What is constipation and what causes it?

Almost all of us have felt difficulties with bowel movements at least once in our lives. This condition is known as constipation. 

When your colon absorbs too much water from the waste material and dries it excessively in the process, it becomes difficult for the stool to pass through. This happens when the food moves too slowly from the small to the large intestines. This gives the colon more time to absorb water making the stool drier and hard to expel.

Here are some symptoms and signs of constipation:

  • Passing stool three times or less in a week.
  • Passing hard or lumpy stools.
  • Straining while passing stool.
  • Constant feelings of full bowels.
  • You feel bloated and nauseous.
  • Experiencing abdominal pain.
  • Feeling sluggish and fatigued.

Experiencing these symptoms once in a while is common, but when these symptoms extend over two weeks, the condition is said to have become chronic. 

Here are some of the most common causes of constipation:

  • Not eating enough high-fibre foods.
  • Not exercising enough.
  • Dehydration
  • Ignoring or being unable to pass a bowel movement.
  • Changes in daily lifestyle such as travel or sleep patterns.
  • Consuming too much dairy.
  • Experiencing too much stress.
  • Ageing
  • Being pregnant or changes in the hormonal imbalance.
  • Bowel obstruction.
  • Narrowing of the colon.
  • Cancers of the colon or the rectum.
  • Anal fissures
  • Long-term dependence on certain medications like pain killers and those for blood pressure and neurological conditions.

Mild or moderate cases of constipation can be treated by making lifestyle changes such as increasing your water and fibre intake. These also include taking probiotics and relooking your toilet habits. 

However, one of the best ways to holistically treat and prevent this condition is yoga for constipation. Yoga for constipation relief treats the root cause of this condition and makes your body adept at tackling its triggers. 

What is yoga for constipation?

Yoga is much more than just relaxation for your mind. It has several health benefits, including those for your digestive health. Yoga asanas for constipation are aimed towards exercising and relaxing the muscles in your abdomen and improving blood circulation, helping relieve constipation.

This not just includes yoga poses to relieve constipation but also controlled breathing techniques, known as pranayama for constipation. 

Which are some of the best yoga poses for constipation?

Wondering which yoga asanas for constipation to practice for maximum relief? Here is a list of some of the best yoga poses for constipation explained in detail with steps:

  1. Ardh Matsyendrasana (Sitting Half Spinal Twist Pose): This is an excellent pose of yoga for constipation that not just relaxes your muscles but also stimulates organs such as the liver, spleen, kidneys, and pancreas. 

  • Sit with your spine erect.
  • Extend your legs and gently fold your left leg under the right one.¬†
  • Twist your body gently on the right and place your right hand on the ground behind your back.
  • Place your left hand on the right ankle.
  • Hold the pose for 7-8 seconds and repeat on the other side.

  1. Pawanmuktasana (Wind relieving pose): This is an effective pose of yoga for bowel movement that massages and stimulates your intestines to relieve constipation.

  • Lie on your back with your arms by your side.¬†
  • Gently draw your knees to your chest and clasp your hands around them.
  • Release your left knee while holding your right knee.¬†
  • Extend your left leg on the floor and hold the pose for 50-60 seconds.¬†
  • Now bring your left knee back to your chest and release your right leg.
  • Hold this pose for 50-60 seconds.
  • Release both the legs and get into the starting position.

  1. Vajrasana (Diamond Pose): Vajrasana is a great pose of yoga for constipation relief that helps massage your digestive organs and prevent constipation. This is also an effective pose of yoga for stomach pain.

  • Start by getting into a kneeling position as you pull your knees and ankles together.¬†
  • Put your hands on your thighs and stretch your spine while pushing your tailbone towards your floor.
  • Straighten your head and gaze forward.¬†
  • Relax your arms and hold this pose for 30-40 seconds.

  1. Kapalbhati: This is one of the best techniques of pranayama for constipation. This is a pose of yoga for gas that works by improving your digestive processes and curing gas, heartburn, and constipation. 

  • To start this pose of yoga for constipation, sit cross-legged and close your eyes.¬†
  • Inhale deeply with both the nostrils and exhale by forcefully contracting your abdominal muscles.
  • Continue inhaling gently and expelling forcefully.
  • Complete 20-30 breaths and exhale slowly.
  • This completes one round. Do 2-3 rounds.

What are the benefits of yoga for constipation?

Here are some of the best yoga for constipation benefits:

  • Yoga for constipation has a calming effect on your nervous system and reduces stress and anxiety. This helps in relaxing your digestive system and relieving constipation by preventing the blocking up of your stomach.¬†

  • Yoga poses to relieve constipation massage your digestive organs and stimulate them. This helps you in passing stool easily.

  • One of the best yoga poses for constipation benefits is that it helps improve circulation. This enhanced oxygen delivery makes stool pass faster through your system.

  • Yoga poses for constipation help in detoxifying your body and preventing constipation.

How do these poses safely avoid injuries?

Here are some things to keep in mind while doing yoga for constipation:

  • Never practice yoga for bowel movement without learning their techniques from an experienced practitioner.¬†
  • Yoga asanas for constipation must be practiced early morning on empty stomach.
  • Yoga asanas for constipation must not be performed when you have a fever, flu, cold, or are experiencing extreme stress or anxiety.
  • Listen to your body while doing asanas for constipation and stop immediately if you experience pain or dizziness.¬†

The takeaway

Even the best yoga for constipation will not work if you don’t make lifestyle changes like stress reduction and improving your eating habits. Yoga for constipation relief not just immediately cures your discomfort but also reduces your dependence on medications in the long run. 

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December 30, 2021

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