We all experience acid reflux or acidity from time to time. Most often, it happens after eating a heavy, spicy meal or drinking too much coffee. People with excessive stomach acid are more likely to suffer from this problem.
The symptoms may include nausea, bloating, and burping. It can easily disrupt your daily life.
The easiest way to alleviate acid reflux is to practice yoga. Yoga asanas relieve bloating and soothe your stomach. Let's examine them in detail in this article.
What is Acidity?
Gastric glands in the stomach release acid to digest the food we consume. If it releases more acid than required, it causes a burning sensation below the breastbone. Such a burning sensation due to high acid is known as acidity.
Acidity or acid reflux features heartburn, usually felt in the lower chest area. It occurs when extra acid flushes back to the food pipe, often caused due to an unhealthy diet, poor lifestyle, and high consumption of any food.
Causes of Acidity
These are common risk factors for acid reflux disease:
- Eating a large meal or lying down immediately after eating
- Being overweight or obese
- Having a heavy meal and lying on your back or bending at the waist
- Snacking close to bedtime
- Taking certain foods, such as citrus, tomato, chocolate, mint, garlic, onions, or spicy or fatty foods
- Drinking certain beverages, such as alcohol, carbonated drinks, coffee, or tea
- Being pregnant
- Taking aspirin, ibuprofen, certain muscle relaxers, or blood pressure medications
Yoga for Acidity
Here are the different types of yoga for reflux acidity:
1) Camel Pose or Ushtrasana
"Ushtra '' in Sanskrit means camel. Ushtrasana provides impressive relief in acidity while relaxing the abdominal muscles while bending backwards. Holding your breath in this pose for a while removes toxins from the body. Here are the steps to do this yoga for acidity:
- Kneel on the ground so that the lower leg sits parallel to the floor and the soles face the ceiling.
- Hold the left ankle with the left hand and vice versa. While holding, start bending backward while inhaling.
- Hold for 5-10 seconds in the same position and return to the initial position.
Vajrasana is an effective yoga for acidity and gas as it fixes hyperacidity while enhancing the blood flow into the stomach. It works more effectively if you do it immediately after your meal.
- Start doing this while kneeling on the ground and sitting on your heels.
- Sit straight with spine and head straight, and place your hands on your knees.
- Hold this position for approx 10 minutes while concentrating on your breathing.
- Return to the normal position.
3) Ardha Matsyendrasana
Ardha Matsyendrasana or half spinal twist pose is ideal for body detoxification. When we hold a breath while twisting, it not only stretches the abdominal muscles but also removes unnecessary toxins from this area.
- Sit straight and cross your legs so that the left foot lies along the right pelvic region.
- Bend the right knee and take your right foot over the left knee, and vice versa.
- Twist the upper body and bring the left arm towards the right knee. Repeat it with the right arm as well.
The cat/cow pose improves blood circulation, stretches body muscles, and provides massage to the digestive organs.
- Stand on your fours, wherein the palm is under the shoulder, and the knees are just below the hips.
- Push your stomach while lifting the chin and tall bone upwards and inhale deeply.
- Exhale and lower the chin.
- Repeat it at least 4-5 times while holding the breath for 5-10 seconds.
5) Supta Baddha Konasana
Reclining butterfly pose or Supta Baddha Konasana is one of the best yoga asanas for acidity and treatment of PCOS due to gentle and flexible movement of the pelvic region, where the reproductive system lies.
- Lie down while extending your feet.
- Bend the knees to join the foot sole and bring it closer to the pelvic region.
- Hold this position for 2-3 minutes and return to the normal posture.
It is the forward bend exercise, an excellent yoga for acidity regulation and better functioning of the abdominal organs. Yoga provides gentle pressure on abdominal organs that enhances their functioning.
7) Kapalbhati Pranayama
It is a highly effective yoga for acidity and other digestive problems. It cures digestive disorders, obesity, and aids weight loss. Concentration on breathing and flexible movement of the stomach during deep exhalation regulates acidity.
What You Can Do Today
Hectic lifestyle, daily stress, unhealthy diet and least physical activity give rise to frequent acidity issues. Try these tips for effective results and a better cure of acidity:
- Consult a yoga expert or connect to the local studio regarding your symptoms. They provide personalized yoga training depending on your symptoms.
- Avoid inverted postures or which put pressure on your stomach.
- Improve your lifestyle, eat a healthy diet, and drink plenty of water.
- Avoid eating just before going to bed, especially deep-fried or heavy foods.
1. Over-the-counter (OTC) antacids
There are more conventional remedies for your acid reflux besides yoga. Some antacids are available without a prescription, and they can provide relief from occasional acid reflux. They neutralise your stomach acid.
If medication doesn't help or you want to avoid side effects, your surgeon can use LINX surgery to strengthen the esophageal sphincter with a device made of magnetic titanium beads. The Nissen fundoplication is another operation that can be done to strengthen the esophageal sphincter. This involves wrapping the stomach around the lower esophagus.
3. Prescription drugs
If you haven't found much relief from over-the-counter antacids, you may want to consult your doctor. There are more potent prescription antacids you might be able to use.
These drugs include:
- H2 blockers, like cimetidine (Tagamet) and nizatidine (Axid)
- proton pump inhibitors, like esomeprazole (Nexium), lansoprazole (Prevacid), and omeprazole (Prilosec)
- drugs that strengthen the esophageal sphincter, such as baclofen (Kemstro, Gablofen, Lioresal)
When to See a Doctor?
If you face frequent acidity despite trying different yoga poses for acidity, it may lead to esophageal sphincter weakening. If you face acid reflux and heartburn frequently, it may lead to complications like Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease or GERD, which causes:
- Narrowing and bleeding of the esophagus
- Chest pain and breath shortness
In many cases, GERD often shows symptoms of a heart attack. Consult the doctor as soon as possible before the condition gets critical.
Summing Up on Yoga for Acidity
Use these yoga poses for acid reflux relief and reduce hypertension and stress. Practice these poses every day, and you will be able to see results very soon.
Yoga may be a helpful addition to a treatment plan. However, yoga may be a complementary therapy. If it does not improve your acidity, consult your doctor.