Soothe Your Acid Reflux And Prevent GERD With This Yoga Series


Abdominal muscles & acidity

If you have ever suffered from acid reflux, acid reflux, or even heartburn, you know the symptoms well: a searing pain that shoots out of your stomach into your throat after a night of overindulgence (perhaps that second helping of lasagna along with a generous piece of tiramisu was not a good idea after all), coupled with an acrid acidic taste in the back of the mouth, nausea, and sometimes even neck and upper back pain. Sometimes acid reflux is really not your fault. It happens due to a stomach abnormality called a hiatal hernia. In this condition, the top part of the stomach and the LES squeezes over the diaphragm. This is a muscle that is supposed to maintain the abdomen separated from the torso. Even though most hiatal hernias are asymptomatic, some do trigger acid reflux symptoms by allowing stomach acid to move up into the esophagus more readily.

Read more about how Yoga can help GERD.

Yoga is useful in managing and preventing GERD by cleansing and detoxifying the internal digestive organs, while creating deep relaxation, which can help counter acidity in the body.

Yoga poses for acidity

Everybody responds differently to yoga. If a move does not feel comfortable or if it makes your acid reflux worse, you do not have to keep doing this. Adding yoga to your treatment program should help alleviate stress and improve your problem. You may have the ability to help the signs of several digestive issues by practicing yoga. The yoga poses listed below can help reduce acidity.

1. Marjaryasana (cat/cow pose)
The Marjaryasana or the cat/cow pose will improve the blood flow in the human body and massage the digestive organs. This pose will stretch and relax your body.
Follow these steps: Start by standing on all fours with your palms under your shoulder and the knees below your hips. Now, inhale and lift your chin and tail bone up. Push your belly toward the ground. Exhale and round your spine, tilting your head and tail bone down towards the ground. Your pubic bone ought to be drawn forward. Now come back to the initial position. Repeat these 2 steps around five times.

2. Vajrasana (Thunder bolt present )
Doing vajrasana immediately following your meal can enable you to digest the food properly and protect against acidity. This asana will improve blood flow in the gut and stomach, improving the digestion procedure.

Follow these steps: Start kneeling down on the ground. Now sit back on your heels. Keep your spine and head straight and your hands on the knees. Hold this position for around ten minutes and focus on your breathing. Return to your normal sitting position.

3. Paschimottanasana (Forward flex pose)
Paschimottanasana or the Forward flex pose is an fantastic yoga pose for the abdominal organs. This pose is not only going to help the organs to function properly and treat digestive problems but will also regulate the menstrual cycle and reduce the belly fat.

Follow these steps: Start by sitting down on the floor with your legs extended in front of you and palms on the side. Ensure that your heart is engaged and the spine is straight. Now stretch your hands and attempt to touch your feet. If you're comfortable here, then try to maintain them. Hold this position for approximately five minutes and then come back to the initial position. Do this about 10 times. 

4. Supta Badhakonasana (Reclining butterfly present )
The reclining butterfly present or the Supta badhakonasana is a powerful asana to cool down your body. Additionally it is an effective asana for treating PCOS.

Follow these steps: Begin by lying back on the ground with your feet stretched. Now, bend your knees and combine the bottoms of your feet. Bring the heels closer to your pelvic region and engage your abs. Keep your hands on your sides with the palms pressed into the ground. Hold this position for approximately three minutes and go back to the first position.

5. Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half spinal twist pose or Half lord of the fishes present )
Ardha Matsyendrasana is among the greatest yoga asanas for detoxification of the body. It will enhance blood circulation, improve digestion, eliminate the toxins and reduce acidity.

Follow these steps: Start by sitting directly with your legs extended in front of you. Keep your spine straight and your hands on the sides. Now, fold your left knee and bring your left foot close to the pelvic area like the crossed leg position. Bend your right knee and bring the right foot over the left knee. Your right foot should be close to your left knee. Now, twist your upper body and bring your left arm across your knee. You may keep your right arm on your side or on your back. Hold this position for about a minute and return to the first position. Repeat it on the opposite side. Practice Ardha Matsyendrasana for 10 breaths on each side daily.
Practice Downward Energy Breath as long as you like daily. 

Make sure you keep your posture upright or angled upward while practicing yoga. Lying down flat or practicing inversions can aggravate acid reflux. Also, be sure not to eat right before practicing yoga or right before bed, as this also creates acid reflux issues.

Yoga studies for digestive health

Clinical research has shown that yoga, used in combination with medication for acid reflux, is very helpful for relieving symptoms associated with GERD. In a Case Report, researchers studied those with severe symptoms of GERD.  They found regular and proper utilization of the Yoga combined with PPI can control the acute symptoms of GERD and can avoid or delay the requirement of invasive procedures. This evidence-based case report concentrates on the effects of Yoga on GERD. The case report showed that regular practice of Kapalbhati and Agnisar kriya along with PPI, patients with hiatal hernia had progress in severe symptoms of GERD, which were initially refractory to PPI alone.Clinical research has shown that yoga, used in combination with medication for acid reflux, is very helpful for relieving symptoms associated with GERD.


References:

Kaswala D, Shah S, Mishra A, et al. Can yoga be used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease?. Int J Yoga. 2013;6(2):131–133. doi:10.4103/0973-6131.113416 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3734640/


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