Upset stomach can be caused by a host of everyday occurrences; from over indulgence in food or drink, certain medications and even stress. Any of these can cause acid indigestion, ulcers and diarrhea. If we look at hyperdigestion from an energetic and emotional perspective, often times we are unable to 'sit with' our current struggles and situations and this creates a sense of wanting to rush through and ignore difficult situations by focusing on the many distractions outside rather than what we are truly thinking and feeling. This week we will focus on practices that cool and calm the digestive system.
Adho Merudanda Mudra
Make a fist and extend thumb up, keeping gentle pressure of fingernails against palm.
Rest hands on thighs palms down.
Benefits: Activates prana in the pelvis and low back
Practice Tips: Use when feeling depressed, or have digestive issues
Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)
Lie on back with knees bent and feet hips with apart. Inhale and lift hips away from floor, place block under pelvis and rest arms on floor. Hold up to 3 minutes.
Sitali or Sitakari
Curl right and left sides of tongue to form a tubular shape. Slowly draw air through tongue and feel cooling sensation of air passing through throat into lungs. Close mouth and exhale through nostrils sensing movement of warm air out of body. If you cannot curl the tongue, breathe in through closed teeth and open lips.
Benefits: Activates parasympathetic nervous system, reduces blood pressure, helpful for insomnia, reduces heat in body
Supported Seated Forward Bend
Sit cross-legged on folded blanket in front of a chair. Place bolster vertically against front of body and lean forward into bolster and chair. Turn head to side and rest for 5-10 minutes.
Benefits: Gently tractions spine and places gentle support on abdominal organs.
Flapping Fish Pose
Lie on belly with forehead supported by stacked palms. Draw right knee up towards arms and rest inner knee and foot on floor. Angle the upper body toward the right so that the right elbow reaches downward toward the right knee. Rest on each side for up to 5 minutes.
Benefits: Gently stretches and intestines providing gentle relief from digestive complaints
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.