Digestive system explained & how it effects our mental state

Trouble with digestion can make us feel all-over generally crap.

To briefly explain, our digestive system system is made up of three main parts: the stomach, small intestines and colon:

  1. Stomach: Food is taken into the body.
  2. Small intestines: Food is sorted and processed.
  3. Colon: Food is moved out of the body.

The most extensive part of the digestion takes place in our small intestine, which is located in the centre of the abdomen. The small intestine takes any food that has not decomposed in the stomach and sorts out what is absorbed and what is to be eliminated through the colon. It’s this area that we aim to keep clear and healthy to support our digestion process to be smooth and to enable us to absorb nutrients from the food we eat.

The emotional qualities of the small intestine mirror the physical qualities. When our digestion is not functioning well, we tend to feel out of balance and struggle to sort through priorities and tasks. We can struggle to hold information in our heads. We feel indecisive and unclear and the emotions can dominate.

How does yoga help? Any movement we do in our yoga practice that works this area is super beneficial for the digestive system. Strengthening core muscles and bringing bloodflow to this area via twists is excellent for the small intestines health. Alongside this, all postures that open and use the arms also activate the meridian lines for the intestines.

One excellent way to maintain a healthy digestive system is this simple kundalini yoga kriya called Vatskar Dhouti Kriya. Do this once or maximum twice per day always on an empty stomach.

Vatskar Dhouti Kriya:

  • Sit with a straight spine.
  • With rounded ‘O’ shaped lips, sip the air in with a series of short sips.
  • Hold the breath in and rotate your belly. Churn the belly one way for half the time you can hold the breath and the other way for the other half of the held breath.
  • Exhale through the nose very slowly.

Repeat twice for a total of three times.

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