The process of digestion is both mechanical and chemical in nature on the ingested food in order to derive the best possible nutrition to the health from the nutrients in the diet.
Digestive disorders are more common for many people with sedentary lifestyle and poor eating habits. The lack of strength and massage to the digestive organs leads to the health problems like constipation, indigestion, flatulence, acidity etc.
Healthy digestion is fundamental key factor for both physical and mental health. The efficiency in the digestive process contributes for the better absorption and assimilation of nutrients along with effective elimination of the wastes from the body.
Ayurveda and Yoga Training Courses play an important role in the promotion of the functional ability of the digestive organs and prevention of its diseases. Charaka Samhita one of the most ancient Sanskrit texts on Ayurveda explains the importance of the power of digestion for healthy living in the verse no 342 of chapter 28 as follows.
Strength health, longevity and vital force are depending on the digestive power and metabolism. This digestive power is sustained with the proper supply of fuel in the form of food and drinks. It will diminish upon the deprivation of the same.
Hatha yoga is one of the traditional teachings of the great sages of India for the preservation and promotion of health. Yoga principles and practices in the Curriculum of Hatha Yoga Training put great emphasis for fulfilling this objective through the proper digestion. The following five classical poses of hatha yoga are very good practices to boost the ability of digestive system.
This forward bending asana is also known as posterior stretching pose in English.It is one of the most beneficial asana for digestive process explained by Swami Swatmarama in his yogic text of Hatha Yoga Pradipika. The horizontal position of the body in the key pose ensures the rhythmic massage to the digestive organs like liver, spleen, pancreas and intestines. This stimulation owing to the improved blood circulation brings the best functional capacity to these organs. The excess abdominal fat is reduced bringing slimness to the waistline. It contributes for the effective weight loss as well as prevention and management of the obesity.The peristaltic activity prevents the possibilities of the problem of constipation. The pose activates the Manipura Chakra which is the seat of Samana prana. The healthy workings of Samana bring the results of effective assimilation of the nutrients to the body. This prevents the issues of malnutrition and debility.
This arm balancing yoga pose is well known for wonderful health benefits. It is also called as peacock pose due to the shape of the body as the peacock. It is also significant factor that it builds the digestive capacity like peacock. The purging effect due to the body weight on the arms stimulates the entire area of digestive cavity in which the visceral organs receive the rich massage and supply of blood to boost their functions. Its impacts on metabolism strongly bring the great deal of detoxification in the body. The pose is remedy for many digestive complaints such as dyspepsia, indigestion and chronic gastritis. Practice of this asana develops the harmony of vata,pitta and kapha which are the three humors of the body for good health.
This back bending asana is called as bow pose because of the shape of the body as bow in the final position. The practice generates enormous amount of intra abdominal massage to the various organs of the digestive system particularly the liver and pancreas. The stimulation of the solar plexus in this pose contributes for digestive efficiency and the effective elimination of wastes and toxins from the body. The extension of the neck stimulates the thyroid glands prompting the healthy secretions of these hormones to bring the improvement of the metabolism for ideal body weight management.
Or even the Ardha Matsyendrasana is the twisting pose which is an anti dote for many of the chronic diseases of the digestive area. The pressure exerted on account of the twisting by the heel and thigh squeezes the stagnant blood in the region of the lower abdomen and pelvis. This pose stimulates peristalsis. The practice is effective in the improvement of the Vitality of the Manipura Chakra which is instrumental to enhance the ability of digestion and assimilation of nutrients in the food.
It is an inverted posture, called as topsy turvy pose in English. The reversed position of the body brings this name. The posture improves venous return through which it contributes for the two important process of digestion. They are Assimilation of the nutrients and elimination of the wastes from the body. The regions of intestines are more prone for the congestion of the blood. This is released due to better drainage effect of the posture helping in relieving different digestive disorders. The tranquility effect on the mind and regulation of endocrinal functions are two important benefits of this pose for restoring the rhythm of digestive functions.
Hatha Yoga Sadhana considers the practices of Asana as premier curriculum among the rest of the practices and these techniques must be practiced under the guidance of the competent yoga teachers with long term dedicated practice in order to reap the best possible health benefits.
1) Hatha Yoga Pradipika Sutras Chapter I-28 &29
2) Hatha Yoga Pradipika Sutra Chapter I-31
3) Hatha Yoga Pradipika Sutra Chapter I-25
4) Hatha Yoga Pradipika Sutra Chapter I-27
5) Hatha Yoga Pradipika Sutra Chapter III-82