Two weeks ago, one of my students shared with me that she had two bouts of food poisoning within a month while she was on business trip. She suffered chronic pain in the abdomen and was beginning to worry that something could be seriously wrong with her digestive system. In fact, she was known to have an iron gut, but this episode really created doubt in her health. While chatting with her, an idea to design a yoga module which focuses on building a strong digestive system came into my inner space. Within a few days, everything fell in place beautifully in terms of researching for the content for purification and strengthening of the digestive system. The first lesson happened last Tuesday which went very well.
According to my master, Paramahamsa Nithyananda, the truth is a strong stomach and enlightenment are closely connected. People with a strong body built by Hatha Yoga are more easily receptive to the truths of Enlightenment. Hence, the ancient yogis understood that good digestion is key to radiant health and sought to understand the mind-body connection.
I like to share with my readers the seven important insights about the digestive system:-
- The digestive system forms your ability to hold the electric signal current. If the stomach and the body are strong, the pattern cannot send the signals to the nervous system. The patterns of putting guilt into yourself and others, shouting at others in anger, are like sending signals of 440 volts of current. These patterns send strong current to your body and leads to diseases. Your digestive system holds the key, it sends signals to the nervous system. Not being triggered by the pattern is easy for people who are strong digestive system i.e. body-based. The secret to strong digestive system is not to allow the damaging electric signals of mental patterns to run into your system. Don’t allow any other signal of pleasures, name & fame, abuse to pass through your nervous system. A strong body is very important, that is why in Vedic tradition, we insist on Hatha Yoga to build a strong yogic body. You should never allow the damages of mental pattern to run through your nervous system again and again.
- Each part of your body, each organ in your body, stores, carries some emotions in it. For example, the moment you worry, the stomach gets agitated; the moment you have a panic attack, the heart gets agitated. Because, the worrying muscle-memory is stored in the stomach; and if the worrying is aggravated, first the stomach gets upset. The panic attack muscle-memories are stored in the heart; the moment you get a panic attack, your heart gets agitated. The tip of the nose is a spot where time is recorded by your body and gets recorded by your liver. Your liver shows the amount of suffering is recorded by your system by the concept of time. If you relax from time, the first thing you will have is healthy digestion.
- Worries create disturbances in the digestive system. Worries are food for the mind and are magnified by the mind, creating constant negative chatters. Worries are always about the future, as we are creative by nature, the worries that we create ensure that our future will not be fulfilling for us. Worrying about our worries happens when you become wedded to worries even if there is nothing to worry about. We become uneasy and even feel that life has no purpose, nothing to live for. The answer lies in becoming aware of our inner chatters and illogical workings of the mind. The solution is to become a watcher of our mind. If you keep your stomach clean through proper diet and Vedic cleansing techniques, worries can’t disturbed your space.
- The digestive system is related to your basic survival of nourishment of physical body, mind and spirit. Our mouth is connected to the primal brain, and is one of the earliest areas of the body that we are in control of, it is the first limb to reach, withdraw, grasp, release and refuse. It is the expression of: “I need, I want, I desire.” Any hangover or incompletion from this early childhood pattern can create issues with nourishment at later age.
- Sattvic Vegetarian diet is easy on digestion. Food plays a vital role in determining our daily health and state of mind. Our physical body as well as our mental constitution are touched by the influence of the 3 Gunas (Sattva, Rajas and Tamas) through the food we eat. Sattvic food keeps the body light and gives mental clarity. Rajasic food provokes excessive activity in the body and makes the mind state agitated. Tamasic food generates heaviness in the body and dullness of mind. A prolonged intake of Sattvic food evokes freshness, enthusiasm, lightness, calmness and clarity in one’s being as Sattva is the harmonious and integrated blend of Rajas and Tamas.
- Let your muscle memory of intestine be your guide. When you continuously internalize some idea, philosophy, concept, truth, first your intestine’s muscle-memory, the intestine’s muscle-memory starts living that concept. That is why, if the concept is agitating, irritating, first your stomach will be upset, your stomach will be affected. If the concept is soothing, healing, for life, first you will experience healing in your stomach. So, whether to practice certain principles or not, your intestine muscle-memory can be the scale, it can be the measurement, method, can be the touchstone to find out whether those principles are going to help you.
- Awaken the Jatara Agni (digestive fire). The human body consists of the 5 elements – earth, water, fire, air and ether. The fire element (Agni) regulates all metabolic processes and maintains the overall health and zeal. If this fire is impaired, the body functions are also impaired. The Jatara Agni is deranged by excessive fasting, eating during indigestion, overeating, irregular eating, and intake of unhealthy and contaminated foods. The digestive fire is also deranged by emaciation, faulty adaptation to place, time, season and suppression of natural urges.
In essence, the real health happens when your stomach and your nervous system are so strong that it can digest anything, any concept, any happening in life – even the Guru’s intense presence. Only when you are in completion, your stomach can sit in a relaxed way. Sitting without restlessness can happen only if your navel is cool, complete and healed. Namaste. 😀
Note: If you are interested to find out how to build a strong stomach through different yogic techniques, you can contact me to find out more about yoga module ‘Yoga for Strong Digestive System”.