Yoga Can Drive Acidity Away
Heart Burn is caused by an acid reflex from the stomach into the esophagus, situated around the throat under the epiglottis or voice-box and can be a cause for concern sometimes, as it is felt as a painful burning sensation in the chest. Commonly known as acidity, chronic heart burn can sometimes cause major problems. Garlic and onions, chocolate and peppermint, coffee – caffeinated products, citrus fruits, tomatoes and alcohol can be the common causes of acidity. Certain medicines, smoking, insomnia, fatty and oily foods – vegetarian or non vegetarian over stimulates the stomach acid and it is best to cut out some of these items from your daily routine and lessen the intake of the others. We must understand our limitations and take things slowly, whatever the gradual effect.
Breathing exercises, heal and strengthen the body getting rid of minor as well as chronic issues. In an extreme case one must avoid lying down for atleast two to three hours post your meal. The only way to get around heartburn for regular sufferers is to ensure you make some small changes in your lifestyle and environment, by doing a couple of yogic exercises to alleviate the condition and also practicing breath control to steady your reflexes.
A particular style of breathing can be practiced to lessen the effects of the problem, thereby, getting rid of the disease all together. It is important to seek help from a doctor of naturopathy or homeopathy or even tap into the ancient system of Ayurveda to dissolve the irregularity in the body’s activity and have respite from a heartburn attack. That, coupled with breath and light exercise should get you well on your way to feeling energetic and like your usual self again. This particular breathing technique is a pranayama that uses 4 facets of the breath, namely inhalation, retention, exhalation and suspension. The technique for it is as follows:
After breathing in, briefly pause and retain the breath within the body. Then exhale fully and briefly pause having suspended the breath after breathing out, emptying your lungs of all the air.
The Seated Chair Twist
When it comes to correcting your posture so as to minimize the symptoms of heartburn, grab a chair, sit sideways to the right with the back of the chair to your right side and right shoulder, then grab the back of your chair with both hands, fingers pointing away from you. Now, look to the right shoulder, twisting your spine and keeping your feet at a level where they are completely flat on the floor. If this is not possible, use a folded blanket under your feet knees perfectly stacked over the ankle, feet together. When you are inhaling and twisting keep your back, stretched tall, keep your chin parallel to the floor. Beginners can exhale after twisting to the right, twisting even further back, and then make sure, within, the same breath to return to the starting position. Avoid going beyond your comfort zone, and then combine 3 breaths within this one spinal twist. Each time you exhale you twist even farther. On the final round you can hold the twist for about 4-6 breaths. Relax for a few breaths in between, keeping your hands on your knees as you repeat the same sequence on the left side. This posture gently stimulates the energy in the stomach viz. the samana prana located in this region. Incidently the samana is the prana of transformation, creating vitality and balance.
The second asana that could prove to be invaluable to those suffering from chronic heartburn is, the Sitting Fold which is about stretching your hips and lower back. To practice this, sit with the left half of your body facing the back of the chair, inhale and keep your fingers together and place your hands gently on your knees. Relax your elbows. This is a forward bending exercise, that compresses the abdomen, where you are leaning forward, head hanging downward, resembling a rag doll. Let the whole body hang limp.
Slowly slide your hands down the front of the legs, stretching forward from the lower back first and as you bend forward your chest towards your knees ,let your head dangle downward. Body hunched over the legs, completely relaxed. Your fingers reach for the floor, all this on the exhalation. Hold the posture briefly and on the next inhalation roll back up, torso, head and arms; Repeat 4-6 times. Relax in the starting position for a few minutes with eyes closed after completion of the exercise, breathing normally.
Practice these yogasanas a couple of times a day and bid your heartburn goodbye!