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  • Yoga Medicine for Gut Health

    August 22, 2022 2 min read

    Stress, genetic disposition, chronic disease, and food allergies or intolerances can lead anyone down the unpleasant phases on the Bristol Stool Chart (i.e., what is your poop saying about your present state of health). Stool type is not the sexiest topic, but everyone poops, so let's consider this the visceral part of the human condition. If you're outputting anything but "regular" voiding, you may have looked to alternatives for gut relief.

    Maybe you've tried essential oil therapy of basil, lavender, or peppermint oils. Perhaps you've chewed bismuth subsalicylate to stop indigestion, flatulence, or diarrhea. Maybe you've followed the wrong principles of  Ayurveda - not according to your dosha. Maybe you wanted the gelato one night, and now you're paying for it days later.

    Yoga may not heal a gut's microbiome like probiotics (eg. kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut) and prebiotic fiber (eg. bananas, garlic, onions, whole grains). Still, certain poses can relieve uncomfortable gut spasms and increase gastrointestinal motility.

    Yoga Poses for Gut Health

    The following yoga poses move from beginner to intermediate. Know where you are and bring that version to the mat. Be gentle with yourself; show grace. Listen, notice, and avoid placing judgment.

    Yoga & Gut Health | Mukha Yoga
    • Start in corpse pose (Savasana), stretch it out, and find a peaceful spine alignment with the floor. Arms are extended with palms facing up. Complete a body scan from head to toes. Concentrate and request each body part to relax, and you'll be surprised at how such an ask will release and melt micro-tensions you didn't even know you were holding.
    • Transition to  happy baby pose (Ananda Balasana). Use this pose to release the lower spine, hips, and groin. Gently rock side to side if that feels good to you.
    • Wind-relieving pose (Pawanmuktasana) squeezes and removes tightness from bloating and gas.
    • Child's pose (Balasana) with your arms tucked behind you or stretched out in front of you both work. Perhaps experiment with both arm positions.
    • Twisting poses flourish in yoga. Consider half lord of the fishes (Ardha Matsyendrasana), half lord of the fishes' with an extended leg, restorative twist with a bolster, revolved belly (Jathara Parivrttanasana), and revolved triangle (Parvrtta Trikonasana). For more yoga poses, read our 6 Yoga Twists To Release Toxins.
    • Consider the more intermediate poses of camel (Ustrasana) and boat  (Navasana) to alleviate bloating.

    Takeaways for Gut Health Care

    Yoga Poses for Gut Health

    Many  research studies indicate that the gut is the "second brain." The harmony of gut health and mood has evolved - we now understand that gastrointestinal concerns can only be understood when we look at the whole person - including their cognitive space. (Learn more about the mind-gut connection by reading about the Vagus Nerve.)

    So streamlining your life to minimize stress, preparing and eating whole foods, and implementing yoga (for its physical and psychological benefits) will assist you in finding healthier gut health.

    Tricia Louvar l Mukha Yoga
    By Tricia Louvar; All Rights Reserved @2022

    Tricia Louvar l Mukha YogaBy Tricia Louvar; All Rights Reserved @2022