Our digestive fire, or our agni, is a key pillar to our overall physical and emotional well-being. It is responsible for our vitality and spark in life. When we have a weak digestive system, it can cause great discomfort and affect our overall health adversely. It is extremely important to maintain a strong digestive fire, and yoga is a great way to maintain this fire and to help ease any digestive pain or discomfort. Follow along with this yoga sequence to improve digestion.
Shift forward into a table top position. Keep your wrists stacked underneath your shoulders and knees underneath your hips. As you inhale, drop the belly and bring your gaze toward the ceiling. As you exhale, press the mat away and arch the spine as you bring your gaze toward your navel. Continue moving through these motions slowly and intentionally for 8-12 rounds, connecting deeply with your breath.
Come to lie on your stomach. Place your palms face down underneath your shoulders and on an inhale, press into the psalm to peel your chest off the mat. Engage your shoulders by adducting the shoulder blades together and away from your ears. Hold for around five breaths and on an exhale slowly release your chest back down to the mat.
Come to a seated position. Balancing on the sit bones, extend your legs out at a 45 degree angle and reach your arms forward. If needed, you can bend the knees at a 90 degree angle and keep the legs floating that way. Engage your core and maintain a long neutral spine as you breathe into your core. Hold for 5-10 breaths, slowly lowering the legs to come out when you are finished.
Bridge (Setu bandha sarvangasana)
Come to lie down on your back. Bend the knees and place the feet on the mat, hips width apart and on an exhale, press into the feet to lift the hips off the mat. Keep your arms extended by your side and relax the glutes, letting the pressure of your feet against the mat do most of the work. Hold here, opening up through the chest for ten breaths. Slowly roll down to the mat one vertebrae at a time when you are finished. Separate the feet mat width apart and knock the knees together to neutralize the spine.
Supine twist (Supta matsyendrasana)
Lie down on your back and bring your knees into your chest. Scoot your hips an inch or so to the right as you drop your knees over to the left at hip height. Extend the arms out at shoulder height and gaze over the right shoulder. Hold for about ten breaths before switching sides.
Lie down on your back and extend your arms and legs out wide. Take up as much space as you need to be completely comfortable. Completely let go of any breath control or attempt to control your mind. Let your body be heavy and your mind completely relax. Stay in savasana for 5-7 minutes, slowly coming up to a seat when you are finished to transition back to the rest of your day.
Gabrielle Marchese is a certified yoga instructor.