Relieve digestive discomfort with gentle yoga twists.

Counter Your Thanksgiving Feast With Gentle Reclining Twists That Aid Digestion

Relieve digestive discomfort with this short, relaxing yoga sequence.


Thanksgiving is a holiday that may involve flying home to visit family, spending hours on end in the kitchen, Black Friday shopping, and spending time with loved ones. It's also a time that we are intentional about what we are grateful and thankful for - this always brings me back to the practice of yoga and its ability to connect us back to our ability to improve our own health and wellbeing.

This yoga sequence will help aid digestion by utilizing gentle twists that increase circulation to the digestive and abdominal organs. Additionally, these yoga postures relieve stress, which improves the gut-brain connection. Learn how a few simple postures can help relieve any issues with digestion such as bloating and constipation. Most importantly, eat what you want, relax, and enjoy your holiday!

1. Warm-up with Knees to Chest pose (Sanskrit: Apanasana)

This pose will be one we return to in-between twisting postures. It is a great pose for digestion because the compression of drawing your knees into your chest aids elimination and also relieves your lower back from any tension built up sitting on a cramped airplane. Hugging your knees in towards your chest, massage your back by rolling left to right and back and forth to warm up the spine for our upcoming twists.

2. Asymmetrical Reclining Spinal Twist (Sanskrit: Supta Matsyendrasana)

From Apanasana, stretch your left leg out long and keep the right knee drawn in towards your chest. Take a deep breath in, and allow your right knee to twist over to the left on an exhale by gently guiding your knee with your left hand. Stretch your right arm out to the side, aiming to keep the right shoulder anchored to the ground. If your neck is comfortable doing so, gaze over to the right side. If you are experiencing tension in your low back, place a bolster or pillow at your left side to support your right knee. Hold this posture for 5 breaths before slowly switching to the other side.

3. Apanasana into Thread the Needle Pose (Sanskrit: Sucirandhrasana)

Return to hugging your knees back into your chest to bring your spine back to neutral, then stretch your legs out and plant your feet on the floor with your knees bent. To come into Thread the Needle (also referred to as Eye of the Needle), cross your right ankle over your left thigh. If this feels like a good stretch in your right hip, you can stay here. If you want to deepen the stretch, you will "thread" your hands through the opening between your thighs and pick up your left thigh by interlacing your fingers and drawing your legs closer to you. Hip openers in yoga are notoriously intense, so breath deeply while holding this stretch and notice where you might be holding any tension (are you clenching your jaw or squinting your eyes?). Hold this posture for 5 to 8 breaths before switching sides.

4. Thread the Needle Twist (Sanskrit: Parivrtta Sucirandhrasana)

We will return to Thread the Needle on the right side, and on an exhale, slowly let your legs fall over to the left with your arms out to your sides like a T. A block or bolster can provide support to prevent your lower back from feeling any tension or pressure. After holding this twist for about 5 breaths, come back to center on an inhale, and switch over to the right side on an exhale.

5. Knees to Chest pose into Single Knee to Chest pose (Sanskrit: Apanasana into Eka Pada Apanasana)

Bring both knees into your chest again, and stretch out your left leg, hugging your right knee into your chest. Interlace your fingers either behind your thigh or on top of your shin. After a couple breaths, switch sides and bring your left knee into your chest. Do this for 5 cycles, and move with your breath - draw your knee into your chest with a deep breath in, and release to switch sides with an exhale.

6. Closing - Yogi's Choice

Depending on how you feel after these twists, you can do a short Savasana, lie in constructive rest (knees bent, feet planted on the floor, knees knock in towards each other like a pyramid), take another hip opener like Happy Baby. Take a moment to sit cross-legged, bring your palms together at your heart's center, and show yourself gratitude for taking care of yourself and slowing down in the midst of holiday festivities.

Popular Right Now

9 Reasons Crocs Are The Only Shoes You Need

Crocs have holes so your swag can breathe.

Do you have fond childhood objects that make you nostalgic just thinking about your favorite Barbie or sequenced purse? Well for me, its my navy Crocs. Those shoes put me through elementary school. I eventually wore them out so much that I had to say goodbye. I tried Airwalks and sandals, but nothing compared. Then on my senior trip in New York City, a four story Crocs store gleamed at me from across the street and I bought another pair of Navy Blue Crocs. The rest is history. I wear them every morning to the lake for practice and then throughout the day to help air out my soaking feet. I love my Crocs so much, that I was in shock when it became apparent to me that people don't feel the same. Here are nine reasons why you should just throw out all of your other shoes and settle on Crocs.

