Author: Randeep Singh / go to all articles on Yoga cure
Yoga for Stomach Health, How to Improve Digestion
Yoga for Digestion:
Human body is an open system: it receives raw material in the form of food for its sustenance from the environment around it, and releases the waste products, after extracting the essential elements from it, back into the environment around it.
The processes of ingestion of food, extraction of essential nutrients from it, absorption of these nutrients into the body systems and evacuation of the waste products, left as remnants after absorption, out of the body constitute the digestive system, on which yoga for digestion actually works.
The digestive tract is a long, hollow passageway, made of multiple interconnecting hollow tubes like structures, which begins at the mouth and ends at the anus. Various enzymes are released, by different glands, at different junctures of the digestive tract for executing various digestive functions as the ingested food moves along its length.
The process responsible for moving the food through the digestive passage way is known as peristalsis. Peristalsis is the name given to the alternate contraction of the muscles of the digestive tract behind the food to apply a forward push, and relaxation of the muscles of the digestive tract ahead of the food in order to make way for it to move ahead.
Saliva released in the mouth from the salivary glands is the first enzyme the food encounters on its journey into the digestive gut. The saliva adds moisture to the food which facilitates its movement down the esophagus, the narrow tube which connects the mouth to the stomach.
Additionally the enzymes present in saliva begin working on the starch components of the ingested food in the mouth itself. Acid is released within the stomach by the glands present into its lining along with an enzyme called pepsin. Both these chemicals begin to break the food down into smaller particles for the release of nutrients from it. Pepsin is responsible for the digestion of the proteins present in the food.
The food is properly churned and mixed with the enzymes by the contracting wall of the stomach, it is next released into the small intestine for further processing, digestion to take place. Another set of enzymes for digesting the carbohydrates, fats and proteins in the food is released at this juncture into the small intestine by a group of small ducts coming from the pancreas.
Bile, an important enzyme from the liver also meets the broken down food partials at this point in the digestive tract which has a crucial role in digesting the fats, vitamins present within the food. Gall bladder acts as an intermediate storehouse for the bile produced in the liver, it receives and stores the bile being produced in the liver to be released into the small intestine whenever required.
Along with the concoction of enzymes released in the small intestine the bacteria living their also releases certain chemicals which help digest the carbohydrate component of the food. The nutrients so broken by the enzymes are absorbed into the blood stream in the small intestine for transportation to the body tissues where they are meant to be utilized.
The small intestine also dilutes the food particles, for efficient digestion, present within it by sucking the water from the blood vessels present around it. The food next moves into the large intestine where any remaining water from the unabsorbed food components is further absorbed to convert the undigested mass into stools to be evacuated into the environment through the movement of the bowels.
How to improve digestion with Yoga
A healthy digestion is crucial to good health. Proper absorption of the nutrients and expulsion of the waste products (toxins ) is critical to keeping the various organs systems of the body in optimal health. Each of the components of the digestive system as described above must function at their best possible ability to keep the entire body supplied with the life sustaining nutrients.
Yoga poses to improve digestion tones up the muscles of the abdomen and stimulate the digestive organs for better performance, and the muscles of the digestive tract to maintain a healthy movement of the digestive content. Yoga asanas for better digestion activates the sluggish small, as well as the large intestines which keeps constipation at bay.
The yoga for digestion techniques help by increasing the circulation of the blood through the whole body; the newly infused blood in the vessels adjoining the intestines is always ready to receive more nutrients which enhances the absorption of the same from within the intestines.
Yoga for stomach which involves yoga twists, asanas which twists the spine on its axis, churns out the toxins from the system on every compression that accompanies the twist and again floods the region with fresh blood as the space is created within the blood vessels on each relaxation of the twist involved.
Yoga for digestive system tones and strengthens the muscles of the digestive tract which help maintain healthy peristalsis movements. This prevents any possible blockages in the movement of the digestive content leading to related disorders. The massage the digestive organs receive from practicing the yoga asanas for better digestion keeps these organs young and efficient for longer duration.
Enhanced blood circulation keeps the muscles in proper health and shape which adds to the overall efficiency of the related digestive organs. Yoga for stomach helps relieve conditions like abdominal cramps, heart burn and acidity. Yoga for digestion is not only about learning asanas, a proper diet which adheres to yogic concepts and theories goes a long way in improving the overall health of the digestive system.
Pranayama for digestion help keep the mind calm and happy which successively keeps the endocrines system in good health which is responsible for releasing the various enzymes used in digestion. Practicing pranayamas for digestion keeps the nervous system free of any stress, a stressed out nervous system is incapable of transmitting important signals between the digestive organs and the brain. This would delay the execution of certain digestive processes leading to blockages in the path of the movement of the digestive contents leading to disease.
Yoga for digestive system
Uttanasana / Hastpad Asana
Trianga Mukhaikapada Paschimottanasana
Warrior Pose 2
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