(Last Updated on : 09/04/2013)
Constipation, also known as irregularity in bowels is a condition of the digestive system where the individual experiences hard feces that are difficult to eliminate. It is retention of the stools or inability to have a bowel movement for particular reasons. Slow and tight movement of faeces through the large intestine, often associated with large quantities of dry, hard faeces in the descending colon that accumulate because of the long time allowed for absorption of fluid are common characteristics of this disorder.
The symptoms of constipation is marked when the stool is hard and difficult to pass, headache, lethargy, depression, coated tongue, loss of appetite, insomnia, anaemia and eruptions of an urticarial type. Sometimes, there is temperature, which rises upto 1020 F. The retention of the stools is followed by alternating diarrhoea, which sometimes leads to incorrect diagnosis. Straining to pass stool may also cause intensely painful hemorrhoids and anal fissures. In later stages of constipation, the abdomen often becomes swollen and diffusely tender and crampy, occasionally with enhanced bowel sounds. The main causes of constipation include wrong diet, dehydration, medication, paralysis or slowed transit, injured anal sphincter, hypothyroidism, hypokalemia, lead poisoning, diverticula and so on.
Yoga is believed to be the easiest and naturally treated therapy for constipation. Yoga asanas like Surya Namaskara, Pavanamukta Asana, Trikona Asana, Hala Asana, Tada Asana, Matsya Asana, Bhastrika with kumbhaka, Ardha Matsyendrasana, Uddiyana Bandha, Pranayama and Mulabandha are best suggested for this ailment. Besides the physical asanas, breathing exercises such as Kapalabhati, Anuloma-Viloma and Bhastrika are also helpful. Other than the above mentioned yoga asanas and Pranayama, practice of yoga nidra, concentration and meditation gives the best results for constipation. Yoga Diet plays a major role in curing constipation as well. One should take light meals including fresh foods, fruits, vegetables and salads and avoid starch consumption, spices, fats and excessive salt. Eating bananas give instant relief. Drinking plenty of water is equally important.
These yoga asanas are especially beneficial for the abdominal region of the body. In executing them one will find a natural remedy for constipation. If curing constipation is a much needed process, then one need to undertake Yoga as a choice for physical therapy, together with other methods will not hurt and could possibly help immensely. This condition causes discomfort to the person and disturbs all the other systems. The recommended Yoga asanas for Constipation focus on moving the stomach and intestines in all directions to aid the digestion process. This stimulates the flow of blood to all parts of the intestines and generally helps foods pass through the body.
The Yoga asanas for constipation is discussed in details accordingly.
Surya Namaskaran - or the Sun Salutation is a prayer in motion. Surya namaskaran consists of a sequence of twelve postures performed continuously and combined with harmonised breathing. Each position counteracts the preceding one, thus producing a balance between flexions and extensions. Surya Namaskar activates almost all the glands of the endocrinal system. Because of this internal activation, the various digestive organs like pancreas, adrenal, thyroid, pituitary and begin to secrete their respective hormones in normal way. Surya Namaskara corrects disorders of the pancreas, liver and cure constipation, wind troubles, indigestion, acidity, intestinal disorder.
Pavanamukta Asana - This is the "wind relieving posture" and is so named because it assists in releasing trapped or digestive gas from the stomach and intestines. The Sanskrit word `pavana` means air or wind and `mukta` means freedom or release. It improves gastrointestinal problems like upset stomachs and constipation by stimulating the abdominal region.
Hala Asana - Halasana resembles the plough posture and stretches the body in a way that helps building up the muscles, especially the back muscles that regulates the blood flow in the body and would regulate constipation due to weak abdominal muscles.
Tada Asana - The proper execution and continual practice of this asana along with other postures helps to re-train the body to stand correctly and reverse the negative effects of poor posture. This asana indirectly helps cure constipation.
Dhanurasana - This asana keeps the spine healthy and flexible, removes the nervous debility and helpful in relieving the `pitta` disorders and constipation, improves digestion and massage entire back.
The above mentioned asanas have to be accompanied with proper diet that especially includes fibre content. One must consume water, fruits and vegetables in abundance; or else intensified exercise would also not deliver desired results. Besides, the mentioned asanas, one can also opt for Mayurasana and Sarvangasana.
- The Yoga asanas prescribed above should be strictly performed under the supervision of an experienced Yoga teacher.