Ultimate Belly Stretches
December 23, 2019
Every time December comes around, we tend to let ourselves go a bit more than usual and that’s okay. Work hard, eat harder right?
At Breathe, you’ll realise that our tables are constantly filled with snacks. That’s because most of our instructors have a sweet tooth (you didn’t hear it from us) and trust us when we say they can be big eaters. Just follow some of them on instagram and you’ll see what we mean.
This month, we’re going to discuss the secrets to stuffing your bellies with belly stretches. YES, belly stretches. We’re going to teach you how to stretch that belly so that you can have that extra piece of log cake or that sweet pastry on offer at your company’s annual dinner that looks so tempting. After all, you have worked hard this year. And if you haven’t, there is always the new year resolutions.
No 1. THE BREATHER – BASIC STRETCHING
*Try this when you’re at 70% full and your pants are starting to feel a little bit tighter
The aim of this stretch is to push the air out of your stomach to give you more space for food.
Breathe into your stomach instead of into your chest.Imagine a syringe pulling in liquid as the air inside slowly disappears, With each inhale, feel your stomach expand, and as you exhale, draw the belly button in towards your spine. This diaphragmatic deep breathing moves your diaphragm, which in turn massages your intestines and stomach.
This type of breathing is able to reduce abdominal pain, urgency, bloating and constipation — perfect for the Christmas feasting! This is also an excellent tool for relaxation.
How to do it:
- Sit or lie in a comfortable place with your eyes closed
- Place one hand on your chest and the other hand on your belly. The hand on your belly will move as your breathe, while the hand on your chest should remain still
- Inhale through your nose for about 4 seconds, feeling your abdomen expand
- Hold your breath for 2 seconds
- Exhale slowly and steadily for 4 seconds
- Hold your breath for 2 second
- Repeat for 5 minutes
NO. 2 CAT AND COW POSE
*Attempt this when you’re at 60% full and looking to go for round 3 at the buffet table, but beware that you’ll need to get horizontal
These poses tilt your pelvis as you breathe in and out, also massaging your gastrointestinal organs. It is also easy to do, and stretches your spine while you’re at it.
How to do it:
- Get into a tabletop position on your hands and knees with your knees directly below your hips and your shoulders above your wrists
- As you inhale over four counts, lift your chest up, look up, and let your belly drop. Tilt your tailbone up, sticking your bum out
- As you exhale over found counts, round your spine, tilt your tailbone in and look up towards your belly — like an angry cat
- Repeat for 10 rounds, feel free to circle your hips to further stimulate your digestion tract
NO 3. SEATED SPINAL TWIST
*Try this when you’re at 90% full. Do note that this might only help with 1 last ice cream serving
Twist your body sideways to really get your insides moving. The promoted blood flow to your gastrointestinal area is also thought to wring out toxins within the organs. When you release your twist, there will also be a rush of fresh blood to your digestive organs, bringing with it a new supply of oxygen and nutrients.
How to do it:
- Sit with your left leg straight and your right foot crossed over to the outside of your left knee
- Place your right hand behind your bum, lift your left hand up
- Twist towards your right and hook your left elbow on the side of your right knee
- Push your elbow against your knee to twist further and look towards the back, over your shoulder
- Sit up straight and keep your spine long
- Hold for five seconds
- Repeat on the other side
NO 4. KNEES TO CHEST POSE
*This is the last resort when you’ve eaten beyond your means. Lets hope you don’t ever get to this stage.
Probably the easiest out of the lot, next to deep breathing. All you have to do is lie down on your back, hold your knees into your chest and hug them in. In this position, your thighs will massage your stomach, gently aiding digestion and movement in your gastrointestinal tracts. You can also roll gently from side to side, massaging your lower spine at the same time.
There you have it. The 4 belly stretches for each stage of your feasting journey to help with going the extra mile.
Please take this article with a pinch of salt. Merry Christmas and Happy holidays. May the rest of your month be filled with love, joy and most importantly, delicious food!
Share — Facebook Twitter