I, personally, from a young girl to now a wife and mother, have always suffered with gastritis issues. Painful tummy aches that I never understood how to cure. As an adult, I now realize there are certain foods that my digestive system just can’t handle and obviously there are medicines to control these issues. But I don’t know about you, I don’t feel good if I don’t go number 2 regularly! My regular is once a day. Everyone is different when it comes to their “regular”. Some people go twice or three times a day and others might go once every few days. All of these cycles are very much okay. They are your “regular” cycles. But when it gets out of whack is where the discomfort can occur. Our hectic schedules, daily stresses, timelines, rushing against time are all factors that play heavily on your digestive track, whether it is bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea. Yoga can eliminate the need to take meds.
SO, how does yoga come into all of this? Breathing and Asanas (yoga poses). One of the most important yoga exercises is pranayama (breathing). There are numerous styles of yoga breathing. The two of many pranayama exercises that I do to help with my digestive track are Kapalabhati [Kuh-paalaa-bhaatee] and Nadi-Sodhana.[Naa-dhee Sho-duh-nuh]. The two breathing techniques are quite different from one another. Please be mindful, if you have heart related issues and/or high blood pressure, then sustain from doing Kapalabhati. Kapalabhati translated means “breath of fire”. I won’t go into detail teaching the “breath of fire” but the gist of it is, you’re pumping your belly with your breaths (exhales). Taking a soft short inhale and exhaling fast while pumping the belly. If you are new to yoga, I advise you do this under the instruction of a yoga teacher. The other pranayama, Nadi-Sodhana, is a more gentler breathing technique. A simple translation would be “cleansing pathways”. This technique engages the nostrils. Again, just as a general overview, you gently close one side of the nostril and breathe in, hold the breath at the top, open that nostril and then gently close the other nostril and breathe out. You would continue this cycle for minimum 6 rounds. The breathing practice in in itself is a stress reliever and relaxation to the mind, which could also directly effect your digestion.Let’s move onto the asanas. Bhujangasana (cobra pose), Dhanurasana (bow pose), Paschimottanasana (seated forward bend), Savasana (complete relaxation posture), and twists are just a few of the many poses that help aid your digestive track. For every asana, give yourself about 8 to 10 breath cycles. It’s imperative that you do not rush in and out of poses. Asanas get the body moving, the blood flowing, and the liver to activate its duty, provoking it to get everything cleaned up and cleared out of all the gunk we consume.
If you are interested in learning more about the pranayama practices and/or asanas, here are some great links:
BE REGULAR IN YOUR PRACTICE SO THAT YOU CAN BE REGULAR WITH YOUR DIGESTION.
Give your practice a chance by simply showing up.
*Please note, you should always consult with your doctor before starting any physical activity