Constipation : Yogic Prevention and Cure
Constipation is caused due to slower stool movement through the digestive tract, causing the stool to harden and difficult to pass. Anal fissure and narrowing of the colon can cause blockages in the rectum leading to constipation. Certain neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease may also result in constipation. Hormonal imbalances in the Thyroid gland and diabetes are also known to cause constipation.
Allopathy suggests laxatives such as magnesium hydroxide and dietary changes, such as increased water and fiber intake, to ease the bowel movement.
Samkhya Yoga View:
Constipation, as per the Samkhya Yoga view is caused by imbalance of the Fire, Water and Earth elements. This is a primary level disturbance and must be rectified. Primary level imbalanaces left uncorrected can lead to systemic problems later, such as decreased organ functions, decreased immunological response, disturbed hormonal cascading and shortened life expectancy.
Yogic Lifestyle advice:
Those suffering from constipation are advised to perform the specific Chikitsa Yoga sequence of asanas, in which sequence the Inversion positions are of the highest import. They must not consume caffeinated drinks and spicy foods. If possible those suffering from constipation should avoid meat based diet. Fish and eggs can be consumed. Milk is to be regularly consumed. Meditational techniques centering around Detachment can be practiced. Excessive consumerism and ‘shopping therapy’ must be avoided as far as practicable by those suffering from constipation.
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 constipation.
SARVANGASANA – Shoulder Stand
- Lie flat on your back with the palms facing down
- Raise your legs & hips up, keeping the chin close to your chest
- Support your lower back with your palms, lift your back off the mat while keeping your knees and back straight
- Gaze at the point between the toes, breathing deeply through the chest. You may even close your eyes
- Remain here for 3-4 mins then relax your palms and come down gently.
VRKSASANA – Tree Pose
- Stand straight with feet together and knees straight in Tadasana
- Bend the right knee and place the right heel close to the perinium, right foot resting on the right thigh
- Raise the arms straight over your head and join your palms together, hold this pose breathing deeply for 20-30secs
- Lower the arms down releasing the palms, bring the right foot down straightening the right knee
- Repeat the pose by bending the left knee
VIRABHADRASANA 1 & 2 – Warrior 1 & 2
- 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
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