I Eat Well, Rest, Meditate, But Have Indigestion. What To Do?


I am 30 yrs old and a vegetarian having good eating habits. I rarely eat anything spicy or oily and I never overeat. I think positive and always radiate love to others. I take proper sleep and meditate occasionally. Yet I keep constipating every now and then which turns into piles, which makes me sick for doing my daily work, and is very painful. How do i know if it is because of some effect of past karma, since i don’t see any reason to get it this frequently. How can I overcome it? Thank you.

—S, India


Dear S.,

First of all: Yes, everything comes from karma. And yes, karma can be overcome. Your indigestion, in other words, can be solved.

I will answer you from my yogic training level, as I am not a doctor. I am assuming you have asked a physician or a nutritionist. Sometimes our body simply doesn’t tolerate a certain food and eliminating it is all we need to do.

From a yogic perspective, for constipation, I’d recommend to you a routine made of specific exercises for the stomach which Yogananda taught, plus just three simple yoga postures, optimal for digestion.

But before that: Do you do some regular physical exercise at all, moving the body? Without it, our inner energy system easily gets stuck, and problems arise. If that is your case, simply choosing some healthy daily exercise may do the trick for you. You should sweat once a day if possible, not because it’s hot but because you move the body. You can do that at home too, without machinery: running in place, or Yogananda taught a “Mental Rope Jumping Exercise”: Swing your hands as if you are swinging a rope and jump over the imaginary rope. Do it until you sweat.

Now for your specific yogic stomach routine:

1) Standing exhale completely as you bring the upper body forward, resting the heels of your hands on the thighs. With the breath still out, draw your stomach in strongly and hold it against your spine for as long as you comfortably can. Inhale and relax. Practice 6 times.

2) Exhale and resume the same forward position. Keeping the breath out (don’t breathe) and slowly draw the stomach in as much as you can and push it out as far as possible, as many times as you comfortably can. Feel you are energizing the abdominal area. Practice 6 times.

3) Stand erect. Close your eyes. Press with both hands on your abdomen, one above the other. Then contract and tense (high) the lower portion of the abdomen. Hold while contracting and tensing (high) also the upper portion. Relax both. Practice 6 times.

4) Yoga postures: Practice a forward bend, a backward bend, then a twist. For example Paschimotanasana, Bhujanjasana, Jathara Parivartanasana (both sides). Or Padahastasana, Salabhasana, Ardha Matsyendrasana. Hold each posture for at least 1 minute. Breath deeply which adds massage to the abdominal area. If you need it, find a local yoga teacher to show you how to correctly practice these asanas.

Then, if you are into it and want to dig deeper, consider that the body talks to us with its discomforts. Behind each symptom, there is a message. Behind each physical problem, there is a psychological tension or problem to be solved. Your indigestion may manifest something in your private life which you are unable to digest, to handle, some personal situation that is contracting your stomach. If you find out what it is and resolve it, you have not only resolved the symptom but its cause.

All the best,