Transit that breaks down at the slightest annoyance, stomach that knots as soon as anxiety rises, irritable bowel syndrome with chronic pain that worsens in the event of stress … “All digestive pathologies are closely linked to emotions and stress. However, yoga acts on these two factors, ”notes Dr Lionel zCoudron, doctor and yoga teacher.
This discipline which combines work on the body, breathing and relaxation allows you to relax and remove certain functional blockages in the digestive tract and intestines. Thus, a review of studies conducted in 2016 on irritable bowel syndrome confirmed that yoga reduces symptoms but also anxiety, and improves quality of life.
Why is yoga good for the stomach?
- Yoga strengthens the parasympathetic nervous system, which ensures good digestion by stimulating motor skills and intestinal secretions.
- Full breathing exercises, such as abdominal breathing, and some forward bending postures allow you to massage the digestive organss and restart the transit.
- The twisting postures, when the bust or the legs turn to the side, they too cause a massage of the viscera. They can also remove certain minor spinal blockages responsible for pain that can be felt in the stomach.
- The inverted postures (head down, lower than the heart) lighten and stir the intestines.
- Some yoga exercises strengthen the abdominal muscles, essential to support the intestines and stimulate transit.
How long does it take to see improvement?
“In general, there is an improvement in symptoms after two to three weeks, by practicing 3 or 4 breaths or postures every day,” says Dr. Coudron. It is then necessary to continue to practice on a regular basis so as not to see the stress and the accompanying pains reinstate.
Yoga, menstrual cycle and period pain
Certain inverted postures or intense twists should be avoided because they can block bleeding.
Conversely, other gentle postures, lying on the back or bending forward, help to relieve painful cramps. Dedicated to this period, a one-week program on the smartphone app, Daily Yoga (iOs and Android, free program), and a dedicated session on the YouTube channel, Ariadne’s YogaCoaching, very educational yoga teacher.
Yoga against digestive disorders, instructions for use
- Which address ? Some 150 doctors, sophrologists and yoga teachers have been trained over two to three years to support people suffering from pathologies. “The care is very individualized and yoga exercises are always accompanied by advice on healthy living or diet,” says Dr Coudron.
For find a therapist near you: directories ofYogaTherapy Institute and some French Federation of Yogatherapy.
- How’s it going ? Count one consultation per week for a period of two to six weeks. These can be supplemented by workshops in small groups, once a week, and always accompanied by daily practice to do at home exercises recommended by the specialist.
- How much does it cost ? From 50 to 100 € per session depending on the practitioner and the region, not covered by Social Security.