The beauty of yoga is that it can be practised anywhere and it really is for everybody regardless of age or ability.
Some people may be sceptical about the benefits of yoga or think it’s all about difficult poses. It’s not. A number of studies have shown that a regular yoga practice can improve strength, flexibility, balance and help to reduce stress and distress.
Given the intimate connection between your brain and your gut via the gut-brain-axis, stress can play real havoc with your gut. So you can see why yoga can be a useful habit in your IBS management toolkit.
We’ve had countless patients tell us that they’ve gained some relief from IBS symptoms through regular yoga practice.
There are 3 core elements of yoga;
1. Breathing exercises (pranayama)
2. Postures (asanas)
3. Mindfulness meditation (dhyana)
Science has shown that changing our breathing patterns by slowing and deepening the breath stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) which allows our body to ‘rest and digest’ – two key factors when it comes to managing IBS.
By simply changing your breath, you can reduce your heart rate and respiratory rate, which enables improved blood circulation to your digestive system. That’s an incredibly powerful tool to always have at your disposal.
- If beginning yoga for the first time, take part in a course with a qualified teacher, so that you can learn the correct breathing techniques & how to enter poses according to your ability
- Adopt a regular practice, 10-15 minutes a day is more beneficial than 1 x 60-90 minute class a week
- Practice at your own pace, yoga is about connecting the mind & body
- Identify a space at home where you can roll out your yoga mat and won’t be disturbed
- If experiencing an IBS flare up consider doing a more gentle, longer practice
- Take a few minutes at the end to relax or lie in savasana (lie on your back) – this helps to relax your nervous system