Small Yoga Moves That Make a Big Difference Part 2:

The amount of stress we are under has a direct impact on our digestive system. When we are in flight or fight mode, our sympathetic nervous system is dominant. The body automatically prepares to bare down for combat. Blood is sent to the brain for quick thinking, and then to our muscles for fast running.

Digestion gets put on the back burner as we have a limited resource of energy and we have unconsciously prioritized that running and thinking are more important right now.

This is a normal and healthy response to stress. But when stress doesn’t go away and the sympathetic nervous system does not fall back into balance with the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and relax mode), we begin to see the all too-recognizable symptoms: bloating, gas, constipation, insomnia, Truly every woman’s nightmare.  disorders and general anxiety.

These ailments can be effectively treated without the use of drugs that come with unwanted side effects. Slow deep breathing on a daily basis resets the nervous system, calming the sympathetic and stimulating the parasympathetic system. Most Western doctors will not tell you about the power of “the breath” because no one can make any money from it.

Dr. Andrew Weil studied at Harvard and has practiced yoga since the 70s. He’s been prescribing slow yoga breathing to treat common, stress-induced ailments for years. He has had success curing high blood pressure, panic disorders, irregular heart beats, chronic cold hands and cold feet, acid reflux, constipation and ulcers with a prescribed regimen of slow deep breath.

Taking the time for slow, full breathing is a powerful way to allow your body to return to its natural state of ease. Coupling that with this yoga position that twists the abdomen will help to move things along, so to speak.

By twisting the tissues and organs of the digestive system, you press partially digested food along the intestinal tract towards the organs of elimination.

The neutral posture shown here with the legs pulled into the chest between twists is amazingly effective in helping with digestive problems.  Bonus (we think): the pressure of the thighs against the abdomen will relieve gas.

I know – not very glamourous. But it will relieve you of your puffy belly so you can get on with being fabulous.


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