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Summary: Gut health is important for overall wellness. Understand how Yoga can help improve Gut health for a robust living.

Our stomach and soul don’t wait for special occasions or celebrations to get loaded with the drooling and irresistible dishes and assortments. They can crave for delicious food at any time.
However, the temptation to honor the taste buds and the digestive system with rich, delectable food may sometimes lead the stomach into a problem. With a variety of unhealthy foods that we consume, the binge eating, stress, lack of probiotics, not to mention poor weather conditions — these can hamper the gut health quite easily.

Our gastrointestinal system has an incredible role in keeping the overall health and well-being in excellent state. The links between imbalanced microbiome (gut bacteria) and chronic illnesses like obesity, diabetes, heart diseases, etc., have been well-established by health experts and several studies. Also, having a highly functional immune system is dependent on the health of the gut. An unhealthy digestive system signals that the immune system is not as strong as it should be.

How do we improve the gut health?

This is naturally possible through Yoga. The holistic science of yoga is effective in healing the gut, strengthening the immune system, and is highly helpful for the individuals to restore to their health and potential. The art of yoga incorporates the amazing tools in the form of asanas, pranayama, detoxification techniques that deeply replenish the stomach and treat the symptoms of various gut-related diseases. The yoga postures massage the intestines, the breathing exercises enhance the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the stomach assisting in a healthy and toned gut.

Here’s how you can turn the impossible task of improving the gut health possible with Yoga. Have a look at the pointers:

1. Yoga Postures: A committed practice of twisting, forward fold yoga poses, act as purifying agents eliminating the Ama(toxins) from the stomach, relaxing the gut, and keeping it in a healthy shape. Yoga is also the perfect antidote to negatives such as stress and toxic emotions thus fostering an overall feeling of wellness. Give these pose a try to see results:

  • Big-Toe-Pose (Padangusthasana): Stand tall on a yoga mat with feet about 6 inches apart. Keep the legs completely unbent and fold forward from the hips. Moving the upper body as one unit, slide the index finger in between the toes of the feet and grip them tightly. Press the toes against the fingers. Keep the forehead in a relaxed state. With an inhalation, stand up and upon exhalation, bend forward. Stay in the position for 30 seconds.
  • Head-to Knee-Pose (Janu Sirsasana): Sit on the floor with a straight back and legs. Fold the right knee and place the heel on the perineum. The right knee should rest on the floor. Wrap the torso over the left leg with the navel resting in the middle of the left thigh. Extend the arms in front and encircle the hands around the feet. Hold this pose for 20- 35 seconds.
  • Bow Pose (Dhanurasana): Lie in a prone position. Fold the knees and raise the legs upward. Stretch the arms behind and hold the feet in your palms. Using the strength, uplift the upper torso and thighs away from the floor. Look in a front direction. Remain in this pose for 30 seconds.

2. Pranayama: In addition to the yoga postures, practice pranayama for more benefits like an improved blood circulation to the stomach and brain, massaging the solar plexus and abdominal organs, and to fortify the stomach organ.

  • Kapalbhati Pranayama: Sit in crossed legged position on a yoga mat. Inhale deeply and exhale strongly drawing the navel back to the spine. Rest the hand on the stomach to feel the contraction in the abdominal muscles as you breathe out. Take 20 deep inhalations and exhalations to complete one round.
  • Ujjayi Pranayama: Sit in Sukhasana. Inhale through the nostrils and hold it for 2 seconds. Exhale through the nostrils and make a sound of an ocean wave. Repeat the movement 3-6 times.
  • Bhastrika Pranayama: Begin in a seated position. Breathe in and Breathe out through the nose. During inhalations, move the abdomen outwards and during exhalations, pull the stomach inwards.

3. Shankhaprakshalana: Shankhaprakshalana is an internal Hatha Yoga technique. It is a thorough detoxification process with a repairing action affecting the stomach, lungs, nervous system, and whole body. The process includes the practice of five postures namely Tadasana, Triyak Tadasana, Kati Chakrasana, Tiryaka bhujangasana, Udarakarshan that lead to the reduction of notable gut diseases.

In addition to the above, a certain revision of food habits and lifestyle changes are highly recommended.

About The Author

Manmohan Singh is a passionate Yogi, Yoga Teacher and a Traveller in India. He provides Yoga Teacher Training in India. He loves writing and reading books related to yoga, health, nature and the Himalayas.