How does yoga help in digestive disorder?
Many of us in the modern society suffer from digestive disorders like Irritable bowel syndrome, chronic constipation, acid peptic diseases and ulcerative colitis. These diseases bring us a lot of inconvenience and also discomfort to our daily lives.
The smooth functioning of our digestion depends on the involuntary nervous system especially the parasympathetic branch. Parasympathetic system is associated with relaxation and restoration. With the fast pace of life, we are facing a lot of stress and stress activates the sympathetic (fight or flight) mode in our body system. This causes problems with our bowels.
We all know that exercise lower stress levels and there are specific yoga postures that are beneficial to digestive disorders. In the yoga session, there are a variety of postures are to be conducted to facilitate better bowel function. They are designed to calm down the sympathetic nervous system and shift balance towards the parasympathetic system.
These are four simple and effective yoga postures where you can practice at home. They are to be conducted with awareness to the digestive organs preferably with eyes closed.
Half Moon Pose (Ardha Chakrasana)
- Stand in Tadasana (upright standing with legs together)
- Support the back on your waist with your thumb on your lower spine
- Inhale and bend backwards from the lumbar region
- Maintain or a minute with continuous breathing
- Return to standing position
Extended Triangle Pose (Utita Trikonasana)
(Repeat on other side)
- Stand in Tadasana. With and exhalation, step left left back with about 4 feet apart)
- Align the left heel to the right 90 degrees. Form the thigh with kneecap pulling upwards and maintain knees straight.
- Inhale and spread both arms at shoulder height
- Exhale and extend your torso to the right and bending from the hip joint.
- Rest your right hand on your right shin or your ankles maintaining the back of the torso in one single plain. Feel the side of the torso long
- Stretch the left arm towards the ceiling
- Turn your head to the left and gaze t the left middle finger.
- Maintain for a minute with continuous breathing
- Return to hands to shoulder height and return to Tadasana
Half Lord of the Fish Pose (Ardha Matsyedrasana)
(Repeat on the other side)
- Sit in Dandasana (Seated with legs in front)
- Bend the right knee and place the right foot under the right thigh (away from the perineum)
- Bend the left knee and place the left foot on the outer edge of the right knee
- Inhale and raise the right hand up to feel the length at your spin and
- Exhale, place the right elbow on the outer edge of left knee and hold onto the left big toe or ankle. (Option: To wrap right elbow outside of the left knee)
- Take the left hand behind the back and touch the right thigh (Option: To place left hand behind the back with palm align with the left hip)
- Look over the left shoulder and keep trunk erect.
- Maintain for a minute
- Release the arms and legs to Dandasana
- Lie in prone posture (Lie facing down)
- Bend the knees and hold the outer ankles with your palms
- Inhale, raise the chest and knee upwards. Pull the legs outwards and backwards so that the spine is arched.
- Stabilize on the abdomen area
- Knees to maintain at hip width distance apart
- Maintain or half a minute with continuous breathing
- Release the hands and return to prone posture
With just exercise or yoga postures alone cannot help in solving digestive problems. A more holistic approach to this issue is to be conscious of our food intake. Several foods cause irritation to our digestive system. They include spicy, fatty and friend food, food containing wheat, carbonated beverage and caffeine. Hence adopt a more wholesome diet and pick food that are fresh, wholesome, natural and with mild spices. These foods will nourish your body, give your body lightness, alertness and add vitality to your total body system.
With constant practice of yoga and adopt healthy diet will improve your lifestyle and gives you a happier state of mind.