We are currently suffering from an epidemic of digestive disorders. It is no surprise when you see how far we have come from nature. I’m talking about our food choices, the toxins we are exposed to, and just the high levels of stress we consider a ‘normal’ part of life.
GERD is one of most common digestive nightmares. It can be extremely uncomfortable and have you reaching for pharmaceuticals pretty quickly. Instead, I want to show you a yoga for gerd flow as a natural cure and a way to soothe the mind body. Keep in mind, that the gut is our second brain. A not so sound quality of mind can often show up as a range of gut issues! This article will introduce a series of asana that are designed to help reduce the symptoms of GERD; with the hope of providing a more natural remedy as opposed to over the counter drugs.
Five poses will be demonstrated and you will learn how it is they can support this uncomfortable disorder. Treating the body naturally when possible, is always the best option. Gentle yoga combined with conscious breathing can really be a wonderful tool to calm down the body and the mind in times of distress.
TRAINING TYPE: FLOW SEQUENCE
PLANNED TIME:10-15 MIN
What is Gerd?
GERD – Gastroesophageal reflux disease. This is when there is acid in the stomach that comes up into the esophagus and creates a burning sensation in the chest and throat. It is more commonly known as acid reflux or heartburn and is extremely unpleasant. This article is designed to give you the option of a more natural way to treat the body as opposed to harsh pharmaceutical drugs.
Practicing yoga and conscious deep breathing regularly improves digestive functioning. It ensures that there is fresh blood being pumped into this area to keep things moving and from getting stagnant. The following poses work to stretch and massage the digestive organs.
Yoga For Gerd Infographic
(Top 5 Yoga Poses For Gerd)
Cat Pose - Marjariasana
Push down into the palms and round the upper back to settle into Cat Pose. Be as dramatic as you can be, puffing up through the shoulder blades with the chin down to the chest. Draw the navel to spine and send your awareness and breath to the core.
Cat Pose increases flexibility of the neck, shoulders, and spine and is a great pump for the digestive system as it massages the internal organs.
Downward Facing Dog - Adho Mukha Svanasana
Tuck the toes, send the hips high and push back into Downward Facing Dog.
Downward Facing Dog as a follow up to Cat Pose is an opportunity to release any tension in the belly, while stretching the body from feet to hands.
Extended Child's Pose - Balasana
Drop the knees as wide as your mat, bring the big toes together to touch and sit the hips back on the feet. Allow the belly to fall in between the space of the thighs. Forehead comes down to the mat and extend the arms pressing down into the palms.
When working with digestive disorders, you want to take the knees wide in your Extended Child’s Pose, so that the belly can really hang down. Send the breath down into this space and let it be soft and relaxed.
Half Lord of the Fishes - Ardha Matsyendrasana
Extend the right leg along the mat, bend the left knee up and bring the left sole of the foot across. There is option to bend the bottom knee to stack the knees or you can leave this leg extended. Take the left hand behind to the base of the spine and the wrap the right elbow around the left knee. Twist to the left, opening the chest, the neck, the head. You can even turn the gaze to stretch the eyes. Repeat on the other side.
Twisting the abdomen is great for digestive discomfort, as when you release the pose you are sending a fresh rush of blood into the area and boosting circulation and purification.
Wind Relieving Pose - Pavana Muktasana
Come down onto your back and bring the knees into the chest. Lift the shoulders up off the earth, wrap the arms around the knees and squeeze the knees together. Draw the thighs down into the belly. Rest the shoulders and the head back down on the mat, slightly tucking that chin.
Another great opportunity to compress the digestive organs and work with the breath. With each exhale pull the thighs down to massage the belly.
Featured Video: Yoga For Gerd
Pranayama for Acid Reflux
The more commonly known benefits of Breath of Fire Pranayama are the cleansing effects it can have and the increase in energy and heat in the body. What is not such common knowledge however, is the power of this Pranayama against severe symptoms of GERD and acid reflux. A 2013 study on the effects of yoga and conscious breathing, reported that regular practice can control and/or alleviate symptoms related to digestive diseases!
Breath of Fire – Kapalabhati Pranayama
Also known as the Skull Shining Breath as it is thought to purify and rejuvenate the mind and body. This Pranayama can be practiced ten times, in rounds of three or four.
Find a comfortable seat either cross legged on the floor or on a chair with the soles of the feet connecting to the earth. Brings the hands to the belly.
Inhale through the nose and fill the belly with your breath. Vigorously through the nose and draw the naval back to the spine. Continue to breathe like this, focusing on the exhales and sucking the belly back. The inhales will come naturally.
Can Yoga Help Bile Reflux?
Bile reflux is a disorder where the bile from the small intestine flows up and into the stomach and esophagus. There are a number of reasons why you could be suffering, including having a diet that is too high in fat! One of the functions of the liver, is to release bile when fat is detected, even in small amounts. So an excess amount in your food choices could be the culprit.
Stress has also been identified as being a major contributor and so this is where yoga can come in. Whatever the cause of your distress; when symptoms are severe they can include heartburn, nausea, and vomiting bile. Yoga can offer you a more natural way to soothe the body. Try these three poses to find some relief.
Seated Forward Bend – Paschimottanasna
Any pose that compresses the belly, is great for working into the abdomen, as it encourages the movement of stagnant energies. For treating bile reflux I recommend to close the eyes and really drop into the belly. It is important that you only come as far into this fold as is comfortable and allow the breath to guide you deeper.
Camel Pose – Ushtrasana
Camel Pose is very stimulating for the abdominal organs and encourages blood flow to this region. Work slowly towards the full expression, moving cautiously and listening to the body.
Diamond Pose – Vajrasana
This pose is a common asana for tackling digestive woes; it’s thought to be effective means of boosting digestion after a meal. It is very easy on the body and has a calming effect on the mind. You can spend as long as you have here, taking steady, even, natural breaths. Come out of the mind and away from worries about your reflux and let the breath be your anchor into the body.
Yoga For Strong Oesophagus
The throat and the esophagus is often overlooked. However, its role in the body is critical, as it is the beginning of the GI tract. It is also an integral part of the throat chakra and an area that is subject to both physical and emotional strain. This Chakra is our communication center and influences how we express ourselves, as well as how we able to listen and make decisions. These three poses work to activate and stimulate this area!
Plow Pose – Halasana
Send you awareness into the compression of the throat and allow this area to be soft and relaxed. As the neck compresses, the back of the neck is being opened and you are working to squeeze out any negativity.
Shoulderstand – Sarvangasana
Here you have an opportunity to reverse circulation and send fresh blood to the throat! It is a powerful pose for igniting your throat Chakra, but it also stimulates the thyroid gland. As you hang out here you are not only strengthening the legs, core and bum, but you are also opening the shoulders and neck.
Half Lord of the Fishes – Ardha Matsyendrasana
Although there is a lot of focus on the twisting going on at the core here, there is also the opportunity to really open the throat in your Half Lord of the Fishes Pose. You’re also stretching the side body, upper back and neck.
GERD and other gastrointestinal disorders are extremely common today as a result of years of poor food choices, an accumulation of toxins, excessive alcohol consumption and high stress levels. It is therefore important that we have access to natural healing protocols so as to avoid having to take over the counter drugs.
Yoga is a great tool to help relieve digestive discomfort during times of distress. At the same time is can strengthen abdominal functioning in order to prevent further flare ups. The key is to practice with consistency, so including these yoga for gerd asanas into your daily practice will have profound effects over time on overall digestion.