How Yoga Can Maintain Our Stomach Nervous System

Do you ever wonder why there are terms “Gut Feeling” or some people will say that you don’t have gut if there are certain fear of something emotion come around you before taking decision. And why stomach have funny or butterfly feeling when we feel anxious or under certain pressure and sometimes we feel excited also. Does the food that we consume played part on it or it just the our thinking inside brain govern that? Confused ? Me too… Let’s see what inside our digestive system.

Our digestive system besides the one that visible from our mouth through esophagus and end it at anus also consist the invisible super tiny of millions of neuron, same as our brain and spinal cord which have billions of neuron. This millions of neurons inside our gastrointestinal track govern by pools of microorganism that we called it microbiome. They have very important role in order to make our metabolism nutrient run smoothly, regulate our immune system and also responsible of the feeling at our stomach like hunger, satiaty or maybe sleepiness after lunch.

This nervous system inside our stomach which the scientists called it Enteric Nervous System (ENS) can work independently even there is no information from the brain or Central Nervous System or being cut and they discovered that our ENS work almost like our second brain.This ENS can move itself on their system so we can see that the brain can not control the peristaltic movement inside our esophagus, intestine or even the bloated feeling and secretion movement. Certainly sometimes we have feeling of vomiting or stomachache which is so bad until diarrhoea. This nervous system play part on this kind of feeling including why when we stress or depressed this kind of feeling come up inside our stomach. So, in order to make our nervous system inside our stomach healthy we must have a healthy lifestyle including food, rest and relaxation and also less stressful life.

We believe that stress feeling come from the brain, but it actually the nervous system inside our gastrointestinal track play major part of it because certain neurotransmitter  like dopamine, histamine and serotonin produced inside our gut and can affect our mood and emotions,for example our body serotonin which is feel good nerves mostly produced in our bowel and it can help to prevent depression, as sleep regulators and also play part in raise our appetite. This special neurotransmitter that we called serotonin transmit signal from our stomach to our brain and the brain translate it in our mind, so we know what kind of feeling when this happens. We can make this neurotransmitters inside our gut happy by make a good environment for the microbiome inside our gastrointestinal with certain diet. 

Human food evolved very much from the ancient times to the modern times, thus the gut microbiome inside human body also change because of the change in diet lifestyle.In this modern life most people will find cheap and easy sources of food, the food that have been genetically modified, chemically change and also the rise of junk food. We can not escape this phenomenon but we can balance it, it’s about moderation and slowly reduce the consumption of harmful food. The level of healthiness in our stomach or gut highly depend on the food that we consume. The responsibility to create happy environment for our stomach is on us, thus you are what you eat phrase come from. Surely sometimes we craving of certain food, and it’s not easy to resist the temptation because the nerves inside our stomach also play part on it. 

Asides from our food that we consume,there is another thing that can make our second brain happy, which is by doing yoga especially pranayama or breathing exercise. Kapalabathi or Skull Shining breathing exercise is very good because it’s contract our muscle in our belly, so it strengthen our stomach muscles and improve blood circulation which is help as remedy in for our nerves in the stomach. Besides kapalabathi pranayama some yoga posture is very beneficial for the microbiome inside  our gastrointestinal such as backbeding poses and all kind of twist poses. Backbeding poses like chakrasana or dhanurasana compress our digestive system so it stimulate the nervous system inside our belly, also twist pose like seated twist pose and supine twist pose that can help detoxification of the body and massage the digestive organs.

There is never ending mystery in human body and in ancient times most of the yogis in India already study and revealed it, and it’s about how we make use of this ancient discovery being part of our well being. The diet that they applied for centuries have been help in the development in gut microbiome structures and healthy environment inside our stomach. The food rich in nutrient and fresh is important in our diet in order to make our gut happy,also our healthy lifestyle plays part and by practicing yoga it definitely can help to maintain our healthy gastrointestinal nervous systems.

The most important things is would you mind having healthy diet and lifestyle for your healthy stomach in order to have a healthy mind and body? The answer is your choice….

Ingelin Parlina 

TTC August 2017



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