Yogic Herald Jan/Feb 2019 - Page 69

Digestive Understanding Your SYSTEM How Yoga Helps Whether it is yoga asana, pranayama or meditation you practice the most, all aspects of yoga help support a healthy digestive system. Here are four main ways in which yoga can help improve your digestive health: If you are one of the millions of people in the world struggling with digestive issues, such as irritable bowel syndrome or celiac disease, then chances are you are fairly aware of the importance of looking after your gut health. Yet, for many of us, the digestive system isn’t really something that gets given much thought, unless something starts to go wrong and symptoms arise. Digestive health plays a key role in not only how you are feeling physically, but also your mental and emotional health as well. Your digestion system plays a leading role in the overall health and well-being of your entire body. Not only is it responsible for converting the foods you eat into the energy needed to feed each and every cell in your body, it also houses about 70% of your immune system. This involves helping keep infectious microorganisms, such as bad bacteria, viruses and fungi at bay. In fact, poor digestion is believed to be the root of most diseases in the body! So this means that keeping your digestive system healthy is vital to maintaining good health and wellbeing. Yoga asana massages your digestive organs - The different static and dynamic physical practices of asana, as well as many of the breathing techniques of pranayama, all work to massage, stimulate, cleanse, tone and aid the digestive function. Some specific asanas, focus on stimulating the digestive process by applying pressure to the different organs of digestion. While others help relieve abdominal tension and are often used to help relieve complaints, such as constipation, gas, bloating and cramps. Examples of asana that are used to stimulate and tone the digestive organs include: [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ Improved strength Trikonasana (triangle pose) Supta Pawanmuktasana (leg lock pose) Paschimottanasana (forward bending pose) Ustrasana (camel pose) Pavanamuktasana (wind relieving pose) Bakasana (Crow/Crane Pose) Mayurasana (peacock pose) Jan./Feb. 2019 www.yogicherald.com 67