Last week, I discussed the digestive organs and the anatomy of the abdomen. This week, I’ll outline some techniques to help your organs do their job more efficiently.
The success of our digestive system depends on food being able to pass through the tubes unrestricted. Chronic abdominal tension reduces our ability to digest, assimilate, and metabolize our food. Even though the digestive processes of our stomach and intestines are out of our conscious control, we can deliberately relax the abdomen to help free up the flow.
Try the following moves to help your food move!
1. Induce the relaxation response before and after eating.
Before eating, sit and breathe deeply to prime your body for digestion. Deep breathing will down regulate the nervous system before, during, and after eating. And it’s easier to feel satisfaction before getting too full. Many of us eat on the run, but for one meal day, chill for at least 20 minutes after to rest and digest.
2. Eat without distractions.
Stimulus from our environment can trigger fight or flight reactions. Like checking email. There may be that one message lurking in our inbox that prompts a load of to-dos. Focus on your food. Chew thoroughly to tire your jaw muscles. Realign your head from forward head position for ease of swallowing. Taste the subtle flavors of your meal.
3. Teach the muscles to relax with Yoga Tune Up® techniques.
Constant stress reinforces abdominal muscle contraction. Therefore, it might feel unfamiliar to relax the abdomen. The muscles need to relearn the sensation.
- Use the Courgeous® Ball for Global Shear on the Abdomen. (But not with a full stomach – unless you want to learn how your abs help with puking.)
- Practice Bridge Lifts with Uddiyana.
Feel how that goes down and tune in for the next installment on proper elimination posture.