If you suffer from digestive issues like ulcers, Crohn’s Disease or constipation, then yoga may help. The twisting poses of yoga, like most physical exercise, can help move food and waste through the bowels and out of the body, easing constipation and theoretically lower the risk of colon cancer.

Roll out your yoga mat, grab a block if needed and try these yoga twists to get the digestive system going.

Reclined spinal twist

  • Lie on your back with your knees bend. Tighten your stomach.
  • Gently rock your legs from side to side.
  • Exhale allowing your legs to fall to the right. Inhale using your core to raise them to the center. Exhale allowing them to fall to the left. Inhale using your core to raise them back to center. Repeat this several times.
  • Exhale allowing the legs to fall to the left making sure that the legs are stacked on top of each other. Turn your head, neck and navel to the left. Try to keep both shoulders on the ground.
  • Your arms should be out to the side away from the body with the palms upward.
  • Hold for 5 counts.
  • Repeat the other side.

Lunge twist

  • From downward facing dog, step your right foot forward between your hands. Straighten your left leg while balancing on the ball of your left foot.
  • Place your left palm on the floor, on the inside of your right foot. Reach your right arm up toward the sky and gaze up. Lengthen your torso while twisting from the upper back.
  • Settle into the pose and breathe for five deep breaths. Release from the pose by stepping back through to plank and into downward dog to switch sides.

Revolved triangle pose

  • Stand in mountain pose. Step your feet wide, about 3½ to 4 feet apart. Raise your arms parallel to the floor with your palms facing down. Turn your left foot in 45 degrees to the right and your right foot out to the right 90 degrees. Adjust the heels so they are aligned.
  • Exhale and turn your torso to the right. Square your hips towards the front of your mat. Position the left hip around to the right and ground the left heel.
  • As you exhale, lean forward over the front leg. Reach your left hand down and to the floor, placing the palm to the inside or outside the foot. If needed, place a yoga block against your inner right foot and rest your palm there. Keep your hips square to the ground. Aim your gaze to your right hand.
  • Press the left palm down against the ground and reach your right hand toward the sky simultaneously. Stay long through the torso. Breathe and stretch.
  • Stay in this pose from 30 seconds to one minute. Exhale and release the twist. Repeat for the same length of time with the legs reversed, twisting to the left.
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