Practice of the Month


Flax Sesame Crackers 

Flax Sesame Crackers are a healthy light wheat cracker with good quantity of sesame seeds and flax seeds. Oats used in the dish are rich in antioxidants, lowers cholesterol, improves blood sugar. Flax seeds are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids reduces inflammation and…

YVNites honored at KKSU 

In 12th Convocation of Kavi Kulguru Kalidas Sanskrit University, Ramtek on March 6, 2024, YVN trained teacher (33rd YTTC Dadar), Smt Vanita Mugdam felicitated with gold medal for standing highest in M. A. in Yogashastra through open and distance education (ODL) by scoring 86.5 %…

YVN to conclude Golden Jubilee Celebrations 

Yoga Vidya Niketan, Member Institute, Indian Yoga Association is celebrating its Golden Jubilee Year from March 2023 to April 2024. Concluding function of Golden Jubilee Year Celebration will be held on April 9, 2024, in between 4pm to 7pm, at Yoga Bhavan, the own structure…

YVN organises events to promote Yoga 

Annual Exhibition Yoga Vidya Niketan, Member Institute of Indian Yoga Association held one day program on Annual Exhibition cum lectures on January 14, 2024 at Yoga Bhavan, Vashi, Navi Mumbai. After floral salute to statue of Swami Kuvalayanand and founder of YVN late Yogacharya Padmashri…

J&K UTCC announces Scholarship Certification Program 

The Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory Chapter Committee in association with Swaraj Yoga Institute announced a scholarship certification program from various categories, border areas and BPL background. The announcement was made under the chairmanship of Dr Shreyansh Jain and Shri Anil Swaraj, Founder, Swaraj Yoga…

Chandigarh SCC organizes Yoga Camp 

Chandigarh State Chapter of Indian Yoga Association organized 5 Days Yoga Camp for a healthy Lifestyle at Government College of Commerce and Business Administration (GCCBA Chandigarh, a constituent college of the Panjab University), Sector 50, Chandigarh from February 26 – March 1, 2024. This boot…

Karnataka SCC conducts GBM at Art of Living Ashram 

Karnataka State Chapter Committee of the Indian Yoga Association organised its General Body Meeting on January 28, 2024 with the blessings of Gurudev Shri Shri Ravishankar, Chairman, Indian Yoga Association at the Art of Living International Center, Bengaluru. The event was attended by the members…

Chandigarh SCC celebrates Republic Day at Consulate General of India, Canada 

Glimpses of the Republic Day celebrations by Shri Ajit Handa, Chairperson, Chandigarh State Chapter Committee at Consulate General of India, Vancouver. He was on a vacation in Canada with is daughter.

SAHS and IYA celebrates International Mind Body Wellness Day 

The NSS unit, School of Allied Health Sciences, Salem, Vinayaka Mission’s Research Foundation (DU) in collaboration with Indian Yoga association celebrated International Mind Body Wellness Day on January 3. On the occasion an awareness programme was held at the Skill Lab Auditorium. Prof.Dr.B.Sendilkumar, Director, SAHS,…

Shree Kala Yoga organises Yoga Trainer Camp 

Shree Kala Yoga, Associate Centre, Indian Yoga Association in along with Gujarat State Yog Board organised Yog Trainer Camp in Gandhidham. As many as 35 trainee attended the 45 days long training camp that commenced on December 1, 2023. The camp culminated on January 16,…

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12 Apr 2024


Yoga for Digestive Health

Yoga for Digestive Health 

Contributions from Community

by Dr Vikas Chothe & Dr Shwetambari Chothe

MD, PhD Ayurveda Sch, FIIM, Yoga Ambassador, Lead Yoga Examiner and Assessment Expert YCB, Ministry of AYUSH
MD Homoeopath, Consultant Yoga Therapist, Founder and Director of Swasti Yoga Center

‘Bad digestion is the root of all evil,’ says Hippocrates. According to Ayurveda we are not what we eat, but also, we are what we can digest. That is why it is imperative that our digestive fire remain strong. So that the food that we eat is efficiently metabolized. Otherwise, regardless of how healthy our food choices may be, our body will find it difficult to assimilate and absorb the nutrients present in what we eat.

Common Digestive Disorders (Heya) are:

  1. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
  2. Chronic Diarrhea and constipation leading to Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  3. Gastric and Duodenal ulcers
  4. Hemorrhoids

Amongst all these disorders IBS is the most challenging one. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is defined as “abdominal pain or discomfort that occurs in association with altered bowel habits over a period of at least three months, in the absence of any detectable organic cause”

Considering the pandemic situation which has increased work from home jobs, sedentary lifestyle and no physical activities for youths. Agni is deranged by excessive fasting, eating during indigestion, overeating, irregular eating, and intake of unhealthy and contaminated foods. Agni is also deranged by emaciation, faulty adaptation to place, time, and season, and suppression of natural urges. Stress levels (mano-udvega) influence one’s eating habits and lifestyle.

