St. Mark's Hospital - March 07, 2019

Ever feel like you’ve swallowed a water balloon? Stuffing yourself at mealtime or scarfing down too much greasy food or soda can bring on bloating. The uncomfortable build-up of gas in your stomach and bowels may cause puffiness or pain that leaves you desperate for relief.

Instead of writhing on the couch waiting for gas to pass, try a gentle exercise like yoga. Certain yoga poses can ease bloating and get your digestion back on track. Start with these poses.

Chair pose

Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Slowly bend your knees like you’re sitting in a chair and raise your arms up beside your ears. Sink lower with each inhale, lifting your chin to the sky. Hold for 30–60 seconds. Rise back up, lowering your arms to your side.

Supine spinal twist

Lie on your back with legs extended. Hug your right knee into your chest as you inhale. Slowly drop your knee to the left as you exhale, pressing the back of your thigh down with your left hand. Stretch your right arm to the side and gaze toward your right hand for 10 breaths. Hug your knee back to the center and repeat on the other side.

Twisted child’s pose

Sit on your heels with knees wide apart. Lean forward, keeping your back straight, and reach hands overhead until your fore­head touches the floor. Crawl your hands toward your left knee, sinking your weight into your right hip as you twist. Hold for 10–15 breaths. Crawl your hands back to the center, then switch sides.

Cat-cow

Get on your hands and knees, keeping your back flat and abs tight as you inhale. Drop your head and round up your spine like a cat as you exhale. Lift your head as you inhale, pushing your chest forward and arching your back like a cow. Alternate cat-cow poses for 10–15 breaths.