Yoga moves to calm a stressed stomach

Published On: Jan 31 2013 02:41:14 PM CST

By Pure Matters

When tension is causing your indigestion, the cure is only a couple of feet away. Anxiety can block the body from breaking down food into fuel, says Saul David Raye, longtime practitioner of Indian and Thai healing techniques and cofounder of the Center for Sacred Movement in Santa Monica, California. Learning to release anxiety at its base -- in the feet -- will ease the pressure your body is under while processing nutrients and dealing with impurities in food. "There are [points] in the feet that go directly to the organs that aid digestion," he says.

Raye recommends a few simple moves to relieve that stress and settle your stomach (not to mention make your feet feel better). He warns that the foot positions of these poses can be and should be painful for first-timers. "If you can find out where the pain is, it will point out where the blocks are," he says. "Stay with it for as many breaths as you can."

Deep Toe Bend
According to Raye, this pose releases blocked energy in the feet, improving energy flow and balance throughout the body. Rid your feet of knots, and the ones in your stomach will simultaneously dissipate.

  1. Sit on your knees. Then bend your toes underneath you and sit back on your heels. Only the bottoms of your toes and the balls of your feet should be touching the floor.
  2. Begin to raise your knees off the floor and shift your body weight forward slightly, balancing with your hands on the floor if necessary. Apply weight to the pads of your toes. Expect discomfort. Habitual high-heel wearers, consider yourself warned that this will be no picnic for you.
  3. Notice where the tenderness is and try to apply more body weight to that spot. Stay in that position as long as possible.

Foot Cross
According to Raye, this pose opens up the energy pathways that begin at the sole of the foot.

  1. Sit on your heels with the tops of your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Lift slightly off your heels and cross your right foot over the middle of your left foot. Place the boniest part of the top of your right foot in the very middle of the outer edge of your left foot. Part of your right foot will hang over your left.
  3. When the right foot bone is positioned, sit back on your heel. You will feel a radiating sensation through your left foot and possibly even up the back of your body.
  4. Use your body weight to apply pressure gently to your right heel. Feel free to experiment with the amount. Press on the left acupressure point for as long as possible before switching sides.
  5. After you've finished both sides, sit in a cross-legged seated position and notice where you feel different in your body.

Beyond Your Feet: Vajrasana
Part breathing exercise, part yoga position, Vajrasana is also a way to meditate, according to Lori Rubenstein, founder of Mosaic Physical Therapy in Los Angeles. Monks often use this position after eating to help digestion. For those with knee problems, you can do the breathing exercise while lying on your left side.

  1. Kneel with your sit bones on your heels and hands on your knees.
  2. If needed for comfort, place a blanket between your thighs and calves. Place a rolled towel or blanket under your feet if your ankles are tight; this will help avoid pain on the top of the feet.
  3. Sit with your spine straight, head aligned with the center of your body and your gaze slightly downward.
  4. Inhale into your belly for four counts, allowing your abdomen to release outward.
  5. Exhale for six counts and feel your abdomen contract inward. Repeat for five minutes.

After these three moves, you just might be able to say good-bye to that grumbling belly.



The views expressed are not those of this company or its affiliated companies. Please note by clicking on "Post" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms Of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. 
blog comments powered by Disqus