Constipation. Part III

In conclusion we can say that constipation can arise because of various f actors. The most common are incorrect diet, insufficient exercise, mental and emotional upsets, inconsistent toilet habits, weak abdominal muscles and consumption of too many laxatives. Here are some suggestions which may help you prevent or remove constipation.

  • Don’t listen to too many so-called experts. They tend to create more problems than cures, by assuming that any slight inconsistency in your toilet habits is the sign of impending doom – the onset of chronic constipation. Many people who previously did not suffer from constipation eventually do so because they are persuaded or worried into it.
  • The volume of stool and the frequency of defecation can be regulated in a more normal manner by adding cereal bran and vegetables to the diet. These foods contain cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin which stimulate intestinal movement. Furthermore, cellulose and hemicellulose are partly digested by bacteria in the colon with the formation of fatty acids. These act as natural laxatives. Prune juice is useful for it contains the natural laxative diphenylisatin.
  • Drink plenty of liquids.
  • Reduce your dependence on commercial laxatives as much as possible.
  • Try to establish a regular bowel habit at a suitable time during the day. In the morning before breakfast is to be preferred, for this is the time when you are most likely to be relaxed physically, emotionally and mentally.
  • Practise asanas every morning to help in emptying out the bowels. Many asanas are useful for constipation but the following are particularly recommended: supta pawanmuktasana, utthanpadasana, kawa chalasana, surya namaskara, bhujangasana, marjariasana and shalabhasana. There are many more – in fact we can say that most asanas are helpful for treating constipation.
    • There are various yogic practices that are specifically designed to clean out the digestive system. As such they are very useful for relieving constipation. The most important practices are shankhaprakshalana, basti, nauli, agnisar kriya and moola shodhana.

There are many people who have turned to yoga in order to rid themselves of constipation. Often this was as a last resort, every other method having failed. They have usually found great improvement in their condition.

The last point to remember is that chronic tension plays a vital role in constipation. One of the basic aims of yoga is to bring mental and emotional peace into one’s life. As such, all practices of yoga including asanas, pranayama and meditational practices make an indirect contribution to removing constipation. Most commercial cures aim at removing the manifestation, namely physical constipation, whereas yoga aims at the root cause – mental and emotional constipation. If this more subtle form of constipation is removed, then the physical by-product will automatically disappear.

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