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Thanksgiving Yoga: Poses to Aid Digestion

By Lauren Maher:

It’s that time of year again—Turkey Day is upon us. Though one may have the best of intentions (this year I’m only eating one piece of pie, I swear!), many of us overindulge on yummy food and wind up with an upset stomach. Luckily, yoga comes to the rescue with various stretches to help ease the pain when you’ve stuffed yourself silly.

Try these yogic tips to keep your digestion healthy during your holiday travels:

Start the Day Off Right

Squeeze a lemon into a tall glass of water (warm or room temperature is best). Lemon juice has been shown to aid in digestion and alleviate an upset stomach.

During Your Meal

Ideally, Thanksgiving is about finding grace and gratitude. Slow down, savor each bite and truly appreciate your delicious meal.

After Your Meal

Move! If you can, go for a walk outside for a few minutes. If that’s not possible, take a few laps around the house. Though it may be tempting to veg out on the couch, walking is a wonderful way to stimulate the digestive process.

Once you’re done walking, brew yourself a cup of chamomile or peppermint tea to soothe a troubled tummy.

Yoga poses for digestion:

Knees to Chest:

Lie on your back and hug both knees toward your chest. Rock from side to side a few times, breathing long and deep.

Happy Baby pose:

Lie on your back and bend your knees deeply. Hold on to the big toes or the sides of your feet (try the ankles if you cannot reach your feet). Draw your knees toward the floor beside your chest.

Child’s pose:

Come on to the floor on hands and knees. Bring your big toes together and the knees apart. Sit back on the heels and rest your torso between your legs. Stretch your arms above your head and rest your forehead on the floor. Relax your shoulders and neck.

Rock pose:

Sit on your heels or between your heels. If you need a little support, bring a blanket or rolled-up towel between your heels and buttocks. Rest your hands on your thighs and breathe long and deep.

Simple stretch:

Stand tall and reach your arms over your head. Arch back slightly, drawing the navel toward the spine. Take a few breaths. Exhale, bend forward, and hang over your legs in a forward fold, keeping the knees slightly bent. Take a few breaths. Repeat 2 or 3 times.


Lauren Maher (LMFT, C-IAYT) is a licensed psychotherapist and certified yoga therapist who is passionate about helping people heal, transform, and thrive. To find out more about her practice, please visit these websites: Therapy:



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