Understanding the Digestive Process
To help you understand this process better, let’s think of our digestive system as a juicer, the body toxins as fruit waste, ‘agni’ as the juicer blades and energy as juice! If the juicer blades are weak, less juice is produced and there is more fruit waste left over. Similarly, when this ‘agni’ (juicer blade) is weak, there is not enough digestive power to metabolize food into energy (juice), resulting in more toxins (fruit waste) getting accumulated in the cells. Thus, a stronger ‘agni’ (better juicer blades) is required for a good digestive system. An easy way to support this digestive ‘agni’ is through the power of Yoga!
How Does Yoga Improve Your Digestive System?
Yoga synchronizes exercises with the rhythmic breathing in the body. Breathing puts life force into the body and cleanses it of toxic materials formed due to wrong diet, unhealthy lifestyle and accumulated stresses. It improves ‘agni’, creates body balance and longevity while rejuvenating the whole system.
Benefits of Yoga
A light and supple body
A body that is alert and active
Strong bones and muscles
Reduction of fat
Increased physical strength
Increased capability to cope with fatigue
Yoga poses to aide digestion
Trikonasana - Improves digestion, stimulates appetite and alleviates constipation.
Paschimottanasana - Relieves digestive problems like constipation.
Pawanmuktasana - Improves gastrointestinal problems.
Ardha Matsyendrasana - Massages the abdominal organs, thus alleviating digestive problems.
Ustrasana - Stretches the stomach and intestines, alleviating constipation.
A good digestive system is the key to a healthy lifestyle. Physical ailments like constipation, stomach ache, ulcers, acnes, pimples and bloating can be kept at bay if one's digestive system is in a good condition.
Here are some important tips and long-term remedies that will aid digestion:
Avoid drinking water half an hour before and after the meal
Avoid eating heavy meals at night and overeating as well
Do not lie down immediately after having your meal
Avoid eating junk food or oily food
Consume fibrous food
Avoid irregular food timings
Be happy and stay away from a stressful lifestyle
Practice yoga regularly
Skipping meals or popping antacid tablet are not advisable. While it is difficult to bring a radical change in our day-to-day lifestyle, certain measures can be adopted to rejuvenate the digestive system and strengthen it.
Yoga is a time-tested technique for effectively restoring the body to optimum condition - naturally, and without making any major alterations in lifestyle. Simply practicing these basic yoga postures which can relax your abdominal organs and following these simple habits can help improve the functioning of the digestive system and restore your system back to an optimum level!
Combine these practices with the Sudarshan kriya, a breathing technique taught at The Art of Living program. It brings down stress levels, counters negative emotions and can bring an all-round improvement in health and well-being.This piece was written by Dinesh Kashikar, a Sri Sri Yoga teacher and was first published in Rishimukh magazine, August 2012 issue.