From a yogic perspective, constipation can result from an over-abundance of earth element in the body, a lack of the water element, a lack of movement, and the digestive fire not burning hot enough to properly metabolize food. From an energetic and emotional perspective, hypodigestion means we are unable to process and let go of conversations, thoughts, memories, and situations. As we hold on deeply to our past, the body follows suit and undigested matter stays stagnant in the body. This week we continue our exploration of digestive health with simple proven techniques to get things moving again.
Touch tips of thumb, middle and ring fingers together, extend index and little fingers; rest back of hands on thighs.
Benefits: Eliminates toxins from the body, creates a sense of calm
Practice Tips: Use when you need to feel safe and tranquil
Contraindications: Low blood pressure
Begin lying on the back with the legs extended. Exhale draw right knees into chest and clasp the hands around shin. Exhale draw left knee into chest. Inhale return to arms overhead and legs extended. Repeat pattern with the breath for up to 3 minutes.
Therapeutics: Specifically good for constipation as this awakens the intestinal peristalsis.
Ganeshasana (Elephant Pose)
Begin standing with feet slightly wider than hips distance apart. Keeping the knees soft, begin to swing arms around the body like two elephant trunks, lightly tap the body with the hands wherever they land as you twist right and left. Go faster or slower depending on how it feels to you for about 1 minute. Then slow down the swinging until you are again standing still.
Benefits: Increases circulation of blood and lymph throughout the body, awakens the energy and detoxifies the abdominal organs.
Lie on the belly with a rolled up hand towel under the lower abdomen, right above the pubic bone. Place the forehead on the stacked hands with the elbows out to the sides. Rest in this position for up to 5 minutes directing the breath into the lower back and belly.
I attend Cheryl's class regularly and feel that my practice has improved immensely over the past few years due to her expert coaching. Her teaching style is clear and compassionate and her previous experience in teaching adults is evident in her organized approach and easy to understand instructions. I also appreciate that Cheryl not only teaches us about how to correctly position ourselves, but also touches on many aspects of yoga philosophy, which in turn has deepened my personal practice and heightened my awareness of the connection between mind and body, breath and relaxation.