Yoga Therapy for Digestive Diseases by Dr. Swapnil Dharmadhikari SignUp
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Ayurveda Share This Page
Yoga Therapy for Digestive Diseases
by Dr. Swapnil Dharmadhikari Bookmark and Share
 

Yoga is an exhaustive subject and science in itself. Hence Yoga, which is necessary in the context of digestive problems are enumerated here. It should be noted that there is hardly any mental or physical disorder, which Yoga could not cure. Yogic exercises activate digestive system, and pro­duce sufficient quantity of digestive juices improving appetite, better functioning of colon gland, completely digesting the food, resulting in vigor and improving immune system. They improve the functioning of our intestines so that the stomach ailments like acidity, dyspepsia, constipation, etc. are cured. Due to modern style of living and unsystematic way of eating, our digestive cannot function properly. Yogasanas are the best means to keep digestive and other organs in proper function­ing order.

Several methods are described in yoga that helps to maintain mental calmness and physical activity to prevent and cure digestive problems. It should be noted that Yogasanas are not at all helpful to the patient suffering from diarrhea and dysentery. Hence Yogasanas should not be performed when the patient is suffering from diarrhea or dysentery. As for practice of asanas and pranayama is concerned it is advisable to be done under the guidance of a Yoga therapist.

DHANURASANA (Bow Pose)

The word "Dhanu" in Sanskrit means a "Bow". In this posture, the bent body resembles a bow. This bow represents the mystic syllable 'OM'.

Procedure:

1) Lie on your stomach with feet together and legs stretched.
2) Bend your knees. Inhale.
3) Raise your thighs, head and chest off the floor.
4) Grasp your ankles by putting all the fingers and thumb over ankle bone.
5) Part the knees slightly but the big toes and lines of the feet must touch each other.
6) Try to bring your head closer to your feet.
7) Don't let your ribs and thighs remain on the floor.
8) Remain in this position for few seconds.
9) Exhale and return to normal position.

Benefits:

  • Useful in anorexia, constipation, dyspepsia, flatu­lence, piles.
  • It makes the spine elastic.
  • It is highly beneficial in case of cervical spondylitis, gout and lumbago.
  • It is useful to obese person as it reduces (at from the abdomen.
  • It gives strengths to abdominal muscles and organs.
  • It enlarges the size of chest and lungs.

Precautions:

Peoples with high blood pressure, heart ailments, her­nia, colitis and pepuc ulcer should not practice dhanurasana without the proper guidance of their therapist.

HALASANA (Plough Pose)

Hala means plough. Since the posture resembles a plough, therefore this asana is called halasana.

Procedure:

1) Lie on your back with legs and arms straight.
2) Inhale and lift both legs so that they are at right angle to body.
3) Stay in this position for few seconds and then exhale.
4) Breathe in and raise your hips off the floor.
5) Be perpendicular to the floor.
6) Bring your legs down over your-head.
7) Rest your toes on the floor.
8) Keep your back and your legs straight and stiff as plough.

Benefits:

Useful in dyspepsia, hyperacidity
It keeps the spine flexible and healthy.
It promotes supply of blood to spine and its ligaments.
It eliminates muscular rheumatism and sprain.
It gives rest to the brain and makes you calm and quiet
It reduces fat from the abdomen and thereby useful to obese person.
It increases memory and menial power
It gives strength to abdominal muscles.

Precautions:

Peoples with high blood pressure, cervical and lumbar spondylosis, sciatica, and asthma during pregnancy should not practice this asana without the proper guidance of their therapist.

MAKARASANA

In this asana, a person resembles like a crocodile. Hence it is called makarasana.

Procedure:

1. Lie on your stomach.
2. Bring the arms forward and fold them.
3. Place the forehead on the folded elbows.
4. Keep the legs at a distance of a foot with heels inside and toes outside.
5. Relax the body in this position for a few minutes.
6. Keep the breathing normal.
Benefits:

  • Useful in constipation, piles.
  • It improves digestion and therefore beneficial for stomach disorders.
  • It leads to the purification of the blood.
  • It strengthens the muscles of arms and thigh.
  • It is useful in skin diseases and it also cures pimples.
  • It is highly beneficial to the person suffering from sleeplessness.

Precautions:

It is advisable to perform shavasana after this asana.

MATSYASANA (Fish Pose)

The word "Matsya" in Sanskrit means fish. In this asana the body resembles a fish. A perfect practitioner of this asana can actually stay afloat in water quite effordessly.

Procedure:

1) Sit in Padma - asana.
2) Lie flat on your back.
3) Now hook both your big toes with your index and middle fingers.
4) Place your elbows on the floor.
5) Relax yourself for 5 to 10 seconds.
6) Then slowly bring the back slightly up stretching the neck till the top of the head rests on the floor.
7) Remain in this position for few seconds and slowly bring back to original position.

