A Few to Poo
Travel, poor dietary choices, stress and a whole slew of other things can cause us to get stopped up. It doesn’t feel good and it’s bad for us not to poop regularly. Whether you’re on a cleanse, working with a disrupted schedule or have been feeling fearful and stressed, there are yoga poses that can help you go number two again.
If we bring our knees up closer to our torso and then we twist, we physically put pressure on our intestines and help stimulate them. As a general rule, hold each pose for 30 seconds to a couple of minutes, depending on your fitness and experience levels. Twist so that your right side gets squeezed and pressed first. This is where your ascending colon is. Follow by twisting to put compression on your left side, where the descending colon is. Also, make sure to breathe deeply and exhale fully to help calm your nerves and relax enough to let go.
The Squat & Twist
In this photo of a variation of Malasana (Garland pose) I have my arms clasped around one knee. This deepens the pose considerably and makes it more effective for getting things moving.
However, if you can’t clasp your arms, no problem. Just put your elbow along the inside of your knee and extend that hand down to the ground. (This is the arm that is wrapping around your leg). The other arm (the one that would reach around your back) can reach up to the sky, or you can rest your hand on your free knee.
The One Leg Twist
If squatting is too much on your knees or ankles, you can also bring your knees close to your chest, one leg at a time, by sitting. The method is still the same; bring your knees up and twist your torso.
Marichyasana 1 (the pose dedicated to the Sage Marichi) is a good option if you can’t squat. Again, if clasping your arms around your leg isn’t working, just press one elbow into your knee and use the other one behind you on the ground, like a kickstand, to sit up tall. One of the benefits of clasping is it pulls your torso more forward (notice how I’m leaning towards my outstretched foot) and squeezes your abdominals tighter. More squeeze = better chance to go poo!
The Cross-Body Twist
Lastly, it doesn’t matter if you twist towards or away from your bent leg, as long as you compress your leg towards your chest while you do it. Here’s one more option, showing the arms in the non-clasped variation, and twisting across the leg instead of away from it.
This yoga pose, Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Lord of the Fish pose) is also a great one to open tight hips and low backs. That’s an extra bonus…