Improved health is one of the main benefits that yoga can give us when practice on a daily basis, many problems can arise with the digestive system including irritable bowel syndrome and heartburn.
Irritable bowel syndrome
One of the most common digestive disorders is irritable bowel syndrome it is thought to affect about 30% of the world’s population and affects the large intestine causing symptoms such as bloating, constipation, diarrhoea and gas.
Although IBS doesn’t cause any major damage to the internal organs it does cause a great deal of stress and anxiety to the person suffering from it. Stress is thought to be the main trigger of IBS along with certain food products such as milk, chocolate, caffeine and foods with high fat content.
Another very common digestive disorder is heartburn; this occurs when the lower oesophageal sphincter doesn’t close properly and the contents of the stomach start to return up the tube. This creates a burning sensation in the throat or chest, factors that can contribute to heartburn include obesity and pregnancy and foods such as fatty, fried and spicy.
How can yoga help relieve problems?
Following a yogic lifestyle with the yoga poses and breathing exercises can help to alleviate problems with the digestive system such as IBS and heartburn.
Poses for a Better Digestive System
Yoga can help to stabilise the digestive system and is especially good for relaxing the whole body by reducing stress and anxiety. Yoga positions that are particularly helpful for stabilising the digestive system are:
The cat pose
This pose helps you to centre your whole being by coordinating your movements with your breathing, it focuses on the lower back and pelvic area.
The dog pose
The dog pose stretches the hips, middle and lower back and the pelvic area as well as rejuvenating the whole body.
The half spinal twist
These poses strengthens the spine, hips and lower body including the abdomen, they are beneficial to your liver, kidneys and the adrenal glands.
Wind relieving pose
This pose is especially helpful to those suffering from IBS as it helps to relieve trapped wind as its name suggests, this exercise works mainly on the digestive system so it will be beneficial to a wide variety of digestive complaints not just IBS and heartburn sufferers.
The corpse pose
The corpse pose is a classic yoga pose and one that is beneficial overall to our health, it is a great pose for relaxing and de-stressing and can aid in easing a wide variety of illnesses.
The relaxation pose
This is another all round beneficial pose but is especially good for relaxation and stress when combined with the deep breathing techniques.