Acidity/Dyspepsia – Yogic Cure and Prevention
The stomach produces gastric acid to digest the food we eat. The food enters the stomach through a small valve called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). LES is a ring muscle which closes shut as soon as the food passes through it. The weakening of LES causes it to herniate and lose its sealing capacity. the gastric acid can then shoot back up the esophagus, a problem termed gastroesophageal reflux, causing heartburn and acidity.
Though there is no allopathic cure for acidity, dietary regulation and ingestion of acidity regulators, usually in oral form, can alleviate the symptoms.
Samkhya Yoga View:
The elements of Fire and Earth, when imbalanced in their combination cause problems like acidity. As per Samhkya Yoga, constant ambition or intensity, combined with a lack of physical association is a psychological cause as well as symptom of this particular imbalance. Lack of physical vitality, mental irritation, and decreased physical strength are also indicators of the increasing severity of dyspeptic symptoms.
Yogic Lifestyle advice:
Those suffering from Acidity or dyspepsia must at no times consume spicy foods. Packaged chips, etc that are salty, spicy, etc must also be avoided. Larger volumes of natural spring water must be consumed on a daily basis. Natural work like farming must be undertaken or in absence of farming opportunities, sufferers of dyspepsia must go on weekend nature treks, of a demanding nature and should camp outdoors, sleeping on green earth under the stars. Chikitsa Yoga Asanas of Levels 1-3 pertaining to Acidity should be practiced without delay so that the symptoms can be alleviated and LES strengthening take place, leading to the disease being overcome.
Asanas for disease reduction:
The Yogic techniques always start with the physical, in order to bring a state of homeostasis, which leads to symptom reduction. The following are a small selection of simple asanas that will begin the process of recovery from Acidity.
- VIRABHADRASANA 1 & 2 – Warrior 1 & 2 Pose
- Standing straight in Tadasana with the feet together and knees straight
- Raise both the arms over your head joining your palms together
- Step right foot forwards about 4 – 4.5 feet and turn the left foot 90degrees facing out towards the left
- Flex the right knee till the right thigh is parallel to the ground keeping the right knee in life with right heel
- Stretch the left leg, keeping the left knee straight. Gaze at the palms and breathe deeply in Warrior I for 20-30secs
- Stretch the arms sideways in line with the shoulders, palms facing down. Gaze at the right palm in Warrior II for 20-30secs
- Exhaling, relax both the knees and bring the palms down by the side. Place both the feet together and return to Tadasana
- Repeat on the above steps with the other leg
ARDHA MATSYENDRASANA – Half Spinal Twist Pose
- Sit on your hips with the legs stretched out
- Bend right knee and lifting the knee up, place the right foot on the outer side of the left thigh
- Cross the left knee, resting the left heel under the left buttock and balance in this position
- Turn the trunk towards the right, and bring the left armpit on the outer-side of the right thigh.
- Bending the left eblow, bring the right arm around the right knee. Now swing the right arm behind the back and clasp the left palm/fingers
- Twisting from the abdomen, look over your right shoulders and stay in this pose for 2-3 minutes
- Release the palms, untwist your body and straighten your knees. Repeat on the other side
BHUJANGASNA – Cobra Pose
- Lie on the floor facing downwards, both the feet and heels together
- Rest the palms underneath the shoulders, fingers spread out
- Inhaling, raise your head and pull the trunk up arching from the lower back
- Stay here for 20-30seconds, keeping the elbows bent and close to the body
- Exhaling, slowly come down and rest the trunk on the floor
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