Yoga for Nourishment: That which should be eliminated, is eliminated, Part 1

That's right, I'm talking about poop. I was on a trip recently, and as usual I got constipated from the airplane and travel. Dry weather and stress exacerbated the problem and I experienced heartburn on the other end. Not fun. In Ayurveda, healthy daily elimination is considered one of the keys to vibrant health. In my practice as a yoga teacher and a nutrition coach, I have seen the effects that long-term digestive issues can have on not only people's physical health but also on their emotional well-being.

Constipation can be caused by many things, diet, lack of exercise, stress, tension in the abdomen, dehydration, etc. There are some good natural supplements that you can use to help: Triphala, Psyllium powder, aloe vera. And, here is a fairly simple sequence to facilitate your ability to discard that which should be discarded. I am going to offer it in three parts.

Elimination, Part 1

The actions in these three standing forward bends is to move the upper front thighs back, spread sit bones apart to release the groins and allow the lower abdomen to pull up and back. The action of the lower abdomen is sometimes difficult to get at. There is a pulling back of the entire abdomen but without a grip in towards the navel. The abdomen feels like the top of a drum with the skin stretched out to the sides but a feeling of space within the interior.

“By yogic practice, the sadhaka conquers his body, controls his energy, restrains the movements of the mind and develops sound judgement, from which he acts rightly and becomes luminous.”
— B.K.S. Iyengar, Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, II.27