Holidays are hard on the waistline.  This time of year access to mass quantities of rich food, desserts, candy, and snacks make fastening the top button extremely difficult.  After Thanksgiving dinner it is tough to stay awake, much less going to the gym for a calorie burning work out.  Effortless and Exquisite’s yoga contributor Megan Hively is here with advice and yoga moves for keeping tummies flat and energy levels up that can be done at home.

‘Tis the season for those amazing holiday sweets, treats, and other decadent items that, when consumed in excess, can cause digestive distress.  The following yoga sequence includes poses that will help to massage, stretch, and stimulate the digestive organs to bring relief from bloating, indigestion, and other stomach issues. 

Start the sequence by lying on your back, with hands placed on the upper stomach near the solar plexus.  Take 5 deep breaths, feeling the stomach rise on the inhale and release on the exhale. 

                                         

Then, release arms down to the sides of your body and raise hips on the inhale (into bridge pose).

                                         
… and lowering down on the exhale.  Repeat this 5 times.
                                         
Next, inhale knees into your chest and give them a squeeze.  Rock the knees gently side to side to massage the digestive organs.  Hold and rock here for 20 seconds.   

                                         
Release your left leg (still squeezing the right knee).  Hold here for 20 seconds.

                                         
Take the right knee across the left side of your body for a twist.  Only go as far as you can with the right shoulder staying on the ground.  Hold for 20 seconds and then switch sides with the right leg straight, left knee bent and across the right side of the body.  Left shoulder should stay on the ground.  

                                          
From here, make your way to a seated position with your legs out straight in front of you.  Inhale arms above your head and then fold over your straight legs.  Hold this for 20 seconds.  (Cat helper is optional). 
                                          
Next, inhale up to center, bend the right knee and wrap the left arm around the right knee.  Use the left arm to press into the ground and press the spine straight.  Hold for 20 seconds and then switch sides.   
                                          
Stretch the abdominals in “cow” pose.  Begin by coming into a tabletop position, with the shoulders stacking over the wrists and hips stacking over the knees.  Arch your back here and look up.  Hold for 20 seconds.  

                                          
Release into a comfortable seated position and rest for 20 seconds before continuing on your day!  Enjoy the holidays and all the festivities it brings for you!
Thanks Megan!

Megan Hively is a Certified Yoga Instructor, group fitness instructor and Certified Personal Trainer in the Charlotte, North Carolina area.  She is the Fitness Director at KadiFit Studio in Cornelius, North Carolina and the owner of Yoga To You Wellness, LLC. 
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