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Asana for Good Digestion

Chinmaya yoga student in Vajrasana

What do you do after you've had a heavy meal? You know those times when your stomach is so enjoying the food you're giving it, that it doesn't bother to tell you, "Hey, stop eating! I'm filling up down here!"

So you eat and eat and then...

Too full to move.

So what do you do... Sleep? Work? Go for a turtle walk? Call your mom?

The single best way to digest your food faster and more efficiently than anything else you can do is to perform Vajrasana.

Vajrasana (Thunderbolt Pose) is the only asana that is advisable to practice after a meal (not only heavy ones.) To perform, simply sit on your heels with palms on your knees. Here's the challenge - sit for up to 15 min.

It's worth it. Sitting in Vajrasana, you can almost feel your digestion taking place. Within 5 minutes, you'll notice your bloated tummy slim down and any gas will flow right out of you, instead of getting trapped and released later (unnerving your spouse). When you sit on your heels, the blood flow to the legs is reduced and blood flow to digestive organs is increased, and it doesn't take long for this to start.

Vajrasana has numerous benefits (as noted below). Beginners may only be able to sit for a few minutes. Practice any time you possibly can to increase flexibility in the legs, and soon you'll be able to sit for a full 15 min, and get up feeling energized. Next time you sit to watch TV or pay bills, forget the sofa... sit on the floor in Vajrasana. When your legs get tired, shift into another pose, then go back to Vajrasana. (Trick: watching a funny movie will help you sit longer!)

Yogis make it a habit to sit in Vajrasana silently for at least 5-10 min after every meal. Now you have a reason to avoid doing the dishes..."Honey, I'm digesting right now."

If performing after a meal, do NOT practice pranayama or deep breathing. This interferes with digestion and can make you feel sick. Otherwise, Vajrasana is an excellent meditative posture.

Avoid this pose if you suffer from knee pain or have had recent knee surgery.

Benefits of Vajrasana 1. Improves digestion. Gets rid of constipation and other stomach disorders.

2. Helps in combating acidity.

3. Strengthens and relieves lower back muscles.

4. Helps calm the mind and helps in relaxation.

5. Tones the muscles of the hips, thighs and calf muscles.

6. Improves blood circulation throughout the body.

7. Acts as a pain killer for individuals suffering from arthritis.

To your good health!

Hari Om!

Amita Jain

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