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Dec 17, 2015

Healthy Living – Yoga, the Natural Remedy for Overindulgence

Let’s be honest, in exactly one week, the inundation of food and drinks will be upon us. For some of us, it really doesn’t matter how many times we tell ourselves we won’t overindulge. But more often than not at some point during the Christmas holidays we will face discomfort due to overeating or excessive drinking. So tonight in Healthy Living we went looking for some possible remedies.


Marleni Cuellar, Reporting

It’s likely that over the Christmas holidays, taking a healthy approach to eating will be more of an afterthought than practice. So for those who anticipate feeling stuffed, bloated and uncomfortable as a result of their Christmas merriment. We have a few tricks to try at home to remedy your discomfort courtesy Yoga Teacher, Michelle Williams.


Michelle Williams

Michelle Williams, Owner/Operator, Om Shanti Belize

“When we’re in a situation where there is a lot of food around, where we are taking food constantly, our digestion gets a little bit sluggish and the sluggishness can cause you to feel bloated; it can affect you mentally. You feel tired, you feel kind of overwhelmed. And with some simple postures and deep breathing, you can actually relax the body, energize the system and kinda activate our digestion to speed up and to give us the energy from the food, allow us access to the energy from the food we are eating.”


Now of course, you could take antacids to remedy indigestion, but if you’re looking for a natural remedy then Michelle has six poses that anyone can try at home to help ease their bloating woes.


Michelle Williams

“There’s one particular pose that you can do after you’ve eaten and actually it is even particularly good when you’ve overeaten and that’s called hero’s pose. But the other poses, I’d like to suggest that you wait a little while—between half an hour and maybe an hour—and then you go into your stretches. Hero’s Pose is sitting on your heels with your knees together. That’s one variation. You can also use props like bolsters or blocks and people with knee problems use it to be elevated a little bit. It is just sitting with your hands on your ties and just lengthen your body and just deep breathe. This can be done right after you’ve eating. It’s just a matter of calming the system, allow everything to flow and work its way down. And continuing to breathe. There’s different variations; you can actually take your hands back, about eight inches away from your body and gently lift your chest and take your head back and that’s just gently stretching the abdomen.”


The next five poses would require that you wait a half hour to an hour after eating before giving them a try. The first stretch is called the twist.


Michelle Williams

“The twist, we do spinal and abdominal twist and that helps to kinda massage the digestive track and the intestinal track. So you are twisting from side to side and what I do I like to go from one side and take five deep breaths in. And on the exhale, you go a little bit deeper in the stretch, so you go a little bit deeper into the stretch. And you come forward and go to the other side. And then you have lying down twist where you lie down and you take your knees to one side and you take your head to the other side and that’s another variation of the twist. I like to do what we call cat cow and that’s just releasing tension in the spinal system, like in your spinal cord and throughout your neck. And again, that’s working with your nervous system because if you are tense, your body…it’s a common thing; if you are tense and stress, your digestion isn’t the best. So the cat cow is the inhale, curving the spine, looking up to the horizon and your coccyx or your tail bone is also looking up so you got that nice kinda swoop. And the cow is when you do the opposite. From the mid spine you lift up, humping the spine, trying to get your head towards your pelvis. Forward folds in Sanskrit is called “Paschimottanasana” and that’s kinda like an overall wonderful posture asana that would help with stress release; it helps to relax and because of that it helps with the digestion. And that’s just basically you are seating, your legs are straight and you just forward fold. You want your body totally relaxed, it’s a nice stretch for the hamstrings, for your spine, for your neck. And it is also like a compression of your abdominal to also help with your digestion. The downward dog, it’s a nice overall body stretch. It’s also once you get used to doing it and in most yoga sequence, the downward dog is always there, but it is also like a complete body stretch. You stretch through your fingers, your arms, your shoulders, your spine, through your hamstrings right down into your heels. And let me just get one more in and that’s the child’s pose; and that’s the ultimate rest/relaxation pose and that’s a really nice pose to end the sequence with. It always boils down to relaxation and de-stressing for me because that can play such a big role in how the body works.”


So whether your indigestion comes from the rich food or just overeating; these 6 yoga poses may be just what you need to get your digestion back on track.

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