When it comes to maximizing health, it’s not just what we eat, but how we eat. Digestion actually begins in the mouth, where contact with our teeth and digestive enzymes in our saliva break down food. But these days most of us rush through the whole eating experience, barely acknowledging what we’re putting in our mouths. We eat while distracted — working, reading, talking and watching television — and swallow our food practically whole. On average, we chew each bite only eight times. It’s no wonder that many people have digestive problems.
There are many great reasons to slow down and chew your food.
Boat Pose (Paripurna Navasana)
- Tones and strengthens your tummy muscles
- Strengthens your spines and hip flexors
- Aids in stress relief
- Improves balance and digestion
- Stimulates kidneys, prostate, thyroid, and intestines
- Stretches your hamstrings(great if your are a avid runner, or cyclist)
- Bend your knees, and shift your weigh back to your sitting bones.
- Using your lower abdominal muscle, lift bent legs until your calves are parallel to the floor.
- You can rest your fingertips on the floor while you are establishing balance
- Extend your arms at shoulder height, parallel to the floor. Palms facing in, thumbs up. Try to keep your shoulder blades relaxed.
- For an added challenge, you can straighten your legs. But make sure if you do straighten the legs, your back is flat and your chest is lifted. If you find yourself collapsing in either areas, do the modified bent leg version until you are stronger.
- Once the legs are up, draw the tummy muscles in, keep lower back off the floor and gaze at your toes.