The routine of western lifestyle is a big contributor to sluggish digestion. Sometimes abdominal discomfort comes from sitting at a desk all day, eating at odd times of the day, or eating rich, processed food. At the end of a day a simple twisting sequence can help to alleviate any bloating or pain before the digestive system prepares to wind down for the night.
Start in staff pose. Extend the legs out in front and tense them, push the soles of your feet away and lengthen through the spine. Although you are seated this pose should still be active.
Take a couple of forward folds. Bend the right leg and place the sole of the foot against the left thigh. Readjust the hips and, raising the arms up to the ceiling, draw an arc with your torso, coming to rest wherever you can over the left leg. On every inhale lengthen and straighten the spine, on every exhale pull your stomach muscles in to lower the abdomen further towards the leg. Keep the head raised as though you are aiming to kiss the big toe. Only when your chest is lying on the thigh, allow the neck to soften, lowering the head to the shin. Repeat on the other side.
From staff pose, bend the right leg once again but place the sole of the foot to the floor. Place the right arm behind the back but keep little weight in the hand, using core strength to keep the back straight. Raise the left arm up to the ceiling and place the elbow to the right of the right knee. Lock the knee and elbow together, using the leverage to rotate the chest open towards the right hand side. Use an inhale to straighten the spine and exhale to coil tighter. Imagine you are squeezing the internal organs, massaging and revitalising the digestive system. Repeat on the other side.
Come back to staff pose and bend the right leg, this time placing the sole of the foot on the floor on the other side of the left knee. Bend the left knee allowing the leg to lay in a 45 degree angle at the right hand side of the body. Once agin raise the left arm to the ceiling and place the elbow to the right of the right knee. Work with the breath to achieve a deeper twist and repeat on the other side.
Uncurl from your twist and come to lay flat on your back. Hug the knees into your chest and rock from side to side, massaging the lower back.
Come to finish in Happy Baby Pose. Draw the knees in towards the armpits and place the soles of the feet parallel with the ceiling. The tailbone should remain in contact with the floor as you reach your hands up to grasp the feet or ankles and pull the knees towards the armpits. Notice the difference in the position of the back in the below photos.
Use the inhalations to flatten the back against the floor and the exhalations to aid the compression of your knees towards your armpits.
Come into savasana and head straight to bed.