At least once in life, every one of us has experienced constipation and digestive discomfort – the reasons might vary from the diet, daily habits, stress or travel or lack of physical activity.
Anything comes and goes. It’s life! And it applies to anything: thoughts come and go, breath comes and goes… also the food you eat should be eventually out of your digestive system. As the food we eat must go out, the same is true for the thoughts.
There is a tendency to hold certain thoughts, especially during times of stress and anxiety. If you don’t allow these thoughts to let go, they stay into the system, altering the correct function. Things begin to go upside down into our body, food gets stuck in the body and one can have gases, pain, constipation.
What causes constipation?
These are some of the reasons because of constipation occurs:
- Poor diet – Not eating enough fibers and preferring processed foods and highly sugary food products.
- Not eating on time or skipping a meal.
- Not drinking enough water or other liquids – When the daily amount of water in the body is not enough, the intestine is dehydrated and this leads to constipation. Ideally, 12 glasses of liquids like herbal tea, water, juices, buttermilk, etc. (wine and beer are not included, sorry!) are a must every day for a well functioning intestine.
- Lack of movement – With our busy schedule we forget that movement generates energy and helps the body stay strong and healthy. You don’t have to run the marathon, a 15 minutes walk will do its job to help your metabolism!
- Depression and stress – If one is depressed or too stressed, it is common to not release emotions, anger, and fears. Plus, one tends to get stimuli through the intake of unhealthy foods high in sugar, often increasing or leading to constipation.
- Resisting the urge to empty the bowels – This causes the feces to become hard and dry and it is the leading cause of constipation in adults.
- Constipation due to pregnancy – Very common due to hormonal changes.
- Diabetes – Uncontrolled diabetes where an inadequate insulin hormone level affects the blood sugar that in turn damages the nerve, leading to constipation.
- Hypothyroidism – An under-active thyroid gland or hypothyroidism, leads to improper metabolic activities and can cause problems like constipation.
- Some medications – Overuse of medicines like calcium tablets, iron supplements, etc. But, also, excessive use of laxatives make the digestive system weaker and not properly functioning.
Yoga for constipation relief
Yoga is an excellent way to get relief from constipation.
Start your day in a yogic way with a simple cleansing action: every morning drink a glass of warm water, maybe add some fresh organic lemon. It will help to evacuate the intestine.
According to Ayurveda, the science of life, the food we eat intakes our inner health, mental and physical. A good diet and healthy food habits are important for our wellbeing, yet are often ignored due to a stress-filled and fast-paced daily schedule.
Ideally, one should avoid fast food, refined flour, pizza (nothing wrong with enjoying a pizza once in a while), pasta, and processed foods.
Include more fruits and vegetables into your diet. Make sure you consume at least one portion of fruit every day, ideally between breakfast and lunch.
Include more seasonal vegetables and add a portion of leafy vegetables in your meal daily.
Some other foods that help to naturally aid constipation are yogurt, watermelon, flax seeds, sunflower seeds.
Drinking a good amount of water is fundamental. 1-2 glass of warm water in the morning, maybe add some organic lemon juice or a pinch of salt. Water should be drunk at least thirty minutes before and one hour after a meal. Still, you might have broth or dal (lentil soup) to drink during your meal.
6 Yoga Asanas for constipation relief
If you are looking for a natural solution to constipation, consider these seven yoga poses for constipation relief:
Helps to improve digestion because of increased blood circulation to the abdominal region. Practicing this pose for 10 breaths, at least, and you will gain the flexibility of the lower limbs, strengthening the digestive tract. It is considered one of the best yoga poses for constipation and digestive ailments.
It strengthens the core muscles and cleans the entire digestive tract. It is useful to cure constipation and indigestion.
- Halasana – Plow pose
This asana stimulates abdominal viscera and internal organs, thus help in better digestion. Further, it helps to strengthen back muscles and reduces stress.
Practice this posture if you want relief from flatulence and help the bowel movement. This pose provides relief in chronic constipation cases.
This pose gives a deep intra-abdominal compression massage to the abdominal viscera. It provides relief in conditions related to constipation, weak digestion, and sluggish liver. It strengthens and stimulates the back muscles and the abdominal organs, too.
Practice this pose regularly if you suffer from gas and digestion problems. It strengthens the entire abdominal organs and prevents diseases, by helping elimination through intra-abdominal pressure. And last, but not least, breathing plays another important role when it comes to aiding constipation in a natural way.
Pranayama can help to get relief from constipation, especially the practice of abdominal breathing.
How to practice it? Sit comfortably and exhale all air out. Inhale deeply feeling your belly moving forward, expanding. Exhale completely and make your belly come towards the spine.
This is a very beneficial breathing exercise where the abdominal muscles are massaged and exercised. The movement of the belly helps to improve the digestive system. Regular practice of this slow breathing pranayama will also cure other ailments, like insomnia, acidity and helps reduce belly fat.
When your gut doesn’t function properly, your brain is affected, too, have you ever heard of the gut is a second brain? It’s very important to treat constipation from the root, at a mental level, at a dietary level and physical activity level. When the body doesn’t function normally it creates many problems, so let’s take care of yourself and your intestine.
I hope this article helped you or someone you care for.