Constipation is one of the most common gastrointestinal complaints caused by unhealthy eating habits and sedentary lifestyle. As food moves through the colon, the colon absorbs water from the food while it forms waste products, or stool. Muscle contractions in the colon then push the fecal matter toward the rectum. By the time the fecal matter reaches the rectum it is hard. Constipation occurs when the colon absorbs too much water or if the colon’s muscle contractions are slow, causing the stool to move through the colon too slowly. In this condition, bowel movement is irregular, painful or bowels are not emptied completely when it moves. If such problem remains untreated for longer time, it can cause serious health disorders. Yoga can provide an effective remedy for constipation. With the regular practice of asanas the muscles of large intestine become stronger and help in easy waste elimination. Yoga asanas massages and stretches the abdominal organs to help reduce constipation.
Yoga Techniques for curing constipation
For vajrasana go down on your knees with legs together and toes pointing out behind you, and sit back on your heels. Your big toes should touch with heels apart, and the spine should be straight. It is important to keep the spine, the neck and the head, upright in one straight line in this Asana. This is vajrasana. After a little practice, this Asana can be maintained for a long time. In the daily routine it should be kept for five minutes to experience good results. With more practice it can be kept for three hours. Now for supta vajrasana start from Vajrasana. Slowly take the help of right elbow, then left elbow and place them on the ground towards backside. Slowly straighten you hands and completely lie on your back. Shoulders should rest on the ground. Beginners may keep their hands on respective thighs. Knees should remain together. Beginners may keep their knees apart if they find it difficult to keep them together. After practicing this position well, making the shape of a scissor with both hands bring them under the shoulders. Right hand will remain under left shoulder and left under the right, head in the middle of them. While returning to the original position, first take out your hands and place it by the side of your body. Now, with the help of elbows sit as in the first position. Those feeling trouble while practicing even Vajrasana, should not resort to the practice of this Asana.
Ardha Matsyendrasana begins from the sitting resting position. Sit extending both the legs together in front, hands by the side, palms resting on the ground. Fold the right leg at knee. Slowly set the right heel at the perineum. Now folding the left leg, bringing it from above the right knee, places it by its side on the ground. The knee of the left leg should remain towards sky. Now bring the right hand on the left side of the left knee. The left knee should remain at the left side of the right armpit. Now straighten the right hand and hold the toe or ankle of the left leg. Twisting the body to the left side, look backwards, place the left hand bringing it from the back on the right thigh. Gaze should be towards back. While returning to the original position, first release the hand from the thigh and turn head forward. Now bring the back to normal position after loosening the right hand. Bring the left leg in original position. Now bring the right leg also original position. Repeat it similarly from the other side by folding the left leg first. It is very beneficial for the muscles of shoulder and back but those suffering from stiffness in spine should practice it very carefully.
Lie flat on the stomach on the mat with legs straight, feet together, toes facing outside, and forehead on the floor. Keep the palm on the ground beside the chest. Inhale slowly and raise the hand and trunk as in the shape of hood of the Cobra. Hold the position as long as you can, without experiencing any difficulty. Now exhale, while lowering the body. Repeat 3-5 times.
Lie flat on the stomach with the legs and feet together, and the arms and hands beside the body. Bend the knees and bring the heels close to the buttocks. Clasp the hands around the ankles. Place the chin on the floor. This is the starting position. Tense the leg muscles and push the feet away from the body. Arch the back, lifting the thighs, chest and head together. Keep the arms straight. In the final position the head is tilted back and the abdomen supports the entire body on the floor. The only muscular contraction is in the legs; the back and arms remain relaxed. Hold the final position for as long as is comfortable and then, slowly relaxing the leg muscles lower the legs, chest and head to the starting position. Release the pose and relax in the prone position until the respiration returns to normal. Repeat this pose 2 to 3 times.
This posture can be performed while sitting or standing. Take a deep breath. Exhale completely until no air is left in your lungs and belly. In both, the standing and sitting position you should place your hands on your knees and lean forward during exhalation which will help you to press all air out. After exhalation, hold your breath and contract your belly muscles so that your navel is pulled further inside and up, towards your middle back. Stay in that position until you feel like inhaling. For coming out of the yoga pose relax your belly muscles and straighten your body with inhalation. There are a few important points to remember when beginning the practice of Uddiyana Bandha: perform it only on an empty stomach, and only after an exhalation, never before an inhalation. While doing Uddiyana Bandha always keep your chin down touching the chest but in the case of having cervical problem the gap of one fist should remain. Don’t do this Bandha if you have a hernia or serious heart or abdominal problems. Please take care not to overwork or cross your limits. It could make you dizzy and you even lead to fainting, if you don’t listen to your body.