Constipation is the result of malfunctioning of digestive system. There are several reasons attributed to constipation, the main ones being wrong eating habits and unhealthy sleep patterns, and emotional stress. These tend to disrupt the free flow of ˜prana (Sanskrit word for ˜vital life) in the body. As this flow gets disrupted, prana gets accumulated within the body, which, in-turn, disturbs the movement of ˜apana vayu (which governs the eliminative functions) thereby disturbing the bowels.
Yoga and Ayurveda offer natural cure to constipation. These simple yogic poses could help in healing constipation when practised regularly.
Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation): Surya Namaskar is an ancient system of Indian exercise. It is more of a prayer in motion. Surya Namaskar consists of a sequence of 12 poses performed together continuously with synchronized breathing.
Surya Namaskar activates almost all the glands of endocrinal system. Due to this internal activation, the pituitary, thyroid, pancreas, adrenal and other glands begin secretion of respective hormones in normal way. This posture rectifies any disorders of pancreas and liver, while curing constipation, indigestion, acidity, flatulence and intestinal disorders. It also takes away extra weight of abdominal area and strengthens spinal cord.
Dhanurasana (Bow pose): The asana is so named, as when performing this asana, the body takes the shape of a tensed bow. This asana has several benefits and is a combination of two asanas (Bhujangasana and Shalabasana). It helps strengthen kidneys, back muscles, thigh muscles, and is extremely beneficial for diabetics and for constipation problems. This pose clears the toxins in Kidneys, with even the urinary tract getting cleared due to removal of toxins. The digestive system is stimulated, relieving problems of digestion, thereby clearing constipation problems, flatulence and other digestion-related problems.
Agnisaar Kriya: This is a cleansing technique, which draws its name from Agni (fire), saar (essence) and kriya (action). Fire is the essential element of digestion, and this cleansing action stimulates this fire for digestion to work at optimum level.
To perform this asana, stand and bend forward slightly from the waist while keeping back straight. Rest your hands on your knees or just above in such a way that the back is not strained. Ensure that arums are straight. Breathe deeply. Exhale by fully contracting the abdomen so that air is expelled. Hold breath in this position, contract or ˜flap abdominal muscles in and out. But, this should be done rapidly in exhaled position without inhaling. Do this as many times as possible, and take a slow, deep breathe inside.
Agnisaar Kriya is excellent for health of abdominal organs and the digestive system. It works wonders for sluggish liver and kidneys, removes gastro-intestinal complaints such as hyperacidity and indigestion, massages abdominal organs, and is an excellent practise to develop control over the sluggish abdominal muscles and diaphragm.
Other specific recommended asanas for relief from constipation are Pavanamukta Asana, Trikonasana, Halasana, Tadasana, Mastyasana, Ardha Matsyendrasana, Pranayama “ Bhastrika with kumbhaka, Uddiyana Bandha, and Mulabandha.
Apart from the said asana and pranayama, practice of yoga nidra, concentration and meditation, yields best result.
Ayurveda recommends the following as good aids for relief from constipation.
Take the pulp of the Amaltas fruit and equal quantity of tamarind (half a teaspoon each) and soak them overnight. Mash them in the residue water and remove the seeds. Filter the preparation and drink the liquid one hour after dinner. This when done at a stretch of one month, relieves constipation.
Supplement your daily diet with coconut oil. Coconut oil could be used for cooking or baking or can be added to salads and dressings. This is considered as the easiest constipation cure.
Drinking plenty of water, green leafy vegetables, fruit, sprouted cereals, grapes, guava, papaya, orange, dates, spinach, coconut, methi seeds, cabbage, apple, cucumber, beetroot, carrot, tomato are the best diets for constipation.
Raw spinach juice when taken in the morning regularly cures even chronic constipation. Other home remedies include Triphala powder, raisins, wheat grass juice, lemon juice in warm water, Wood Apple, Figs and Walnut, all help in clearing motion.