Benefits:

  • Useful in Piles.
  • This asana strengthens the muscles of the neck and back.
  • It bends the spine backward and therefore gives a healthy stretch to the muscles of the spine in the opposite direction.
  • This asana increases the capacity of the lungs and therefore highly useful in case of asthma.
  • It is helpful in skin disorders and it also cures pimples.
  • It normalizes the function of thyroid and pitu­itary glands.

Precautions:
Persons with heart diseases, peptic ulcers, and hernia should practice this asana after consulting their therapists.

MAYURASANA (Peacock Pose)

In this asana, the body resembles like a peacock. Since mayura means peacock, hence this asana is called mayurasana.

Procedure:

1. Sit on your knees as in vajrasana.
2. Bend a little forward.
3. Rest your palms on the ground keep a slight dis­tance between the wrists.
4. Bring down your abdomen slowly on your elbows.
5. The elbows should be joined together.
6. Stretch your legs.
7. Balance the entire weight of the body over the elbows.
8. Inhale and lift your face and legs above the ground so that the entire body becomes parallel to the ground.
9. Stay in this position for a few seconds.
10. Put your feet on the ground first and rest for a few minutes in shavasana.

Benefits:

  • Useful in hyperacidity, indigestion, anorexia.
  • It is an excellent asana for digestive disorders as it tones up the abdominal organs.
  • It is highly useful in case of liver disorders such as hepatomegaly and hepatitis.
  • It removes excess fat from the abdomen and therefore beneficial in case of obese persons.
  • It cures the disorders of gout, kidneys and pancreas.
  • It increases blood circulation in the body and also purifies the blood.
  • It makes the entire body strong and beautiful.

PASCHIMOTTASANA (Posterior Stretch Pose):

Paschima means west and uttana means intense stretch. The front side of the body is called east side, while the back side is called the west side. In this Asana complete back side, i.e., the west side, right from the heels to the fore­head, gets stretched and therefore, it is called 'Pashchi-mottanasana'.

1. Sit on the floor with leg straight. Inhale.
2. Exhale and bend the trunk forward and hold the feet with the thumb finger.
3. Keep the knees stiff and lower the elbows down­wards on either side of the knees.
4. Rest the forehead on the knees. Do not try to raise the knees in order to get the forehead on to the knees.
5. Remain in this asana for few seconds.

Benefits:

  • Useful in anorexia, dyspepsia, constipation, hy­peracidity.
  • It helps the joints to regain elasticity & rejuve­nates the spine.
  • It strengthens the muscles of the body.
  • It is highly useful asana for obese persons. Practicing this asana reduces the excessive fat around the abdomen.

Precautions:

People suffering from slipped disc of the vertebrae, which require backward bending and not forward bending exercise, should not practice this asana. Persons suffering from high blood pressure should not do this asana.

PAWANMUKTASANA (Wind Liberating Pose)

In Sanskrit Pawan means wind and mukti means lib­eration. This asana can be done in three stages. With right leg first then with left leg and finally with both legs.

Procedure:

1. Lie on your back.
2. Inhale and raise the right leg by bending the knee. Fold it by bringing it on the abdomen.
3. Bring the hand about the legs. Touch the knee with the nose.
4. Remain in this position for few seconds and then returns to original position slowly while exhaling.
5. Repeat this asana with left leg and then with both legs.

Benefits:

  • Useful in hyperacidity, indigestion, constipation.
  • This asana purifies the lungs and make them to function properly,
  • It removes the pressure around the uterus thereby correcting the uterine disorders.
  • It removes fatigue and stress both mentally and physically.

Precautions:

Patients suffering from high blood pressure, heart dis­ease, sciatica or slipped disc should practice this asana only after consulting their therapist. It is contraindicated in case of pregnant women.

SARPASANA (Running Snake Pose)
In this asana, a person resembles like a snake. Hence the name sarpasana.

Procedure:

1. Lie on the stomach.
2. Keep your feet together and hands held at the back with fingers interlocked.
3. Inhale and raise the legs, knees and upper posi­tion of the body such as chest, head and neck as far as possible.
4. Roll on the stomach a few times.
5. Bring it to the original position while exhaling.

Benefits:

  • Useful in anorexia, constipation.
  • It is highly useful to the person suffering from obesity. It reduces extra fat from the abdo­men.
  • It improves balance of the body.
  • It improves blood circulation.
  • It is highly useful to the patients suffering from varicose veins.

Precautions:

People suffering from hypertension or cardiac prob­lems should not strain too much while performing this asana.

SARVANGASANA (Shoulder Stand)

Sarva means all and anga means parts. In shape Sarvanga-asana resembles a popular Indian musical instru­ment, the tambura. The tambura is an instrument used for intoning. Sarvangaasana too, helps tone all parts of the body.

