it is parallel to the floor.
  • Try holding your belly button to your spine, resisting the urge to round up your upper back.
  • Expand your shoulder blades and shoulders and now lift your left leg into the air.
  • Move your knees back and forth - toward and away from the chest, 10 times in total.

4. Twisting Child’s Pose

Bending the body forward helps calm not only the body but also the soul, which is why worshipers from many different religions do this - try the next stretch to help calm the stomach pain from which you suffer while bloated.

  • Bring your hands slowly back to your left knee without lifting your head. If your right thigh rises, put more weight on it. After 10-15 breaths, bring the hands back to the center to the right knee and wait for another 10-15 breaths. Then switch sides and take another 10-15 breaths.
  • Sit with your buttocks on your feet and lean forward while stretching your back as far as possible. Try to reach the boxes with your hands, so you feel a stretch in your hips.
  • Take 3 boxes (same size as in the picture) or any object you own of the same size, and place 2 in front of you shoulder distance apart and one closer to you so that you can lay your head on it when bent over, as shown in the picture.

5. Burrito Pose

The name of this stretch will help you remember that you should use a towel rolled up like a burrito. The towel should be 10-12 cm in diameter, you can use a pillow instead.

  • Lie with your navel directly on top of the rolled towel and keep your body straight. Make sure the towel isn’t crushing your ribs.
  • Place your head on a box like the one you used in the previous exercise or on a pillow, and try to flatten your body as much as possible on the floor.
  • Stay that way for 1-2 minutes.

6. Cow/Cat

This movement is well known and is effective for a variety of purposes, including calming abdominal swelling. It helps to finish the tummy stretch after the set of poses you've done.

  • Start by standing on all fours with your hands in line with your shoulders and your knees in line with your hips. 
  • Exhale air and push the sternum outward so that it forms a concave shape with the back. Then inhale and form an arched shape with your back - continue alternating movements with your breathing. The movements must reach the upper back.
  • Do this for 15 breaths.
image source: Prevention
cover source: Peter Gerdes
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