If you find that you often have indigestion after your yoga practice, it may be time to take a closer look at your diet. The foods you eat as well as the timing of your meals can increase the chances you'll have an upset stomach after your session. You can also do certain yoga poses during your practice to help calm down your troublesome tummy.
Avoid eating two to three hours before doing yoga. Zack Kurland, author of "Morning Yoga Workouts," recommends not eating anything before yoga in the morning and waiting at least an hour or two after eating to practice yoga in the afternoons. Practicing yoga on an empty stomach is more comfortable since food is not just sitting in your stomach waiting to be digested. If you exercise on a full stomach, blood flow you need for digestive processes will instead be shunted to working muscles. This can lead to stomach upset and nausea.
What You Eat
Indigestion after yoga practice may be a result of the types of foods you ate that day. Foods that are greasy and high in fat and calories can sit in your stomach for hours, leaving you feeling heavy, bloated and lethargic. Even if you eat these foods several hours before yoga, you can still end up with indigestion from slowed digestion. Eat foods that are low in calories, fat and sugars but high in nutrients both before and after yoga -- and as part of your daily diet in general. Center your diet around vegetables, fruits, lean proteins and healthy fats in moderation.
Hero pose can aid digestion by massaging and strengthening the abdominal organs, according to Byron Yoga. Do this pose by sitting on the floor with knees bent underneath you. Your feet should lie on each side of your hips with the fronts of your feet and toes touching the ground. Slowly lean back as you lower your upper body onto a pillow or blanket behind you for support. Stay here for one to two minutes as you take deep, even breaths to calm an upset tummy.
Savasana, or Corpse pose, is typically the last pose done in yoga class. If you find yourself rushing through this pose to get back to life, consider slowing it down a bit. The posture aims to relax and calm the body, which can increase blood flow to the stomach to assist in normal digestive processes. Do Savasana by lying on your back on a mat on the floor. Relax your entire body by letting your feet naturally roll out and release any tension from all muscles. Your arms should by extended slightly out from your sides with palms facing the ceiling. Breathe deeply from the belly for five to 10 minutes in this position. Spend even more time if you've had a particularly stressful day.
- Morning Yoga Workouts; Zack Kurland
- Anatomy & Physiology: 7th Edition; Kevin T. Patton & Gary A. Thibodeau
Jennifer Andrews specializes in writing about health, wellness and nutrition. Andrews has a Master of Science in physical therapy from the University of Alberta as well as a bachelor's degree in kinesiology. She teaches yoga and pilates and is a recent graduate of the Institute of Integrative Nutrition.