In Ayurveda, a healthy digestive system is referred to as the mainstream of our well-being. The root cause of most of the diseases is inefficient digestion. The metabolic energy of digestion called ‘agni’ helps in eliminating the body wastes and toxins. It breaks down the dense physical matter into subtle energy, which the body needs to generate internal warmth as well as produce a clear mind.
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 ushers 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
- Improved appetite
- 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!
This piece was written by Dinesh Kashikar, a Art of Living Yoga teacher and was first published in Rishimukh magazine, August 2012 issue.
Yoga practice helps develop the body and mind bringing a lot of health benefits yet is not a substitute for medicine. It is important to learn and practice yoga postures under the supervision of a trained Art of Living Yoga teacher. In case of any medical condition, practice yoga postures after consulting a doctor and a Art of Living Yoga teacher. Find a Art of Living Yoga program at an Art of Living Center near you. Do you need information on programs or share feedback? Write to us [email protected]