I do get a lot of overseas readers so i am starting with the obvious – it is summer in Australia so the Santa above is appropriate.
Have you started to increase on your chocolates, biscuits and cakes intake? I certainly have … and … the trend will continue for the next week or so.
I have complied a few poses below which will aid digestion and/or help you to relax.
If you are flying to a far away place for the festive season the next blog will include poses to reduce the effect of jet lag.
Poses to do if you overindulged
I am an expert in this area…
The Ayurvedic guideline is to have 1./3 of your stomach filled with food, 1/3 with liquid and the remaining 1/3 is “space” to allow digestion. I tend to misjudge the 1/3 food bit…
Generally it is not recommended to practice yoga with full stomach however there is one pose which is “do-able” in “emergency”.
- Supta Virasana (laying down hero pose) – two variations
The aim in this pose is to lengthen the trunk. Whilst you are in this asana you quadracep muscles will be extended too.
Most of us would not be comfortable laying back without support. For support you can use a bolster (or fold up two blankets).
If your ankles, knees or back does not allow you to lay back over a bolster use a folded-up chair against the wall and make sure it won’t slide away. I suggest to sit on some elevation such as a block or a book as this will ease off the pressure from your knees. .
Whichever version you do sit up tall before laying back and extend the tailbone away from your waist to lengthen to lower back. Keep your knees either together or hip widths apart, a strap will assist. Use a rolled up blanket, towel or a small cushion to support the back of your head and neck. Once you established that you are comfortable in this pose stay in it for a few minutes.
If you have more time and energy try the following sequence to aid digestion:
There are 5 poses in this series. The food has to travel approx. 11 meters from entry to exit so the aim is to help the digestion process by pushing the food down.
These poses lengthen the trunk, open the sides, twist, squeeze and massage the organs in the abdominal cavity and finally assist towards elimination.
Brief description of the above poses, I assume you have done enough yoga to safely go into the poses and come out of the poses with awareness and control.
1. Stand in Tadasana, inhale and raise the arms in line with your shoulders, interlace the fingers and on the next inhalation raise the arms above your head (or you can hold the left wrist with the right hand) and come up on your toes. Exhale lower the arms and bring the heels down. repeat a few times (4 to 8).
2. Stand in Tadasana, inhale raise the arms in line with your shoulders, interlace your fingers and raise the arms above your head . On exhalation extend the right side of the body, keep the chest and hips to face the front. Change the interlacing of your fingers and repeat on the other side. Repeat the cycle a few times.
3. Stand in Tadasana, inhale raise the arms shoulder height and with an exhalation twist to one side. Allow the whole trunk to turn. Inhale back to the centre and exhale to the other side. Repeat the cycle a few times.
4. Lay down on your abdomen, either have your elbows on the floor (like I have) or straighten your arms. Tuck the toes under and on exhalation turn your head to inspect your heels (try to see both of them). Inhale, turn back to the centre and on exhalation do the other side. Repeat the cycle. This pose will massage your internal organs.
5. Start with squatting. It is a twisting movement, bring one knee towards the floor and twist away from it. Repeat on the other side and complete a number of cycles. This pose will help with elimination and it is the last one in this series.
Poses to relax
If you feel you need to take time off try one or all of the following poses.
Wishing you a happy festive season, good company & laughter and happiness.
All the best for 2020!