One of the most common Lifestyle problems is bad digestion. Yes, whether it is indigestion, flatulence, constipation, IRS (irritable bowel syndrome) or simply a constant feeling of ‘heaviness’ in the body – every human being seems to suffer from their own digestion! Is it not ridiculous that a routine bodily function of absorbing nutrition from the food we eat, is wreaking havoc in our daily lives. Instead of aiding us in absorbing energy for living our life, our digestion is causing so much stress and discomfort that it is depleting our energy – quite the reverse of what it should be doing.
Digestion is one of the most important and basic functions of the body to stay alive. We need to understand the digestive process – the magic that happens daily inside our bodies that helps to convert food into energy and life itself. We will die if we do not eat food and drink water – yet we have very little conscious understanding of the digestion process. Given just a little knowing, we will be sure to help ourselves improve our bodily functioning. We need to clearly realize the connection between our mental state and our digestion – research shows that in most adults the digestive system is the most susceptible to stress; in other words, as soon as you are undergoing tension your stomach begins to misbehave. In fact tension, poor diet and lack of exercise are the key contributors for bad digestion.
The scope of the digestive system is too large to cover in one article, so we will endeavor to learn some of the basic practical Yoga techniques to help in our daily digestion. In the case of more complicated digestive disorders it is best to consult a doctor and a qualified yoga therapist before embarking on a yoga practice.
Ardha and Poorna Pawanmuktasana: flatulence
Vajrasana: as a lifestyle posture that can be done after eating.
Agnisaar Kriya: done in the mornings daily.
Stand with your legs wider than shoulder width and place your hands with your palms facing inwards on your thighs. Exhale and without breathing anymore; flap your stomach in and out – drawing in and releasing your stomach muscles.
Kunjal Kriya: advanced internal practice, consult Yoga therapist. Only to be done once you have been doing yoga for about 3-4 weeks regularly.
Laghoo Shankhaprakshalana: advanced internal practice, consult Yoga therapist. Only to be done once you have been doing yoga for about 3-4 weeks regularly.
Anulom-Vilom: as a means of de-stressing.
- Sit in a comfortable meditative posture, either padmasana (lotus), half-lotus, vajrasana (thunderbolt/sitting on heels). Close your eyes, resting the left palm on the knees.
- Close the right nostril with the thumb of the right hand and inhale deeply (into the chest) through the left nostril for 3 counts.
- Close both nostrils with the thumb and ring finger and hold breath for up-to 6 counts.
- With the left nostril closed open the right nostril and exhale slowly through right for 6 counts. Repeat the above cycle, this time inhaling through the right, and exhaling trough the left nostril.