by Brooke Keefer
I love yoga. I love yoga. I love yoga. Did I say I love yoga? Today, June 21, is International Yoga Day! Yoga is an awesome way to cope with SOD symptoms, especially since it incorporates deep breathing throughout the poses. You can do yoga on your own or in a class environment. There are specific poses to regenerate and relax the digestive system, like the one above and either to the right or bottom of this page. This side twist pose is one of the most common poses for digestive distress and liver detoxification.
If you are new to yoga, I strongly recommend learning in a beginner’s class before embarking on your own. This way you can be assured your posture is correct so you don’t injure yourself. You want to be sure you are benefiting from the poses, not making matters worse. Also, a local yoga teacher may have tips for poses that will help your SOD.
Yoga is offered in yoga studios, churches, community centers and many other places. I even did something called Hiking Yoga in Central Park, New York. Today I stick to yoga classes at the gym I belong. They have yoga class offerings nearly every day with a variety of teachers. There are definitely certain yoga teachers I prefer over others. Keep trying different classes until you find one you like.
I also get the mat out and do a series of poses on my own at home. I own several yoga DVDs and still use one meant for pregnancy from five years ago as I like the yoga teacher’s demeanor and choice of poses. I also own one specifically meant for people with digestive issues. I generally steer clear of hardcore yoga DVDs meant for weight loss. It kind of defeats the purpose of yoga if the yoga teacher is yelling at me to “feel the burn.”
You can find a plethora of free yoga tutorials on YouTube and the Internet. Search using terms like, “yoga for the digestive system” or “relaxing yoga”. There is no shortage of information on yoga poses for digestion. However, I haven’t come across any poses specifically for SOD. To get more specific, you could also search the Internet for “yoga poses for the liver” or “yoga poses for the pancreas.”
I have been doing yoga as long as I have had SOD—over 17 years as of today. Yoga is a wonderful tool for grounding, relaxation, meditating, deep breathing and strengthening the muscles surrounding our testy little sphincter of Oddi. Try it. I doubt you will not be satisfied.