I was born with crohns disease, an autoimmune disease of the intestinal area. There are many drugs that are given to people with this disease and sometimes they work and help to reduce the inflammation and other times they don’t and when they don’t the sufferer can have severe side effects from the drugs ( even when they work the side effects can be bad). I have been VERY lucky to avoid medication through dietary changes, non smoking, hardly ever touched a drop to drink bar water and coffee and became a (not strict) but vegetarian.
I put a great deal of respect and gratitude into my good health from the practice of yoga, no this doesn’t mean i practiced daily over the last 30 years but i does mean that i have utilised yoga weekly over this time. Due to this I have also become aware of the best yoga asanas for my condition and I am sharing them here today as I know that they will help many sufferers of this.
Firstly there are three main techniques that are the best and they are the same as with normal yoga,
- Pranayama– this is the breathing that is performed throughout your yoga practice.
- Asana– The physical poses that make up the yoga practice.
- Meditation – This is the best way to complete your yoga practice as it allows the body, mind and spirit connection to complete and surrender to the physical effects of the yoga practice, eventuating in a peaceful, restful feeling.
Secondly is the yoga asanas themselves, I have a tried and true flow that gives me an all round internal and physical practice. I also hold each of mine (core help tight in what the yogis call Mulabandha) 5-10 exhalations and this gives me plenty of time to feel my body and notice the way it is moving with my breath.
- Start with a least a 2-5 min breathing session, just sitting and relaxing getting to know how your body feels ( tense, stressed, sore, painful etc) take your mind to each body part with each inhalation, and on the exhalation mentally release any tension, strain from those muscle groups. keep this going until you have reached your toes.
- Come over into a cat/cow combination and work through this for 5 exhalations and then roll back into extended Childs poses and rest for 5 exhalations, return to cat and cow for another 5 exhalations.
- slide back into downward dog now and place your weight evenly between your hands and feet, allowing your head to relax naturally once in the asana, stay here for 5-10 exhalations and then roll back into extended Childs pose, head back into downdog for another 5 exhalations.
- Lift your left leg into dog splits and as you exhale bring it through between your hands, keeping right hand on the floor, exhale and lift your right hand to the sky twisting from the navel centre. hold here for 3-5exhalations. placing hands back to floor, exhale and move back into downdog, hold for 5 exhalations and then repeat this on the right hand side. move back to downdog when completed for 5 exhalations.
- walk both legs up to your hands and come into your mountain pose (tadasana) engage your knees, glutes, core, chin lock (chin slightly tucked to neck) and breathe deeply for 10 exhalations. Inhale and raise your arms above your head giving yourself a gentle backbend and as you exhale swan dive placing wait into your big toes as you come into standing forward fold ( uttanasana)
- Exhale as you step back into downdog and slowly bring your self into extended Childs pose. taking 5 breathes at each asana.
- relax now and come into savasana for 5-10 minutes, breathing deeply as you release all tension in the body by taking your mind to each place on each inhale and releasing through the exhalation.
Ok so this is not the whole practice I do but, this is a really good start for anyone with crohns, at any point that it feels to strenuous come back into Childs pose and always come out of any asana or physical practice that is causing you pain (only practice to the end of stretch NEVER pain)
Give this a go and let me know what you think. I will be posting a Crohns flow on the new page when I have finished…..so keep your eyes open for the Yoga Hippy Anonymous page.