Who doesn’t experience the following digestive complaints from time to time?
Bloating, constipation, excessive wind, burping and heartburn.
So many people walk through the clinic doors with a load of digestive issues. The most
common one being constipation and bloating. Constipation and bloating can be caused by
many different factors. The common culprits being poor diet, stress, food intolerance,
pathogens (bacteria, parasites, fungi) and poor balance of gut flora.
WHY DO I NEED TO POOP EVERY DAY?
If you do not poop every day, you are recycling your own toxic garbage. When your poop
leaves your body it takes with it inflammatory toxins. If you are constipated and are not
completely emptying your bowels daily, chances are the toxins are hanging out in your colon
causing all sorts of problems or are being reabsorbed by the body.
A buildup of toxins in the body can cause many health issues from hormonal imbalances,
impaired brain function (foggy mind, poor concentration, Parkinson’s), infertility and digestive
issues such as leaky gut. On a superficial level you may experience pimples/acne and bad
breath. Making sure that you get adequate fibre through food, addressing any pathogens present andmanaging your stress can help your bowels move and poop as they should. Great sources of fibrous foods to get stuck into are brussel sprouts, avocado, chia seeds, broccoli, berries and kiwi fruit.
WHAT ASANAS HELP ME POOP AND DEFLATE?
A regular yoga practice stimulates the flow of energy throughout your body enhancing each
organs function, the digestive organs included. Yoga can also help to reduce stress and when the student is committed, it can help you become more present, less reactive and less attached to the stories/drama that concern you.
Many asanas reduce digestive sluggishness, stimulate bowel movement and nourish our
digestive organs. I have chosen five of my all time favorites. Most of these work on nourishing the stomach,spleen and intestines. Our major organs of digestion. Some also support kidney, liver and gallbladder health which encourage proper detoxification and breakdown of foods.
If any pain is present I would avoid doing any of these asanas and take yourself off to a class
where a teacher can help you with modifications and proper alignment.
Most poses that involve a twist help to rinse out and rejuvenate the digestive organs. Twisted
roots give the stomach a little squeeze and massages the internal organs. This pose also
releases tension in the spine, alleviating any blockages and allowing more energy to flow
through the digestive system.Twisting through the rib cage stimulates and nourishes our other
organs of digestion such as the gall bladder, liver, spleen and pancreas.
How to get into it.
Draw the right knee to the chest and wrap over the left leg. Twist the legs (your roots) to the
left side. Look over your right shoulder with arms outstretched. Stay in this pose for 5 minutes
or more then swap legs and repeat on the other side.
Saddle is a very challenging pose but one that nicely nourishes the stomach, spleen and
kidney. She is truly a favourite of mine.
How to get into it.
Sit on your feet with knees slightly apart. Lean back on hands or elbows. A bolster can be
used crossways under your shoulders or lengthwise under your spine. If more range is
available lie back with arms lying alongside the body or stretched over the head.
Stay in this baby for up to 5 minutes.
A juicy pose that compresses the stomach, stimulates the kidneys and helps to strengthen the
How to get into it
Simply sit with both legs straight out in front of you. You can sit on a cushion or blanket and
bend your knees if you have tight lower back muscles or hamstrings. Fold forward with a
rounded back over the legs. You can rest your elbows on your thighs or the floor. Or hold the
toes loosely. If the body permits you may even want to slightly part the legs and rest your
chest in between.
Stay in this pose anywhere from 5-10 minutes.
SEAL OR SPHINX
Aside from feeling delicious this pose stretches and stimulates the stomach nicely, especially
when in full seal.
How to get into it.
Lie on the belly and place your arms on the floor just ahead of your shoulders, like a sphinx.
Or press up onto your hands for the full version of this pose, seal. Spread your legs apart or
keep them close together, depending on the health of your lower back. You can prop yourself
up with a bolster under the pelvis or armpits as an alternative.
Hold for around 5 minutes.
EXTENDED SIDE ANGLE (Utthita Parsvakonasana)
A dynamic pose that increases peristaltic activity in your digestive tract. This helps move food
and waste through your digestive and elimination system. As an added bonus the kidney and
liver are nourished.
How to get into it
From a warrior two position. Step the right foot into a lunge. Place right palm on floor or block,
by the side of right foot. Stretch the left arm over the left ear. Lengthen from the outer edge of
the back foot to tip of front fingers. Open up through the chest and heart.
DON’T FORGET BREATH, STRESS AND EMOTIONS
Breath: I only speak of asanas here but the breath is essential for removing any stagnation in
your organs, to improve energy and blood flow and in order to quieten a busy mind. Breath
should be gentle, slow and unlaboured.
Emotionally : Our organs carry emotions. Consider what you could be holding onto? attached
to? Emotionally our digestive organs are about how we process and digest things, our ability
to take on nourishment, our link between the world inside and outside, it’s where we organize
what's important to hold onto or let go of. When in harmony we remain on purpose and
flexible even through change.
Now that you have some tools to support your digestion, go play and help reduce or avoid a
dreaded sluggish bowel, body and mind.