As we journey through life, our bodies serve as vessels for the experiences we encounter. Often this is reflective of the delicate balance between inner and outer worlds. At the heart of this lies our digestive system, a gateway through which we absorb nourishment and release what no longer serves us.

Can yoga help digestion?

National Institutes of Health refers to digestion as the ‘breakdown of food to provide your body with nutrients and expel waste products’. They go on to say that ‘The gut-brain axis is a communication system of nerves and biochemical signals that travel in the blood, connecting the digestive system to the brain. Through this system, your gut can directly react to psychological and physical stress with symptoms such as stomach aches, diarrhea, constipation, nausea, and changes in appetite and digestion’.

Charlotte Watts says ‘Yoga- with its focus on stilling the mind - can have profound effects through the gut-brain axis on conditions such as IBS, IBD, acid reflux, colitis, diverticulitis and more’.

National Institutes of Health states ‘In particular, those with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) may find relief from yoga. Scientists think IBS results from overactivity of the sympathetic nervous system, the stress system of your body’.

Explore the continual communications between the gut and the brain

In Charlotte’s Teaching Yoga for Digestive Health online course you will explore the relevance of the fascia, vagus nerve, psoas-diaphragm connections, stress, trauma, interoception and proprioception in digestive health.

You will also delve into how yoga philosophy focuses on accessing this central axis and recognising our need to listen to our visceral states. This is with a view to gaining understanding of digestive system health as the heart of our whole being, relating and health through all other body systems; and how coming back to a mindful asana practice with guidance from gut feelings can feed into an intelligent practice guided by the yamas and gunas.

Find out more about this course here.

Read Charlotte’s blog on Yoga Therapy for Digestive Health