We continue to learn yoga techniques which can help manage acidity when practiced regularly. The underlying causes for acidity can be obesity, smoking, excessive intake of spices, coffee, tea or alcohol, a low-fibre diet, untimely meals, lack of exercise or even certain medications in some cases.
Sheetali Pranayama (Cooling Breath)
Sit in any comfortable meditation posture. Keep your spine, neck and chin upright. Close the eyes and relax the whole body. Extend the tongue outside the mouth as far as possible without strain. Roll the sides of the tongue up so that it forms a tube. Inhale and draw the breath in through this tube. The breath should produce a noise similar to rushing wind.
At the end of inhalation, draw the tongue in, close the mouth and hold your breath for 10 seconds. Exhale slowly through the nose. A feeling of icy coldness will be experienced on the tongue and the roof of the mouth. This is one round. Practice 10-12 rounds.
About one third of the population possesses a genetic inability to roll the sides of the tongue into a tube. In such cases, the practice of the below mentioned Seetkari Pranayama gives similar benefits.
Seetkari Pranayama (Hissing Breath)
Sit in any comfortable meditation posture with your spine, neck and chin upright. Hold the teeth lightly together. Separate the lips, exposing the teeth. The tongue may be kept flat or folded against the soft palate inside. Breathe in slowly and deeply through the teeth. At the end of the inhalation, close the mouth, keeping the tongue either flat or folded up. Hold the breath for 10 seconds. Breathe out slowly through the nose, in a controlled manner. This is one round. Practice 10 to 12 rounds.
The techniques help in case of acidity, hypertension, ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), insomnia, anxiety and anger management.
They give control over hunger and thirst. Hence they are excellent when you’re fasting.
An additional benefit of Seetkari Pranayama is it keeps the teeth and gums healthy.
People suffering from low blood pressure, throat infection or respiratory disorders such as asthma, bronchitis and excessive mucus should not practice these techniques.
People suffering from chronic constipation should also avoid them.
Generally, these techniques should not be practiced in winter or in cool climates. Choose a clean place. Avoid outdoors or dusty and polluted atmosphere.
Practitioners with sensitive teeth, missing teeth or dentures should avoid Seetkari Pranayama.
Practice after asanas (postures) and other yogic practices that heat the body in order to restore temperature balance. Ensure this is after a minimum of two hours of any meal.
Practice of the week
One can practice kunjal kriya on a weekly basis. On a daily basis, one should opt for the following postures and above techniques to keep acidity in check along with dietary restrictions.
Next week: Yoga to boost digestion.
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