Gas is totally normal- but that doesn’t mean you have to suffer discomfort. This generally isn’t the time to go all out for an intense workout, but a little gentle movement can go a long way in relieving any gas related unpleasantness. Below you’ll find my three favorite moves to help ease tension and cramps and get your feeling like yourself again in no time.
Laying on your back with your knees bent, use your abdominals to windshield wipe your knees to the right as you exhale while keeping both shoulders anchored to the floor. Use your core to float the legs back through the center and sweep in the opposite direction. This pelvic rotation gently warms up the core and can ease tension in the back. In traditional yogic philosophy, it is suggested that twisting acts as a massage for the internal organs to encourage digestion. To get the most benefit, you want to pay attention to which direction you twist first. Twisting right first is thought to open the ascending colon (which ascends up the right side of the colon) to get stool moving up and across the transverse colon. Twisting left is believed to compress the descending colon (descends down the left side) and gets things moving towards the sigmoid colon and on to elimination.
Criss Cross Abs
Laying on your back, interlock your hands behind your head and curl up while brining the legs to a table top position. As you exhale, twist left armpit to right knee as you extend the left leg straight, like you’re riding a bicycle. Inhale to come back to center and rotate in the opposite direction as you exhale. Repeat 10-15 times.The combination of twisting and core engagement can help keep things moving and alleviate tension. Just like with your windshield wipers, be conscious of which direction your rotate first to get the most benefits!
Come to all fours with your shoulders stacked on your wrists and your hips stacked on your knees. Take a breath in to arch the back and let the stomach relax and as you exhale, round the spine like an angry cat and hug the abdominals towards the spine. Be sure to let go of all gripping or sucking in to fully stretch the abdominals on the arch (cow) and initate the C curve of the rounding (cat) from the base of your spine. Stretching the front line releases tension in the center and can aid with cramps.
See Helen demo these stretches below!
Helen Phelan is a certified pilates instructor, integrative health coach,prenatal/postpartum corrective exercise specialist and creator of the digital mindful movement platform, Helen Phelan Studio. Inspired by intuitive eating, Helen's approach to fitness is designed to enhance your self trust and bodily intuition by creating workouts that connect you more deeply to yourself while challenging you physically and allowing space for self compassion. She's been featured in Huffington Post, Well + Good, Mind Body Green, InStyle Magazine, My Domaine and more. For more body neutrality, intuitive exercise, and alignment tips check out @helenvphelan on IG.