Indulgences happen–especially around the holidays. The month of December often means co-workers bringing in cookies, parties serving up plenty of yuletide cocktails, and family gatherings plating enough food to feed small countries. It’s not long before your merry mood leaves you feeling bloated, bad about yourself, and swearing off all food in the future.
Sure, you could beat yourself up for overdoing it on the merriment this month. Or, you could try a more proactive approach that actually helps to detoxify your body and get it back to feeling its best. If you’ve been a little too festive with friends and family this holiday season, try these post-holiday feast yoga poses to help your body recover and get back on track.
5 Post-Holiday Feast Yoga Poses
When unbuttoning your pants does nothing to relieve your over-full tummy and even an ice pack can’t rid the ache of a holiday hangover, the last likely think on your to-do list is Downward-Facing Dog. But yoga, especially post-holiday feast yoga poses that focus on twisting, deep breathing, and stimulating blood circulation, can aid in digestion, detoxification, and increasing energy. And that all adds up to ditching the discomfort. Post-holiday feast yoga poses can take place on the floor without a mat or even on the couch or in a bed. There’s no need to get formal about this yoga practice. Just move through the poses as best you can until you start to feel better.
- Legs Up the Wall: For better digestion, your tummy needs blood flow STAT, and getting your feet overhead can help. Lie on the floor with your butt up against the corner of where the floor meets the wall, and extend your legs straight up the wall. You can also do this in bed, using your headboard in place of a wall. Lie here with your arms comfortably at your sides, inhaling deeply into your abdomen through your nose and exhaling out your mouth. Complete this pose for a few minutes, remaining in position as long as is comfortable.
- Puppy Pose: Stretch out painful stomach cramps with a softer play on Down Dog. Start in a tabletop position, with your knees below your hips and your hands below your shoulders. Keeping your knees and hips in alignment, slowly walk your hands forward while thinking about touch your chest toward your knees. With your arms straight, sink your chest toward the floor to stretch your abdominals, as well as your arms, shoulders, and neck. Take at least 10 slow deep breaths in this position.
Wind-Relieving Pose: Yep, this pose takes on a very literal meaning when you’ve got a gassy tummy. The idea is to expel the “wind” by massaging your internal organs and intestines using the pressure of your legs. Lie on your back with your arms at your side and your legs straight. Bend your right leg and place your right foot on the floor close to your buttocks. Clasp your hands around the bent knee and gently pull your leg into your chest, being mindful of keeping your lower back flat on the floor. Hold this position for five breaths before releasing your leg back to the starting position. Repeat the steps on the left side.
- Child’s Pose: Drinking alcohol might not be child’s play, but when your head is aching, Child’s Pose can increase blood circulation to the head to reduce your symptoms. Begin kneeling, with your knees wide and your heels beneath your butt. If you aren’t very flexible, you can use a pillow, folded blanket, or yoga block under your butt for support. In the open space between your knees, walk your hands forward until you create a flat back. Rest your head on the floor with your arms out straight, or create a rest by stacking your hands beneath your forehead. Breathe deeply into the belly for 3 to 5 minutes.
Seated Spinal Twist: If you think of twists like the wringing out of excess water from a dishcloth, you can get a sense of how twisting the body works to wring out toxins in the body, while also massaging the internal organs and intestines. Sit on the floor with your legs straight in front of you and your back straight. Bend your right knee and place your right foot by your left knee. Roll your shoulders back and place your right hand behind your body. Use the elbow of your left arm to help twist your upper body, being sure to keep your spine long. Use the inhale to sit up tall, and the exhale to further the twist. Hold this pose for at least five breaths before releasing and completing on the other side.
These easy yoga poses are sure to restore some balance back to your body following any post-holiday feast indulgence. Do you have trick for feeling better? Share with others in the comments!