The Travel Bloat

I don’t know about you, but when I travel, my weight seems to fluctuate the most. My skin feels plumped up and I seem to retain water. I always try to eat healthy on the go, but lets face it, you can’t control how a restaurant prepares even the healthiest meals, which can lead to digestion issues, fluctuating your weight. So with Digestion, hydration and environmental changes, how can you manage that bloated feeling?

With the limitation on time, I often rely on yoga to help with digestion and bloating.

Here are my top 10 Yoga moves that I rely on:

Start on your back in Shavasana (laying flat on your back with hands by your side) first to get your breathing in control and consistent. Take at least 5 long deep breaths to relax and focus on your body.

1 – Apanasana

Gain relief from bloating and gas pains.

How to do it: Lie down, relax and inhale, placing your hands on your knees. Exhale, and hug your knees to your chest. Rock your knees from side to side to maximize the stretch. Stay for five to ten breaths, and release your knees. Repeat this move a few more times.

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2 – Spinal twist

This twist pose is to soothe and tone your abdomen.

How to do it: Lie down, hug your knees and inhale. As you exhale, drop your knees to the left, using your left hand to push them down gently. Then, turn your head and stretch your arm out to the right. Stay for five to ten breaths. Inhale, and return your hands and knees to center. Repeat on the other side.

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3 – Bridge Pose

This mild inversion helps your blood flow, making you feel more energized.

How to do it: Lie on the floor and bend your knees. Keep your arms beside your body and your feet flat on the floor. Move your hips up to give your chest a good stretch. To better aid your digestion, try this variation. “Press one hip up and hold the pose. Take five breaths, then switch to the other side,” says Gold.

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4 – One-legged seated spinal twist

Since you’re doing this twist pose from a seated position, you have more control over your stretch.

How to do it: Sit with your legs extended. Bend your right knee and place your heel close to your body. Reach your right arm behind you and place your palm on the floor. Your left elbow goes on the outside of the right knee to help you twist. Stay for five or more breaths, deepening the stretch every time you exhale. Then release the twist and repeat on the other side.

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5 – Seated Heart Opener

Use this move when you’ve eaten too much. It will stretch out your belly and ease stomach cramps.

How to do it: Sit down on your heels and lean back, placing your palms about eight inches behind you, with your fingertips pointing away from you. Press your hands into the ground, lift your chest and arch your back. You should feel your hips pushing into your heels. Increase the stretch by lowering your head behind you. Feel the stretch in your throat and chest. Hold for five breaths, and then sit up.

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6 – Standing Forward Bend

This pose helps to relieve and massage internal organs and increase circulation.

Begin in Mountain Pose (standing straight), Inhale and reach your arms straight above you.

• As you exhale, engage your abs, and fold forward with a straight back. Tuck your chin in toward your chest, relax your shoulders, and extend the crown of the head toward the floor to create a long spine. Shift weight forward into your toes, straightening the legs as much as possible. Place your hands on the ground, fingertips lining up with the toes.Hold here for five breaths.

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7 – Extended Wide Squat

This pose can be pretty intense when you feel bloated postmeal, but it can help with uncomfortable intestinal gas.

• Separate your feet a little wider, bend the knees, and breathe out as you lower into a wide squat.Release your hands to the floor, and walk them out in front of you, allowing the belly to fall between the knees.Stay here for five deep breaths.

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8 – Downward Facing Dog

Downward Facing Dog brings the body into alignment and relaxes your gastrointestinal tract.

• Come onto the hands and knees with your wrists underneath your shoulders and your knees underneath your hips.Inhale as you tuck your toes under your heels. Then exhale to lift your hips, coming into the classic upside down “V” shape known as Downward facing Dog.

• Spread your fingers wide, and create a straight line between your middle fingers and elbows. Work on straightening your legs and lowering your heels toward the ground if you can. Relax your head between your arms, and direct your gaze through your legs or up toward your belly button.Breathe deeply for five breaths.

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9 – Open Revolved Extended Side Angle

• From Down Dog, take a breath in as you step the right foot forward between the hands. Lower your left palm to the floor beside your right foot.Exhale to reach your right arm behind you, opening your palm toward the ceiling. Really lean your weight into the left hand, and allow your right shoulder to drift back as much as possible to deepen the stretch.Hold this position, breathing into the pose for five breaths.

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10 – Camel

This pose stretches your torso which can help ease abdominal cramps.

• Sit on your shins with your knees hip-width apart.Inhale to put both hands on your hips, and exhale to gently arch back, just beginning to warm up your lower back and quads.

• When you’re ready, reach your right hand back toward your right heel and then your left toward your left heel. Your hands are there for balancing support, so don’t lean all your weight into them. Shift weight forward into your knees to increase the stretch you feel in your belly and chest.Lower your head behind you and stay here for five breaths.

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You can end your poses in Shivasana or in Childs Pose, to further relax your body and state of mind.



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Gule Sheikh
The world's first desi Body Building fitness competitor, Gule Sheikh is a certified Personal Fitness Trainer and a seasoned body builder. Sheikh is dedicated to her body, and yours! Her mantra? What do you have to lose, besides your unwanted pounds!

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