A flat belly will not only change your look but also boost your confidence. Your body and mind will be exuberant if there is no digestive stress and disease
By Dr Vedamurthachar
Yoga is an ancient Indian technique to maintain balance between body and mind. Yogis understood that digestion plays a major role in proper health which can be achieved through various yoga procedures. Many issues such as lifestyle choices, emotional, psychological and physical stress have significant impact on digestion. The present lifestyles have a great effect on the psychosomatic process that can result in digestive distress and disease in the body.
The common effects of stress on the digestive system include oesophagus spasms, indigestion, nausea, diarrhoea, constipation, stomach ulcers, celiac disease and irritable bowel syndrome. This is because the physiological response under stress leads to the “flight or fight” mode in the central nervous system which reduces blood flow to the digestive system and into the major muscle groups, which has a negative impact on the contractions of the digestive muscles that help food move through the body. Hence, it is important that people should allow enough time for relaxation and rejuvenation.
Asanas have a very good impact on the soft tissues of the body. When the organs of the digestive system are allowed to stretch in all the direction, fluids in those areas are encouraged out of the tissues and new life-giving nutrients are able to circulate into the cells. In this systematic way, yoga poses massage the vital organs associated with the digestive system, stimulate the digestive muscles and increase the wave-like movements in the body.
Breathing exercises and meditation send oxygen deep into the cells of the body and help it absorb nutrients and excrete waste products thoroughly. In short, yoga practice reduces the stress response, rebalances the autonomic nervous system and creates a powerful relaxation response that helps improve digestion.
Fat stomach is a major obstacle in maintaining an ideal body shape. The specific abdominal asanas, cardio exercise and right diet are most effective to achieve well-toned abdominal muscles.
Here are a few common yoga postures which can help reduce the fat tummy
Naukasana, pavana muktasana, shalabhasana, dhanurasana, ardamatyendrasana, mandukasana, ushtrasana, sethubandasana, aswini mudra and suryanamaskara.
These postures can reduce the stomach size stretching the muscles and thereby the accumulated fat is gradually loosened and removed from the area. Kapalabhati pranayama is the most powerful breathing exercise for stomach. Of course, yoga nidra is very important at the end of the workout, which relaxes and harmonises your body and mind.
(The writer is the Director of Living well programs, Art of Living International Foundation)
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