We do our best to let our yoga teacher's know what ailments we have, but sometimes it's hard to keep up! Recently a gal mentioned, in passing, that she'd had acid reflux for some time now. She didn't tie it to yoga or think that her practice could help or hurt this condition. Depending on how the practice is, it could do either.
Here are some basic suggestions to watch out for if you (or someone you know) is dealing with acid reflux, gerd, or heartburn during a yoga session:
* Wear loose comfortable clothing.
* When on the back (especially savasana) use blankets to keep the upper back and head higher than the belly.
* No strenuous backbends; deep stretching in the abs can bring on too much stimulation.
* Any activity that calms and sooths the belly region is helpful--this could be passive breathing, meditation, and gentle movements.
* Avoid active exhales; do not pull the belly in tightly.
* Gentle forward bends (with a passive relaxed exhale) can help to relax the abs.
* Gentle slow stretches of the abs or side body are fine--you may want to start slowly and stay in each position a breath or two even if in a group class we're moving in and out with each breath.
* Think "is my belly calm in this pose". If the answer is "yes", precede; if not, lessen the degree--that is, don't go into the pose so far.
* Feel free to use chairs to support you in standing forward bends of any kind to gently massage the belly without deeply compressing it. Also, you could widen your legs in forward bends to lessen compression while still getting the benefits.
* Do your best to avoid eating 2-3 hours prior to class; if you need something try something small (preferably fruit) 30-60 minutes prior to class.
Today is the first day of the rest of your life!