Yoga for Holiday Self Care & Digestion

Written by guest editor Carolan Hoffman, Founder, Hot Spot Dupont

Photos by Nardi Media, LLC

November 21, 2017

It's that time of year for holiday parties and festive family gatherings. For many of us, that means overindulgences that can impact our digestive system. It's important to have tools for self care so you can eat those cookies and pumpkin pie with equanimity. Try these 5 simple and soothing yoga postures to relieve a bloated tummy and stimulate healthy digestion after that Thanksgiving meal and throughout the holiday season.

1. Standing Twist (pictured)

How: Stand with legs wide open. Extend arms out to the side, twist torso and place right hand on inside of left foot or grab the shin. Stretch the left arm straight up. Look up to left hand. Inhale and exhale slowly through the nose. Stay in the twist for 10 breaths. Do the same on the left side.

2. Wind Removing (pictured)

How: Lie on your back and bend the right knee, interlace fingers at the shin and pull the right knee down toward the chest, just outside of the ribcage. Normal breathing through nose. Hold for 10 breaths. Repeat on Left side.

Both legs: bend knees, drawing the knees into your chest. Place hands on knees or grab opposite elbows over shins and pull knees down, pressing thighs into lower abdominal wall. Breathe normally through the nose, holding the pose for at least 1 minute.

3. Camel (pictured)

How: Stand on knees, opening knees and feet to shoulder width. Place hands on lower back and drop head back, keeping neck muscles relaxed. Can lift one arm up (alternate) or place hands on hells. Take deep breaths and hold 30 seconds - 2 minutes.

4. Bow

How: Lie on your tummy, chin forward. Bend your knees and grab feet from the outside. Kick both legs up toward ceiling. Lift the torso and look up. Normal breathing through nose. Hold for 5-10 breaths.  

5. Seated Forward Bend 

How: Sit with both legs extended. Place hands on legs and extend the spine forward onto the legs, lowering the forehead to knees. Deep breaths through the nose. Hold for up to 1 minute.


See the photo gallery for all five yoga moves! 


Carolan Hoffman, former international model, is the owner of Hot Spot Dupont - one of DC's most popular and longest-standing yoga studios. She left a career in international development to dedicate herself to support others in healing through yoga. Carolan has been featured in The Washington Post, The Washingtonian, and The Huffington Post. More than an emphasis on fitness, diet or trendiness, Hoffman's goal is to help others heal. Her students have found relief from symptoms of depression, addiction, diabetes, back pain and more. She is deeply committed to offering yoga to everyone. 14 years ago she initiated the first free yearly summer outdoor yoga classes "Yoga in the Park" as described in The Washington Post. She offers generous discounts (30%) to populations like veterans and military service members.

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