Common reasons for chronic digestive disorders (Heya hetu):

  1. Consuming animal foods, as it contains Neu5Gc that causes antigen-antibody reaction increasing risk of heart disease and cancer
  2. High levels of dietary salt
  3. Obesity and high fat diet increase Th17 cells and dysbiosis of gut microbiota
  4. Gluten sensitivity
  5. Smokers
  6. Those with pre-enteritis psychological stress
  7. Irrational use of antibiotics
  8. Other illness like travelers’ diarrhea
  9. Women
  10. Infectious gastroenteropathy (C. difficile infection, Shigella enteritis)

Yoga, a traditional “mind-body-breath” discipline, was derived from India about 3,500 BC. The word Yoga, in Sanskrit, is “yuj” meaning to unite the mind, body, and spirit. Yoga practices can be considered as conventional and non-conventional approaches towards management of digestive disorders. Conventional approach includes practices like asanas, pranayama, mudras, dhyana and mantra chanting Nonconventional Yoga:

• Mindfulness eating
• Sattvic food
• Consume fibrous foods like peas, beetroots, lentils and beans.
• Cereals such as oats are also recommended.
• Eat freshly cooked meals, avoid left overs.
• Eat fresh fruits such as apples, avocados and bananas.
• Consume probiotics like yogurt and butter milk.
• Drink plenty of water to flush out toxins.

• Avoid junk and oily food.
• Avoid salty, stale food
• Avoid red meat and outside street food

Vihar: avoid prayas/work stress, smoking, alcohol
Achar: Have regular sleep habits, no day sleep
Vichar: pratyahara, dharana, dhyan, chittaprasadan, karma yoga, bhakti yoga for stress management Vyavahar: Yoga for 4 weeks, daily 1 hour

Conventional Yoga therapy:
Shatkriyas (Yogic cleansing techniques)
Kapalabhati/forceful exhalation
Uddiyana Bandha and Agnisara/abdominal lock and rigorous movement of abdomen
Tongue is the mirror of digestive health. Hence dantamula dhauti (cleansing of the gums) helps in improving oral health, preventing problems like gingivitis. Poor oral health is associated with increased incidence of diabetes and heart diseases.

Role of yoga asanas improve digestion:

  1. The digestive fire or agni is stimulated. This increases the appetite and balances the metabolism.
  2. Asanas stretch the body, massaging the abdominal muscles. This causes food to move efficiently along the digestive tract.
  3. Bowel movement is regulated and constipation relieved.
  4. Circulation of blood to the digestive organs increases, thus aiding digestion.
  5. Yoga asanas keep the mind active and happy. You are more likely to eat a balanced diet and this eases digestion.
  6. Regular practice of yoga discourages fatty deposits.
  7. The body is effectively detoxed. Toxins accumulated from a bad diet, unhealthy lifestyles and stress are flushed out.
  8. Stretching and twisting of the abdomen in Vakrasana with awareness that offers deep local rest to the abdominal viscera are emphasized; this would help in alleviating distension and pain in the abdomen.
  9. The relaxing and calming effects of Savasana (total relaxation) and pranayama (breath control) have been widely studied and reported. The effects of these practices provide a short-term “time out” from stress and also by creating positive physiological changes in the whole body through modulating the nervous systemi
    Asanas important for digestive disorders like IBS are: Supine, prone, sitting, standing Supine:

Pawanmuktasana (wind releasing pose)

Setu bandhasana (bridge pose)

Matsyasana/fish pose

Halasana (Plough pose) Prone

Halasana (Plough pose) Prone

Makarasana (crocodile pose)

Shalabhasana/locust pose

Parivartit Shalabhasana
(modified locust pose)

Dhanurasana/ Bow pose

Vakrasana/half spinal twist

forward bend pose

Ardhakati cakrasana/half-waist wheel pose

Trikonasana/triangle pose

Breathing practices:

• Hands-stretch breathing
• Vyaghrasana/tiger pose breathing
• Shashankasana/moon pose breathing

Slow and deep breathing techniques could be used to minimize physiologic responses to stress by increasing the parasympathetic response. Left-nostril breathing has led to parasympathetic shift according to recent studies which help in reducing digestive disorders like IBS.ii
Some helpful Pranayama practices for GIT:

• Vibhagiya Svasana/sectional breathing

• NadiShuddhi pranayama/alternate nostril breathing

• Sitali/cooling pranayama

• Sitkari/cooling pranayama

• Bhramari/M-chanting

Starting affirmation (A-U-M, sound three times and OM, three times)

Dhyana/meditation: Nadanusandhana/Yoga of sound (A-U-M), OM meditation (OM)

Recent study has shown reduced stress and increased quality of sleep after 23 minutes of Cyclic Meditationiii

Closing affirmation, OM three times.
A-U-M meditation and OM meditation are included to calm down the mind. Daily Yoga home practices showed lower levels of functional disability, less use of emotion-focused avoidance, and lower anxiety in patients than other controls. Yoga modality is envisioned from the cost effectiveness in managing digestive disorders like IBS and its related comorbidities like anxiety, depression, and fatigue.

Uyterhoeven S. Yoga and the ANS—yoga therapy today—volume 2, number 3/August 2006—International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT) Yoga Therapy Today. 2006;2:23–25. ii Breathing through a particular nostril can alter metabolism and autonomic activities. Telles S, Nagarathna R, Nagendra HR Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. 1994 Apr; 38(2):133-7. iii Positive impact of cyclic meditation on subsequent sleep. Patra S, Telles S Med Sci Monit. 2009 Jul; 15(7):CR375-8

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