Farty McFart Face (Yoga for trapped gas)
Wow. I never thought I’d start a blog like that. Although I will say that it has momentarily satisfied my mischievous and very immature inner child.
Before you click away in disgust at the title, the whole point of this blog was to talk about things that people don’t like to talk about, but often need to talk about.
Everyone farts, even that girl/guy you’ve been crushing on. Apparently 14 times per day (or half a litre per day) *although I have struggled to find any substantiated evidence/data on that, it just seems to be what everyone on the interwebs says.
The problem is that farting is also a social faux pas. The thought of farting in a public (quiet) place is awful, and yet holding in a fart is also unhealthy. What a predicament we so commonly find ourselves in.
I know many of you will have experienced trapped gas, which is very uncomfortable, but because of its social taboo, have probably felt too uncomfortable to ask how to release it.
I can’t stop you from farting - it’s commonly caused by the following;
- The air we swallow
- Chemical reactions in our intestines or the bacteria living there
- A very tiny portion of gas (less than 20%) comes from venous blood seeping into the gut.
There are obviously dietary precautions you can/should take to minimise gassiness, but this article is more directed at those of you that HAVE gas and need to alleviate it asap.
The reason the yoga fart is so common has a lot to do with the way in which yoga postures massage the digestive organs. I have constructed a series of postures that are best for getting out the gas - see them below;
- Pavanmuktasana - In sanskrit this pose literally means ‘Wind Removing Pose’. So yeah, it’s number one on the deflatulating list (yes I am well aware that it’s not a word, but I am making it a word). This posture massages the ascending and descending colons.
- Ustrasana - This posture is a back bend (obis). Safe backbends also massage and kind of open up the digestive organ area. Provided you are performing it without over extending, a backbend can bring about some very nice relief to trapped gas. I use camel pose as a reliever of motion sickness - unfortunately I don’t have the science to back this claim, it just works for me.
- Good Old Ass to Grass Squat - OK so I know this isn’t a yoga pose, it’s actually a life pose. As humans we should try to squat rather than sit. When you squat you naturally compress the ascending and descending colons as well as supporting the anorectal angle to facilitate some elimination. I know, sexy right? Maybe not sexy, but definitely healthy.
- Twisting Postures - Obviously there is a pattern forming here, we are trying to create some space, movement and blood flow around the gut area. Twists do just that. Be careful with the spine and never push beyond your limits.
Let’s say it’s date night and you’re about to stay over at your bae’s house for the first time, sneak off to the bathroom and perform these postures, holding it for a good 5 -10 breaths. Of course be gentle with your body and get permission from a physician first.
Hope it helps.
If you have chronic flatulence, I would highly recommend speaking to a dietician or qualified nutritionist.
For a scientific review on what flatulence is check out - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16574342