Yogic Management Of Constipation

By Dr. Rita Khanna

Constipation is a very common complaint. It occurs due to disturbance of the lower digestive tract & majority of us face this problem at some point in time in our lives. The problem starts with the stool becoming hard and the person is unable to pass it with ease. If not taken care of, this condition turns chronic and is the chief cause of many diseases since it produces toxins, which find their way into the blood stream and are carried to all parts of the body.

The body begins to be poisoned by the build-up of its own wastes, which results in weakening of the vital organs and lowering of the resistance of the entire system. The gas produced in the stomach due to constipation causes pain in the knees, backache, rheumatism and other pains. Some of the common diseases connected with constipation are piles, peptic ulcers and acidity.

Yoga & Constipation

Good health, high vitality and freedom from diseases demand that the wastes must be expelled regularly and efficiently. Yogasana, Pranayama, Kriyas, Mudras & Bandhas are helpful to eliminate wastes & heal many problems and ailments. Yoga is a science whose power is infinite. The problem of constipation can easily be solved by regular practice of this science.

If balanced diet and plenty of fluids can also be combined with Yoga techniques, results would be more prompt and better. The following Asanas have proven to be very beneficial in curing constipation as they strengthen the abdominal & pelvic muscles and stimulate the peristaltic action of the bowels. These Asanas should be practiced after drinking about two- four glasses of water.

Tadasana (The Stretch Pose)

  • Stand straight with feet about10 cms apart, arms by the sides.
  • Breathe in deeply and raise both the hands on the sides of the head in upward direction.
  • Interlock your fingers, palms facing towards the sky.
  • Exhale; place the hands on top of the head.
  • Inhale stretch the arms up over the head & slowly rise up on your toes, stretching and lengthening the abdominal area
  • Hold the position for a few seconds.
  • Exhale, bring the heels down on the floor and hands on top of the head.
  • This is one round.
  • Repeat 8 times.

Tiryaka Tadasana (Side Bending Stretch Pose)

  • Stand straight with feet about two feet apart.
  • Breathe in deeply and raise both the hands on the sides of the head in upward direction.
  • Interlock your fingers, palms are facing towards the sky.
  • Inhale, extend the spine.
  • While exhaling, bend the body to the right from the waist.
  • Hold the position for a few seconds.
  • Inhale and slowly come back to the upright position.
  • Similarly repeat the process on the left side.
  • This is one round.
  • Repeat total 8 times (each side 4 times).

Kati Chakrasana (Waist Rotating Pose)

  • Stand straight with feet about two feet apart and the arms by the sides.
  • Make fist of the right hand with thumb inside, place it in the center of the lower back, press it nicely.
  • Inhale; bring the left hand on the right shoulder.
  • Exhale, as you twist the upper body to the right side & turn your head fully to your right to look behind towards the left heel.
  • Keep the feet firmly on the ground while twisting.
  • Hold the position for a few seconds.
  • Inhale and return to the staring position.
  • Similarly repeat the process on the left side.
  • Inhale and return to the staring position.
  • This is one round.
  • Repeat total 8 times (each side 4 times).

Ashva Sanchalana Mudra (Tiryaka Bhujangasana)

  • Lie with forehead down on the stomach with feet about half a metre apart, heels should be on top and toes are curled under, hands directly under the chest.
  • Now inhale and raise the head forward.
  • Exhale, Twist the head and upper portion of the body to the right shoulder and look over the shoulder at the left heel.
  • Try to feel a diagonal stretch of the abdomen.
  • Relax the back and keep the navel as close to the floor as possible.
  • Stay in the final position for a few seconds.
  • Inhale; bring the face forward again.
  • Exhale, twist to the other side without coming back to the floor.
  • Inhale & return to the centre and exhale as you lower the body to the floor.
  • This is one round.
  • Repeat total 8 times (each side 4 times).

Udarakarshankriya (The Abdominal Massage Pose)

  • Sit in squatting position with feet apart & the hands on the knees.
  • Inhale; bring the right knee to the floor near the left foot, pressing the stomach with the left thigh.
  • While doing so push the left knee towards the right.
  • Exhale, turn the head towards the left side and look over the shoulder.
  • Stay in the final position for a few seconds.
  • Inhale and come back to the starting position.
  • Similarly repeat on the right side.
  • Inhale and come back to the starting position
  • This is one round.
  • Repeat total 8 times (each side 4 times).

After completing the exercises if you feel that you are still not getting the pressure to relieve yourself, then drink water again & do the same exercises.

Dietary Guidelines

  • Taking a glass of lemon water (lukewarm) with one / two teaspoons honey after waking up helps the bowels to clean.
  • Before breakfast, one can have raw veg juice (lauki, carrot – anyone of these)
  • For breakfast, one should have dry fruits such as munacca and figs soaked in water overnight in a glass container. The water in which they are soaked should also be drunk.
  • In addition, one can have seasonal fruits (pears, papaya, apricot, orange, apple, pineapple, grapes, melon, muskmelon, raspberry, guava, pomegranates, mangoes, and musambi). Eating one variety of fruit each time is more beneficial.
  • For lunch, one should take chapattis (black channa flour 80%+ wheat flour 20 %) / chapattis of wheat flour with extra bran & seasonal vegetables (lauki, cauliflower cabbage, carrot, leafy vegetable, turnip, peas, french beans, pumpkin). Salad in any quantity (onion, cucumber, tomatoes, sprouts, carrots, beetroots, cabbage) & curd or buttermilk of skimmed milk. One can have salad before lunch also.
  • For dinner, same as lunch / sweet dalia without milk or salty dalia with vegetables / salad + soup.
  • Before going to bed, take hot milk with munacca / mixing 2-3 tsp of isabgol in milk or warm water / plain hot water is also useful.

