Three Poses for Digestion- Tested by Yours Truly
Three Poses for Digestion-Tested By Yours Truly
Recently my schedule has become hectic. I went back to Temple University to teach Photography and Visual Literacy. This now is my second full-time job. The one thing that school seems to do to me is throw me off balance. I took some precautions with my schedule regarding my yoga practice and eating but found myself with terrible digestion issues just a few weeks into the semester. I do not and will not take any prescribed digestive aids as it can make things worse in the long term. I realized early on that digestive issues are connected to stress (typically) and eating the things your body cannot handle. Yes, school is stressful and as much as I thought I was managing the stress my sleepless nights told me different…the gurgling in my stomach began...here I am writing about how I got out of wack and then managed to get my digestion under control. I found and home studied Ayurveda for many years but not to the degree I have recently.
"Thousands of years before modern medicine provided scientific evidence for the mind-body connection, the sages of India developed Ayurveda, which continues to be one of the world’s most sophisticated and powerful mind-body health systems. More than a mere system of treating illness, Ayurveda is a science of life (Ayur = life, Veda = science or knowledge). It offers a body of wisdom designed to help people stay vibrant and healthy while realizing their full human potential." (https://chopra.com/articles/what-is-ayurveda).
While I never really stuck to any plan regarding Ayurveda I recently implemented a routine that works great. I implemented simple practices of Ayurveda like slowing down, self-massage, and meditation along with potent Asana exercises for digestion.
Here are three:
Downward Facing Dog (AH-doh MOO-kah shvah-NAHS-anna)
The starting position is to be on your hands and knees. Keep your knees directly below your hips and your hands slightly forward to your shoulders. Spread out your palms, thumbs and index fingers parallel and turn your toes under. Start to lift. Lift the sit bones upward as you lengthen your tailbone away from the pelvis. When you exhale push your top thighs back straightening the legs (do not lock the knees here) and put your heels on the ground. Spread your fingers and press your hands into the floor. Firm your shoulder blades against your back, then widen them and draw them toward the tailbone. Keep your head balanced between your arms without hanging your neck. You should look like a triangle! Set your intention to hold this pose for 15-30 seconds relaxing back to the floor on all fours.
Bridge Pose (SET-too BAHN-dah)
Lie with your back on the floor. Bend your knees and set your feet on the floor, heels close to your sitting bones. Exhale and, press your inner feet and arms into the floor, pushing your tailbone upward. Firming your buttocks lift it off the floor. Try to keep your thighs and the inside of your feet parallel. Clasp the hands behind and under your back long. Stay in the pose anywhere from 30 seconds to 1 minute. Release with an exhalation, rolling the spine slowly down onto the floor.
Cobra Pose (boo-jang-GAHS-anna)
Lie on the floor, prone. Press your thighs down, tops of the feet down and press them firmly into the floor. On an inhalation begin to straighten the arms to lift the chest off of the floor. Without hardening your buttocks press your tailbone toward the pubis and lift the pubis toward the navel. Chest in the air with a soft neck but straight neck. Hold the pose anywhere from 15 to 30 seconds, breathing easily. Release back to the floor with an exhalation. You should look like a cobra.
After several days of following ayurvedic advice and using digestively calming recipes (Kitchari) and good intuition along with these three asanas at the core of my digestive health regimen, I am feeling better and continuing throughout this semester to stay well. I am revisiting all things Ayurveda and in the coming weeks may visit an Ayurvedic practitioner for good measure.
Don't forget a great digestive tea!
Be Well & Stay Well!
Sat Nam ਸਤਿ ਨਾਮੁ The Yama Yoga Store
Written by Soorya Kirti Kaur