1. They are waterproof.

These bad boys can take on the wettest of water. Nobody is sure what they are made of, though. The debate is still out there on foam vs. rubber. You can wear these bad boys any place water may or may not be: to the lake for practice or to the club where all the thirsty boys are. But honestly who cares because they're buoyant and water proof. Raise the roof.

2. Your most reliable support system

There is a reason nurses and swimming instructors alike swear by Crocs. Comfort. Croc's clogs will make you feel like your are walking on a cloud of Laffy Taffy. They are wide enough that your toes are not squished, and the rubbery material forms perfectly around your foot. Added bonus: The holes let in a nice breeze while riding around on your Razor Scooter.

3. Insane durability

Have you ever been so angry you could throw a Croc 'cause same? Have you ever had a Croc bitten while wrestling a great white shark? Me too. Have you ever had your entire foot rolled like a fruit roll up but had your Crocs still intact? Also me. All I know is that Seal Team 6 may or may not have worn these shoes to find and kill Osama Bin Laden. Just sayin'.

4. Bling, bling, bling

Jibbitz, am I right?! These are basically they're own money in the industry of comfortable footwear. From Spongebob to Christmas to your favorite fossil, Jibbitz has it all. There's nothing more swag-tastic than pimped out crocs. Lady. Killer.

5. So many options

From the classic clog to fashionable sneakers, Crocs offer so many options that are just too good to pass up on. They have fur lined boots, wedges, sandals, loafers, Maryjane's, glow in the dark, Minion themed, and best of all, CAMO! Where did your feet go?!

6. Affordable

Crocs: $30

Feeling like a boss: Priceless

7. Two words: Adventure Straps

Because you know that when you move the strap from casual mode chillin' in the front to behind the heal, it's like using a shell on Mario Cart.

8. Crocs cares

Okay, but for real, Crocs is a great company because they have donated over 3 million pairs of crocs to people in need around the world. Move over Toms, the Croc is in the house.

9. Stylish AF

The boys will be coming for you like Steve Irwin.

Who cares what the haters say, right? Wear with pride, and go forth in style.

Cover Image Credit: Chicago Tribune

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

From One Nerd To Another

My contemplation of the complexities between different forms of art.


Aside from reading Guy Harrison's guide to eliminating scientific ignorance called, "At Least Know This: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life" and, "The Breakthrough: Immunotherapy and the Race to Cure Cancer" by Charles Graeber, an informative and emotional historical account explaining the potential use of our own immune systems to cure cancer, I read articles and worked on my own writing in order to keep learning while enjoying my winter break back in December. I also took a trip to the Guggenheim Museum.

I wish I was artistic. Generally, I walk through museums in awe of what artists can do. The colors and dainty details simultaneously inspire me and remind me of what little talent I posses holding a paintbrush. Walking through the Guggenheim was no exception. Most of the pieces are done by Hilma af Klint, a 20th-century Swedish artist expressing her beliefs and curiosity about the universe through her abstract painting. I was mostly at the exhibit to appease my mom (a K - 8th-grade art teacher), but as we continued to look at each piece and read their descriptions, I slowly began to appreciate them and their underlying meanings.

I like writing that integrates symbols, double meanings, and metaphors into its message because I think that the best works of art are the ones that have to be sought after. If the writer simply tells you exactly what they were thinking and how their words should be interpreted, there's no room for imagination. An unpopular opinion in high school was that reading "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne was fun. Well, I thought it was. At the beginning of the book, there's a scene where Hawthorne describes a wild rosebush that sits just outside of the community prison. As you read, you are free to decide whether it's an image of morality, the last taste of freedom and natural beauty for criminals walking toward their doom, or a symbol of the relationship between the Puritans with their prison-like expectations and Hester, the main character, who blossoms into herself throughout the novel. Whichever one you think it is doesn't matter, the point is that the rosebush can symbolize whatever you want it to. It's the same with paintings - they can be interpreted however you want them to be.

As we walked through the building, its spiral design leading us further and further upwards, we were able to catch glimpses of af Klint's life through the strokes of her brush. My favorite of her collections was one titled, "Evolution." As a science nerd myself, the idea that the story of our existence was being incorporated into art intrigued me. One piece represented the eras of geological time through her use of spirals and snails colored abstractly. She clued you into the story she was telling by using different colors and tones to represent different periods. It felt like reading "The Scarlet Letter" and my biology textbook at the same time. Maybe that sounds like the worst thing ever, but to me it was heaven. Art isn't just art and science isn't just science. Aspects of different studies coexist and join together to form something amazing that will speak to even the most untalented patron walking through the museum halls.

Related Content

Facebook Comments