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I had a problem with constipation for years. I even wondered if it was related to my thyroid issues.
Whatever the cause, going to the bathroom was my nemesis.
It can be embarrassing to admit. But my mom always said, “Tell the truth and shame the devil.” And, if I can tell you my truth and help you in the process that’s what I’ll do.
I would go days without pooping and then when I would go, the strain was awful. After doctor’s visit upon doctor’s visit, including being probed (from both ends) and getting no help, I decided there had to be a better way.
And, I found it…
You see, I discovered that yoga is about more than relaxation. Certain poses can actually stimulate your GI system so that you can “go” more easily and regularly.
So, here are the four poses I made a regular part of my life — and with a few other “movement” helpers, was able to find my regularity again…
Pose #1 – Child Pose
As the name suggests, this is the easiest of yoga poses but also extremely effective at getting your bowels moving again. And, it can even help relieve the pain of constipation.
To do it, you simply kneel on all fours with your knees touching.
Next, sit back to allow your buttocks to touch your feet.
Stretch your hands out on the floor in front of you, slowly moving them forward and lowering your body until your stomach touches your knees. Relax in this pose for approximately 30 seconds, breathing deeply through your nose then slowly press back with your hands to sit up.
Pose #2 – Sitting Half Spinal Twist Pose
For this pose, you will sit with your legs straight out in front of you and your toes pointing toward the ceiling. Next, bend your right knee, placing your right foot next to your left buttock.
Now, place your left leg over your right knee with your left foot frim on the ground. Place your right hand on your left knee and your left hand behind your lower back, twisting your upper body to the left.
Hold for 30 seconds to one minute and then repeat on the other side.
Pose #3 – Garland Pose
This pose will be done standing.
First, get into a squat position, thighs wider than your torso and your feet turned out. Be sure to keep your heels flat on the floor.
Now, bend forward slightly, bringing your elbows to the insides of your knees with your palms in prayer position. As you press your knees outward, lift and lengthen your spine.
Hold for 30 seconds or five breaths.
Pose #4 – Wind-Relieving Pose
This is a pose with a funny name but a big benefit and it’s easy to do to boot.
Simply lie on your back and hug your legs into your chest. Next, pull your head up, nose to your knees and hold for 15 seconds. You can even rock back and forth if you like.
Additional constipation helpers
On top of these four yoga poses, I’ve also found that certain supplements are a great help in relieving both occasional and chronic constipation.
- Ancient aloe – Aloe helps to naturally stimulate your bowel and soften stool for easier elimination.
- Potassium – This is an under-utilized mineral that helps keep your stool hydrated and moist promoting so that you go more regularly.
- Cascara sagrada – This plant was used as far back as the Native Americans to help promote bowel contractions.
- Senna leaf – This herb helps to balance your colon to give you gentle, regular bowel movements.
Constipation can be a literal pain in the butt. But, with the yoga poses and helpers above, you can go again with ease.