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Yoga for Digestive Health and IBS

Yoga is considered a form of moving meditation. It's a term that encompasses over one hundred different disciplines, but yoga (the Sanskrit word for "union") as it is commonly understood refers to hatha yoga, a system of physical and mental exercises. Hatha yoga rests on three foundations – exercise, breathing, and meditation – with the goal of joining together the body and mind into a state of balance and harmony.

Yoga has been proven to provide a wide variety of significant health benefits, both physical and mental, including the alleviation and even prevention of digestive distress.

In particular, yoga is an excellent (and enjoyable!) way to manage Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn's and ulcerative colitis, and relieve symptoms such as diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, bloating, and nausea.

Yoga also has significant and proven benefits for patients with chronic health conditions such as back pain, arthritis, depression, diabetes, asthma, migraines, and substance abuse.

Yoga has been shown to increase the efficiency of the heart and slow the respiratory rate, lower blood pressure, and contribute to the reversal of heart disease. In terms of overall physical fitness yoga improves posture, muscle fitness, circulation, coordination, range of motion, and flexibility. As a stress management technique yoga is superb; it promotes relaxation, reduces anxiety, and improves sleep patterns. Yoga also helps stabilize digestion, and offer outstanding relief from IBS symptoms such as constipation, diarrhea, bloating, gas, and pain. Yoga is also tremendously beneficial for preventing or minimizing menstrual cramps, which often exacerbate Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

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For people with IBS and IBD, yoga is perhaps most helpful for its ability to reduce the stress, anxiety, and pain of chronic illness. Regular practice will indisputably improve your physical and mental fitness, promote relaxation, and give you a sense of control over your health and well-being. As with other stress management techniques, the more you practice, the greater your improvement.

Get comprehensive information about yoga for IBS in The First Year: IBS.

Learn the basics about yoga practice and breathing.

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