Procedure:

1. Lie on your back with legs and arms straight.
2. Inhale and lift both legs so that they are at right angle to body.
3. Stay in this position for few seconds and then exhale.
4. Breathe in and raise your hips off the floor.
5. Be perpendicular to the floor.
6. Let only the back of your head, neck, shoulders and upper-arms touch the floor.
7. Don't place your elbows wider then your shoul­ders.
8. Return to original position while exhaling. For this, first bend the knees, curve the back and slowly return to lying on the floor.

Benefits:

  • Useful in flatulence, constipation, piles.
  • This asana helps in keeping spine flexible and healthy.
    It cures backache and highly beneficial in all types of arthritis.
    This asana is highly useful in regulating the thyroid and sex glands.
    It promotes growth and health.
    It is beneficial in case of women problems such as irregular and painful menstruation and leucorrhea.
    It improves the function of the lungs and re­duces the periodicity of attacks in asthma pa­tients.
    It relieves headaches, colds and coughs.

Precautions:

People with hypertension, cardiac problems, thyroid disorders, nasal catarrh should never take to this asana except under the guidance and supervision of a yoga teacher.

SINGHASANA (Roar)

Singha means lion. Therefore in this asana, it looks like roaring of a lion.

Procedure:

1. Sit on the heels. Put your knees on the ground and place the palms over the knees.
2. Breathe in deeply and slowly.
3. Open your mouth and take out your tongue while exhaling.
4. Open the eyes to the maximum and look straight.
5. Makes the sound as lion roars.
6. Hold the pose for few seconds.

Benefits:

  • Useful in Acidity, anorexia, dyspepsia.
  • It removes the swellings of tonsils and can pre­vent unnecessary removal of tonsils.
  • It increases glow of the face and prevent eye problems.
  • It is useful in all forms of skin diseases and thyroid problems.
  • It also helps in curing deafness.
  • It improves the clarity of the voice and there­fore useful to singers.

It is better to do this asana by including Uddiyana Bandha. The combination impacts good health by serving as a powerful gastro-intestinal tonic.

Precautions:

Patients suffering from heart related problems should avoid this asana.
USHTRASANA (Camel Pose):
In Sanskrit ushtra means camel. Thereby this asana is called camel pose.

Procedure:

1. Sit with your knees bend as in vajrasana.
2. Then gradually stand up on your knees. There should be a gap of 20 to 30 cm in between the knees.
3. Now bend backward from your waist while tilting neck back.
4. Put the hands on the soles of the feet.
5. Try to bend the neck as for as possible.
6. Remain in this position for few seconds and come back slowly to your original position.

Benefits:

  • Useful in anorexia, acidity, indigestion.
  • This asana gives strength to the neck glands and reduces neck pain and therefore useful in case of cervical spondylitis.
  • It reduces fat from the waist and is therefore beneficial to obese persons.
  • It increases the functional capacity of lungs and heart.

Precautions:

People with high or low blood pressure, serious low back or neck injury should never take to this asana except under the guidance and supervision of a yoga teacher.

UTTAN PADASANA

In this asana both legs are raised upwards and hence this asana is called uttan padasana

Procedure:

1. Lie down in supine position, legs stretched and feet together, hands comfortably at sides.
2. While inhaling lift the legs, both together.
3. Stop at 30° angles for a few seconds and bring back the legs on the ground, while exhaling.
4. Again inhale and lift the legs up to 60 degree; stop there and come back; exhale.
5. Keep the legs straight while lifting upward and coming back to the ground.

If you find this too strenuous, try with one leg at a time, using slow movement and repeating the movement at least twice on each side.

Benefits:

  • Useful in constipation, piles.
  • It gives strength to thigh muscles.
  • It is highly useful in case of rheumatoid arthri­tis, gout, slipped disc and cervical spondylitis, j o It improves blood circulation.
  • It is highly useful to the patients suffering from varicose veins.

Precautions:

Anyone can do this asana, as it is very simple and easy.

VAJRASANA (Hardy Pose)

This asana can be done after meals or after traveling a long distance.

Procedure:

1. Sit on your knees with bent legs.
2. Keep the heels apart below your hips.
3. Place your hands on the knees with arms in a straight position.
4. Keep the toes overlapping each other.
5. Make your spine straight.

Benefits:

  • Useful in acidity, indiges­tion
  • It strengthens the thighs, spine and neck.
  • It relaxes the body from mental and physi­cal exhaustion.
  • It gives rest to the tired legs.

Thus Yoga therapy helps to improve Agni, control the function of Samana vayu, enhances pachaka pitta and controls movements necessary for proper digestion. Hence, for digestive diseases, combined therapy of internal medicines along with yoga therapy is equally important for improving the quality of digestion.

10-Mar-2014
More by :  Dr. Swapnil Dharmadhikari
 
Views: 694
Article Comment Is it possible to insert helpful diagrams in this very informative article? Thanks.
Madathil R Nair
03/14/2014
 
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