Yoga for happy stomach: Exercises for gut health and to ease digestion issues | Health - Hindustan Times
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Yoga for happy stomach: Exercises for gut health and to ease digestion issues

ByZarafshan Shiraz, New Delhi
Feb 22, 2024 02:42 PM IST

Yoga for digestive wellness: Here are specific Yoga asanas and breathing exercises to enhance digestion, stomach and gut health and relieve bloating

Yoga experts claim that Yoga can play a significant role in promoting healthy digestion and alleviating symptoms of digestive disorders. They reason that the practice involves a combination of physical postures, breath control and mindfulness, contributing to improved overall digestive well-being.

Yoga for happy stomach: Exercises for gut health and to ease digestion issues (Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Unsplash)
Yoga for happy stomach: Exercises for gut health and to ease digestion issues (Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Unsplash)

Yoga asanas

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Himalayan Siddhaa Akshar, Founder of Akshar Yoga Kendraa, shared, “One of the primary ways Yoga supports digestion is through the performance of specific asanas or poses. Poses like the seated forward bend (Paschimottanasana) and the spinal twist (Ardha Matsyendrasana) gently massage the abdominal organs, stimulating blood flow and enhancing digestive function. These postures help in relieving bloating, gas, and constipation.”

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He revealed, “Certain Yoga postures specifically target organs associated with digestion. The Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana), for instance, engages the muscles of the abdomen and stimulates the digestive organs, enhancing their function. Regular practice of such poses contributes to a more efficient digestive process. Twisting poses, like the Revolved Triangle Pose (Parivrtta Trikonasana), are beneficial for wringing out toxins and tension from the digestive organs. These twists improve circulation in the abdominal area, fostering a healthier environment for digestion.”

Pranayama techniques

Himalayan Siddhaa Akshar said, “Deep diaphragmatic breathing, a fundamental aspect of yoga, aids digestion by promoting the relaxation response of the parasympathetic nervous system. When we're stressed, the sympathetic nervous system dominates, hindering proper digestion. Yoga's emphasis on mindful breathing helps shift the body into a more relaxed state, facilitating optimal digestive processes.”

Cleansing and healing

According to Himalayan Siddhaa Akshar, specific Yoga practices, such as Kapalbhati Pranayama (skull-shining breath), are believed to cleanse the digestive system. This breathing technique involves forceful exhalations that engage and strengthen the abdominal muscles, promoting detoxification and enhancing digestive efficiency.

Easing digestive issues

Asserting that Yoga also addresses issues related to stress, a common factor in digestive disorders, Himalayan Siddhaa Akshar said, “Chronic stress can lead to conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Through relaxation techniques like Savasana (Corpse Pose) and mindfulness meditation, Yoga helps manage stress levels, indirectly benefiting the digestive system. In addition to the physical and breath-focused aspects, yoga encourages mindful eating practices. Practitioners are often guided to eat slowly, savouring each bite and paying attention to their body's hunger and fullness cues. This mindfulness in eating can prevent overeating, aid in proper digestion, and promote a healthier relationship with food.”

He added, “Siddha Walk has the ability to improve your emotional and spiritual wellness in addition to your bodily health. It is a dynamic system founded on science that has the power to fundamentally alter the human body and psyche. The figure 8 or infinity plays a significant part in this stroll. This image stands for connectedness and how we go from one work to another. It demonstrates how one's actions or decisions from today affect the subsequent set of decisions or tasks that one must complete. Yoga's impact on the nervous system is crucial for digestive health. The Vagus nerve, a major component of the parasympathetic nervous system, connects the brain to the digestive organs. Yoga practices activate the Vagus nerve, promoting better communication between the brain and the gut. This can result in improved digestive function and relief from symptoms associated with digestive disorders.”

He concluded, “Yoga offers a holistic approach to promoting healthy digestion and alleviating symptoms of digestive disorders. From specific postures that target the abdominal organs to mindful breathing and stress management techniques, the practice addresses various aspects of digestive well-being. Incorporating yoga into a routine can contribute to a healthier digestive system, fostering overall physical and mental wellness.”

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