Further Recommendations

  • Drink water as much as possible during whole day other than at mealtime. We can have soup, buttermilk along with the meals. After half an hour of completion of meals, certainly plain water can be taken. Don’t take chilled water and chilled drinks as far as possible. The food doesn’t get digested rapidly due to that and the possibility of constipation increases.
  • We should not take meals unless the previously taken food is digested. One should give a gap of minimum 3 hours between breakfast and lunch & of 6 hours between lunch & dinner. In between, one can have lots of warm water, thin buttermilk, salads & fruit. One should have early and light dinner. Usually the common vegetarian diet gets digested within 4 to 6 hours. However, some contents of the non-vegetarian diet remains in the stomach and intestine even up to three days & get putrefied.
  • We should eat food consciously, peacefully and without speaking. When we chew the food properly, it will be wet when it enters the stomach & this would help in easing the problem of constipation to a large extent.
  • Form the habit of visiting the toilet at a regular and appointed hour in the morning and in the evening even if you may not have the urge to void your bowels. Of course you should on no account exert yourself or strain the intestines to effect the evacuation.
  • Never lie down or go to sleep immediately after eating. It will be a wonderful help in digestion of the food by sitting in Vajrasana for fifteen to twenty minutes after meals.
  • Remember constipation does not trouble people who are physically active. In case of chronic constipation through overhauling of the whole system under expert guidance is very helpful.
  • Avoid excessive worry, anger, tension, jealousy and hurrying.

In case of any queries, contact:
Dr, Rita Khanna
2nd floor, Plot#22, Suman Housing Colony, West Marredpally Secunderabad-500026
Mobile: 09849772485 Ph:-040-65173344
Email: ritukhanna57@hotmail.com
The Yoga Studio is open 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Dr. Rita Khanna

Dr. Rita Khanna is a well-known name in the field of Yoga and Naturopathy. She was initiated into his discipline over two decades ago by world famous Swami Adyatmananda of Sivananda Ashram in Rishikesh.

She believes firmly that Yoga is a scientific process, which helps us to lead a healthy and disease-free life. She is also actively involved in practicing alternative medicines like Naturopathy. Over the years, she has been successfully practicing these therapies and providing succour to several chronic and terminally ill patients.

At present, Dr. Rita Khanna is teaching Yoga in Secunderabad. She has been treating and curing various diseases and disorders through Yoga, Diet and Naturopathy and has been achieving tremendous satisfaction in disseminating this virtue.

Yoga Ethics for Instructors

By Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

No overruling organization for Yoga instructors determines official or professional behavior standards. Yoga professionals still debate over where certain lines should be drawn. Yet, certain ethics are inherent in the Yogic path, and Yoga instructors will do well to adhere to them.

The most important thing to remember, as a Yoga teacher, is that you are helping to shape the well-being of your students, through your instruction. Respect the place that you occupy as a teacher. Instructors have to keep a tenuous balance that can be quite difficult. A balance must be found between healthy objectivity and the role of a transcendental guide.

Each student is on his, or her, own path to wholeness. This wholeness involves a self-realization of physical and emotional matters, often leading to charged feelings within Yoga students. The focus of a Yoga instructor should be to allow students to seek, and find, solutions to meet their own needs, in the learning process. Instructors must not focus on their own desires; otherwise, the growing process of both the students and the instructors will be stunted.

The nature of a Hatha Yoga class is intimate. There is a great deal of focus on the body, opening of the body, and a measure of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual release. Instructors may have to touch their students to physically assist or correct a physical posture.

All of the students are paying close attention to the movements of the instructor. Some students will become infatuated, or attached, as they associate their release of tension, and spiritual growth, with that person. A compassionate Yoga instructor is a guide, who shows his or her students, that the true teacher is already within each student.

The mission of a Yoga instructor should be to serve the needs of the students in the class. This cannot be accomplished if intimate relationships are being cultivated with students, and unhealthy emotions blur the student-teacher boundary.

Some instructors are not prepared to guard against the ego in these situations and may give into the temptations presented to them. This not only dominates the nature of the classroom, but also damages the purpose and reputation of our Yoga practice.

Ego also gets in the way of Yoga instruction, when teachers do not recognize the point where they may not be trained enough to meet the specific needs of each Yoga student. On the other hand, instructors should not abandon or neglect students.

In case of special needs: If the teacher does not have solutions, students should always be referred to another instructor, or class, which allows them to find answers and to get the most from their Yoga instruction.

The Yoga studio needs to be a safe place for everybody, regardless of where they are in their own lives. The instructor is responsible for creating and maintaining a safe environment.

The Yoga Sutras, which are at the core of Yoga ethics, have eight branches, or arms. The personal and social ethics that apply most substantially to Yoga instruction are Yama and Niyama. These ethics require tolerance, peacefulness, honesty, acceptance, truthfulness, temperance, and restraint.

Niyama sets forth the goals of purity, contentment, self-study, and dedication to holiness. These essential ethics cannot be upheld if instructors do not seek them. Ahimsa, peacefulness, requires us to do no harm. A teacher will cause some grief if he, or she, becomes personally, and intimately, involved with a student.

In today’s environment, it is commonplace to see that the “exercise” portion of Yoga is often separated from the rest of Yoga. The classes tend to be body-centric, and avoid, or eliminate, altogether, the importance of ethics, philosophy, and spirituality, which have been a part of Yoga for its 5,000 year history.

Without the ethical, philosophical, and spiritual elements, the complete benefits and true core of Yoga are missing. The same can be said of actions taken by Yoga instructors that selfishly put the needs of the teacher first.

© Copyright 2008 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications