Ayurveda and Bowel Health

South Park Cartoon

How many times have you done a great poo and felt a sense of lightness and relief? Ayurveda states that suppressing our natural urges, lack of exercise and poor digestion from an incompatible diet weakens bowel health and decreases immunity. It is so important to teach children (and yourselves) about the benefits of a good elimination. Often children joke and tell stories about the poo and farts because it is such a taboo subject. I do like the SouthPark character Mr Hankey the Christmas poo.

The quality of your day depends on the quality of your morning poo!

Zoe – Yoga Ayurveda Therapist
The gut is the 2nd brain

If you don’t eliminate completely toxins will build up in your body.  This will affect the whole of your body and mind. If you eliminate too frequently then you are missing out on valuable nutrients. These nutrients from your food give energy and increase your immunity. Bowel health is one of the most important aspects of Ayurveda, At Yoga Works for Over 40s we combine the teachings of Yoga with Ayurveda to provide a natural way to improve your health and wellbeing.

Poor diet affects decreases your immunity

Eating foods that don’t suit your body type, or incompatible combinations or at the wrong time or in the wrong way are a leading factor. Ayurveda has eating guidelines based on your dosha and Yoga provides the means to connect with body sensations. Each person has a unique body type and not one diet suits all people despite what the media tells us. Wrong food types can cause many problems such as halitosis, bloating, insomnia, pain and gas.

Eat fresh foods that suit your digestion

Lack of water increases constipation

Another cause for constipation is a lack of water consumption. Often we find people will drink everything except water. Warm water is soothing for the digestive system and keeps the digestive fire strong. Cold drinks, aerated soft drinks, juices, and other beverages contain high quantities of artificial ingredients including sugar. They may appear to quench the thirst but often do the exact opposite and create dehydration.

Toxicity absorbs into the blood via the enteric cycle due to not enough water in the diet. As a result ama, or toxins, accumulate in the colon, creating a. This lack of water will also allow toxins to dry out and constipate the colon. This dryness encourages toxins to adhere to the intestinal wall, supporting further constipation and malabsorption. The body needs water to circulate around the body and the first place it will take it from is the bowel. This means we are a walking cess pit. No wonder people suffer halitosis.

A balanced agni is important for bowel health

ayurveda bowel health

Ayurveda tells us that we need a strong digestive fire to cook the food so it can pass through the body.

The agni the digestive fire and is weakened by not only our diet but our lifestyle. For instance, if we allow ourselves to get too cold, tired or stressed out.

The teachings of Yoga and Ayurveda therapy focus on rebalancing the agni. A strong fire will cook the food to pass through the body. Without this food processing it can often sit in the colon for long periods of time building toxins.

The doshas Vata Pita and Kapha each have their own level of digestive fire or agni. We find the vata person has a weak agni and needs to be vigilant to keep the fire burning via their diet, lifestyle and exercise. Living in a cold climate, travelling or being in stressful situations will disturb the agni. A kapha person has a sluggish digestive fire and the wrong foods and sedentary lifestyle weaken it further. The pita person has a strong digestive fire, and they need to keep an eye on their stools to ensure they are not missing out on valuable nutrients.

How constipation manifests poor bowel health

How the constipation will manifest, whether it be Vata, pitta or Kapha will have a lot to do with the individual’s body type, the season, the geographical location, and of course the specific imbalances. The Ayurveda treatments to increase bowel health will vary from one individual to another. If not corrected the prana will drain from the Vata person and this supports vital neurological and mental functions. When this happens constipation can grow into lower back pain, headaches, dizziness, chronic fatigue, anxiety, worry, insomnia, and depression.

Ama, Agni and Ayurveda constipation

ayurveda bowel health

Poorly digested food is termed ama. Ama clogs the channels in the body giving rise to disease. The clogging can cause lethargy, dullness and heaviness. Worse is is a precursor of illness. It is well knows in Western medicine that circulating toxins usually originates in the digestive system. Ama contributes to the early stage of many diseases and reducing ama is crucial.

Treatment for constipation is relatively simple

Special Note:  In all therapies for Vata, Pitta, or Kapha constipation there should not be a continuous laxative effect. If there is such an effect, then take less of the recommended therapy. If after two weeks of the therapy there is no natural improvement then the dosages can be increased.

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