Connect your senses with the ancient Indian practice of Yoga. This practice boosts health and immunity while connecting the brain, limbs, organs, and muscles, allowing them to openly communicate.
The recognition that comes with quieting the mind through yoga can surface pains and discomforts enclosed within the body leading to faster diagnosis and healing.
While this is just the beginning of the process, doing yoga daily comes with a hoard of benefits, even combating some of the peskiest problems that seem to have no solution.
Among these is acid reflux, a problem that affects a large portion of the population due to stress and unhealthy eating practices.
Though changes in diet also need to take place, some yoga poses can help battle the symptoms and frequency of acid reflux.
What Causes Acid Reflux?
One of the major causes of acid reflux is said to be diet and lifestyle. Some foods, beverages, and habits do not allow proper closing of the sphincter which encloses acid in the stomach.
When this happens, it can feel like a fire is building up in your body causing a burning sensation in the esophagus and throat.
This is not the only cause, sometimes medication is to blame or other times it is due to a deformity in the stomach where medication is usually prescribed.
Other reasons can be stress, as this upsets many regulated bodily functions including digestion, creating these uncomfortable symptoms.
Most of the time the symptoms cause a burning sensation that can travel up to the throat causing nausea and heartburn. This buildup can lead to burping that becomes painful as the acid begins to bubble.
Before beginning the practices of yoga, it can be a great idea to take a step back and analyze your lifestyle attempting to uncover the root of the problem and create healthier lifestyle practices.
How Can Yoga Help?
In a study on GERD found that, practicing yoga in conjunction with medications can control or lessen symptoms related to Acid reflux.
Yoga puts one in touch with sensations of the body and can calm nerves and quiet the busy mind. The first and most important part of incorporating a yoga routine suitable for acid reflux management is to set a routine.
This will help you stick with it rather than making excuses and avoiding the practice.
Try and shoot for at least 3 times a week to control moderate occurrences increasing the days the more serious your reflux tends to be.
The most important part of yoga is breath, and this is where you will need to start, making sure to take in deep breaths, hold for a few counts, and then exhale deeply, calming nerves and cleansing the body. Try and take 5 minutes before beginning the practice to just breathe.
Lie on your back and let tensions sink into the earth or sit in a meditative position with legs crossed, shoulders relaxed, and eyes closed. After this part is mastered, incorporate the following poses.
Marjariasana (Cat Pose)
Using this pose in its normal flow of cat and cow movements offers the digestive organs a massage which increases blood circulation leading to reduced symptoms of acid reflux.
Adding this into daily practices can combat many digestive disorders by giving healthy bacteria in the gut a chance to flourish.
Adho Mukha Svanasana (Down Dog)
During this pose, body weight shifts; supported mostly by limbs. This causes the core to relax and cool delivering oxygen directly to the abdomen and relieving burning sensations.
This is a common pose in most yoga flows but it can also be greatly used on its own when symptoms get to be too much. Stay in this position and breathe deep for short periods when in the middle of a flare-up.
Ardha Matsyendrasana (Spinal Twist)
Twists are one of the most effective ways to detox the body, causing organs to rid toxins. This release increases blood flow through the body sending oxygen deep into the digestive organs.
This powerful combination of bodily functions reduces acidity and when done with frequency during yoga practices makes for a healthier microbiome.
Balasana (Child’s Pose)
This pose is restorative and is the best stress reliever. Start by relaxing your forehead on the earth and letting rotating thoughts sink in.
As you relax and breathe deeply, the abdomen is massaged relieving sudden flare-ups that produce acid.
Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)
Stretching the back and abdomen muscles, this pose is a powerful acid reflux fighter. You can use this pose anytime a flare-up begins or symptoms arise.
Longer holds and deeper breaths oxygenate the abdomen further calming bubbling sensations.
While it is recommended to practice yoga daily, busy schedules and life can get in the way of routines.
The poses mentioned above can be added into traditional yoga flows or can also be done on their own anytime relief from symptoms is needed.
Frequently holding these powerful poses may reduce the need for medication in the case of moderate symptoms.
Those who suffer from severe or frequent symptoms of acid buildup will benefit from more frequent practice and should try to integrate these 5 moves into daily exercise routines.
Live a Healthier Life
There is no cure for acid reflux but, there are several practices you can incorporate into your life that will help promote healthy digestion and stomach health.
Once you take an analytical look at your lifestyle and make changes to your diet, you will begin to notice fewer flare-ups or reduction of the most problematic symptoms.
Adding in the practice of yoga will help to calm the mind and relieve stress.
Use the poses mentioned along with regular practice or use them on their own in the event of an episode to calm stomach acid and the symptoms produced when stomach muscles do not properly close.
While yoga is not a fix-all, it can make you more conscious of the choices you’re making every day causing you to be more aware and mindful of the choices you make.
Create a more balanced environment inside of your body and watch as those changes transmit into your daily life.
If you want to try and see if yoga can help treat your acid reflux symptoms, Dr. Mitravinda Savanur a certified Dietitian and an expert in Food science and Nutrition shares more tips on Yoga for Digestion to help you learn more.
- Herring, B. K. (2007, August 28). Ayurvedic practices for good digestion.
Bernstein, L. ( 2018, March, 08). Common Causes of Acid Reflux Disease
- Behl, M.S. ( 2017, september,20). Beat your Acid Reflux with Yoga: 9 poses for long-term relief
- Kaswala et al. (2013, Jul-Dec; 6) Can yoga be used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease?