Summary: There have been reported cases of individuals experiencing diarrhea after performing yoga, and this can be caused by various factors. While yoga is typically known to improve the digestive system, some poses or techniques may trigger gastrointestinal distress. In this article, we will discuss some of the reasons why yoga can give you diarrhea.
1. Taking too much water before performing yoga
Drinking water is crucial to hydrate your body before practicing yoga, especially if you are doing it in a warm environment. However, taking too much water or any other liquids before performing yoga can lead to diarrhea. This is because excessive fluid intake can cause bowel movements, particularly during yoga positions that exert pressure on the abdomen or involve twists and turns.
If you prefer drinking water before yoga, take small sips instead of chugging large volumes in a short period. You can also hydrate your body hours before yoga to give time for absorption and excretion of excess fluids.
If drinking water is essential for you during yoga, sip slowly during breaks instead of gulping water at once.
2. Yoga positions that promote intestinal movement
Some yoga postures can stimulate the intestines’ movement and lead to bowel elimination, causing diarrhea. For instance, Pavanamuktasana, or wind-relieving pose, involves pressing the stomach against the thighs while lying on the back, which can cause an increase in intra-abdominal pressure and intestinal contractions.
Another example is Malasana, or squats, which involves bending the knees and lowering the hips towards the heels while keeping the spine straight. This pose compresses the abdominal organs, promoting bowel movement and elimination.
It’s important to recognize which poses trigger diarrhea and, if necessary, alter your yoga routine to avoid them. If you have pre-existing digestive issues, consult a yoga instructor who can recommend specific poses to optimize digestion and minimize gastrointestinal distress.
3. Stress during yoga sessions
Yoga is regarded as a stress-relieving activity, but the reverse can also happen. When you perform yoga with high anxiety levels or other stress triggers, the body reacts by releasing stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol, disrupting digestive functions.
These hormones alter the blood flow pattern in the body, directing it towards essential organs like the heart, lungs, and brain, while reducing it in the digestive system. This can limit proper digestion processes, leading to diarrhea.
Avoid triggering stress during yoga sessions by practicing mindfulness activities like deep breathing, mediation, and soothing music. These activities help to relax the mind, release tension on the muscles, and improve digestion processes.
4. Poor dietary choices before yoga
The type of food you take before your yoga routine can contribute to diarrhea. For instance, consuming large amounts of dairy, spicy, or fatty foods before yoga can irritate the digestive system, leading to diarrhea and other gastrointestinal issues.
It is advisable to consume nutrient-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins at least two hours before starting yoga. These foods provide essential nutrients to the body and, at the same time, allow proper digestion without causing gastrointestinal distress.
If you’re unsure of what type of foods to eat, consider seeking advice from a nutritionist or dietician who can recommend appropriate foods for your digestive system.
5. Dehydration after yoga
Dehydration after yoga can cause diarrhea, especially when your fluid intake is insufficient. After yoga, the body sweats out fluids, salts, and minerals, which need replacement by taking water or other rehydration fluids like coconut water, herbal tea, or electrolyte-balanced drinks.
If you fail to replace the lost fluids and salts after yoga, your digestive system can’t produce enough lubrication for stool movements, leading to diarrhea. Additionally, dehydration causes the intestine’s toughening, making bowel movements harder and increasing the likelihood of constipation, bloating, and gas pains.
Therefore, after yoga, always hydrate your body with fluids rich in essential salts and minerals. Avoid carbonated and caffeinated drinks as they can dehydrate your body further.
In summary, yoga can give you diarrhea due to various reasons such as poor dietary choices, stress, dehydration, and certain yoga poses. Therefore, it’s important to understand the causes of diarrhea during yoga and take necessary steps to prevent it.
You can avoid diarrhea by drinking water cautiously, avoiding foods that irritate your digestive system, practicing mindfulness techniques, and hydrating your body with suitable fluids after yoga. If you continue to experience diarrhea despite these preventative measures, consult a qualified yoga instructor, physician, or gastroenterologist for a more personalized approach to manage the distress.
Lastly, remember to listen to your body and give it the rest it deserves when needed. Overdoing yoga can cause exhaustion, nausea, and other gastrointestinal distress leading to diarrhea.