Gas is a natural occurrence in the human digestive system. It forms as a byproduct of breaking down of fiber in the foods you eat. In addition, the problem is compounded by swallowing air when you eat or drink. While the problem is rarely an indicator of a more serious condition, it can cause embarrassment and discomfort. To rid your body of this excess air, you might want to learn how yoga can help reduce gas problems.
The most common symptoms of the condition include burping, flatulence, abdominal pain and bloating. Individuals may experience one or more of the symptoms. Under normal circumstances the body takes steps to expel these excess gasses from 13 to 21 times daily.
Bloating is the feeling that the body is overly full. It can lead to swelling of the abdomen. This swelling can make it difficult to breathe deeply. For some individuals, bloating is the result of difficulty digesting certain carbohydrates. Fatty foods also slow the digestive process and cause the feeling of fullness and bloating.
The feeling of abdominal pain or discomfort usually indicates that the gas is not moving through the small and large intestines in a normal manner. This may or may not cause bloating. The feelings are more prevalent among those with irritable bowel syndrome, who have more sensitive intestines and feel the pressure more than others.
The foods most likely to cause gas are carbohydrates. Most fats and proteins have do not cause this problem. Dairy foods cause gas in individuals who do not have the enzyme to digest lactose, a sugar (and thus a carbohydrate) found in milk. In addition, those with a lactose intolerance may suffer diarrhea.
Members of the cabbage family, while good for intestinal health otherwise, may increase the formation in the intestines. Fruits such as apples and pears also have the fiber that causes the problem. Whole grains may also increase formation.
Exercise is often helpful as movement tends to break up large bubbles that form in the intestines and lead to the greatest discomfort. Once these large bubbles break, the material is able to move through the intestines in a more normal method. Certain yoga poses are specially designed to allow the individual to effectively expel the offending gas, decreasing the feeling of fullness, pressure and pain that it causes.
Yoga can help reduce gas problems if you know which poses to use. Two of the most helpful are the Pavanamuktasana, known as a wind relieving pose and the Balasana or child pose. Practice two to three sets of these poses each day. As you become more proficient, you will be able to hold the poses for more time. They help to tone one’s large intestines and facilitate the operation of other organs in one’s abdomen. In addition, you may find it helpful to make dietary changes. If you eat any of the suspect foods, try eliminating them from the diet for a while and then slowly reintroduce them to determine those that make your problem worse.