Your body loves a good stretch, and so do the trillions of bacteria that live within your gut microbiome! A great way to do that is through the practice of yoga. 🧘
Yoga is a traditional Ayurvedic exercise known for improving flexibility, balance, and strength.1https://gutperformance.com.au/yoga-gut-health But did you know that yoga can also help improve mood and digestive health?
Here are three ways yoga can help improve your gut health:
1. aids digestion
Yoga involves moves with deep stretching, lengthening the torso and twisting. This combination of movements can help move food through your digestive system.2https://www.powerliving.com.au/blog/here-is-how-yoga-can-improve-your-gut-health Think of it as a massage for your gut!
2. relieves stress
Yoga brings focus to your breathing, and is often considered to be a “moving meditation.” The combination of gentle stretching and mindful movement can provide space to relieve tension.4https://www.powerliving.com.au/blog/here-is-how-yoga-can-improve-your-gut-health
Over time, yoga also helps to calm the nervous system. This helps train your body to regulate breathing and remain calm in times of stress.
3. reduces symptoms of IBS and depression
Studies have shown that yoga can help reduce symptoms of IBS5https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27112106 and depression.6https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23922209 Regular exercise also helps to improve microbial diversity!7https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6748614 This is often associated with a lower risk of disease, so is a great way to improve overall wellness and resilience.
Yoga can be a simple movable feast, easy to accomplish with no more equipment needed than an inexpensive yoga mat. Here are some ideas for poses that you can do at home, which are specifically designed to aid gut health.8https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-28373/how-to-use-yoga-to-detox-your-gut.html Start with a simple 10-15 minutes a day to keep your gut happy.
As the weather improves this summer, consider joining an outdoor yoga class as well. Getting outside can also improve your microbial diversity, and the social interaction can boost your serotonin levels, keeping you healthy and happy.