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Heartburn in Pregnancy (or not) and yoga: incompatible?

Are you familiar with that burning sensation in your chest after a meal or upon waking up?


It's likely heartburn, a common digestive issue affecting millions worldwide.


Heartburn symptoms can be quite distressing, from discomfort in the oesophagus to throat pain and dry mouth.


Understanding the Causes: Before delving into how yoga can alleviate heartburn, let's understand its root causes. Increased abdominal pressure and the relaxation of the lower oesophageal sphincter, known as the cardia, are common culprits in pregnancy. Progesterone effects during pregnancy can contribute to this relaxation, and stress is another significant factor.


Yoga offers a holistic approach to combat heartburn by addressing physical and mental aspects.


By creating a stress-free environment and focusing on gentle movements, yoga can help alleviate the increase in acidity caused by stress.


Moreover, certain yoga poses might improve digestion, thereby reducing the likelihood of heartburn episodes.


Effective Yoga Poses and Practices:


  1. Heart Opening Poses: Poses like "broken wing on the wall" and "shoulder rolls with a strap" help open up the chest, promoting better breathing and reducing pressure on the oesophagus.

  2. Gentle Backbends: Modified camel and warrior I poses gently stretch the abdomen and chest, easing digestive discomfort.

  3. Using Support: Practices like "semi-reclined butterfly" and "semi-reclined hero with bolster and blocks" support the spine and keep the chest lifted, aiding in digestion. Modufy the poses so that the head stays in line with the upper belly.

  4. Poses with Arms Raised: "Warrior I" and "standing sun salutations" with arms higher than shoulders help elongate the torso and relieve pressure on the abdomen.

  5. Avoiding Forward Folds: To prevent exacerbating heartburn, it's advisable to avoid forward folds like downward facing dog and child's pose, which can compress the abdomen, or decrease the time spent into those specific poses.

Incorporating these yoga poses and practices into your routine might provide relief from heartburn symptoms.


Remember, consistency is key.


By cultivating a regular yoga practice, you not only address the physical discomfort but also promote overall well-being and digestive health.

In conclusion, while heartburn may be a common ailment, it doesn't mean you cannot pracice yoga or that yoga can make it worse.




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