As I mentioned at the beginning of my 3 part series on Ayurveda routines for better health that I would share my colleague Shelly Prosko‘s Toilet Mediation with you. Shelly is pelvic floor physiotherapist and yoga therapist.
Whether you are a yogi or not, you’ve probably heard of the benefits of mindfulness. We try to mindful with our words when speaking to our kids or colleagues. We think carefully about what we choose to eat, how we spend our time, etc. We practice mindfulness in our everyday activities so why not when we toilet?
First of all, how we position ourselves is important. You want to have your knees higher than your hips. To do so you can purchase a squatty potty or bring your feet onto yoga blocks or a small garbage can. This is a better position for elimination and helps to release pelvic floor muscles.
Shelly shares an acronym called A.I.R.B.A.G. – use this acronym the next time you toilet:
A– Awareness: start by feeling your feet on the floor, feel your pubic bone, sit bones, tailbone. Become aware of any physical sensations you are feeling – in your belly, low back, spine, do a quick scan of your arms, are you clenching neck, jaw, eyes?
I– Imagination: next, visualize your pelvic floor and the muscles that connect your pubic bone to your sit bones and tail bone at the back.
R– Release/relax: see if you can let go of tension. Notice if holding anything.
B– Breathe: become aware of how you’re breathing. You don’t need to change it. Notice how your body is moving with breath. Go back to imagining the pelvic floor – visualize how it moves as you breathe – descends/widens as you inhale, recoils back up on exhale.
A– Allow: without straining or pushing. Notice if more needs to come out. Surrender and trust, let go. Trust that your body knows what it needs to do. Do you need to activate or push a little bit without straining? Stay with your breath, revisit the other letters.
G– Gratitude: when you’re finished, take a moment to send some gratitude to your body for the amazing, sophisticated system that just did some work.
If you have difficulties eliminating daily, consult an Ayurvedic counsellor or Naturopathic doctor. Our diet and exercise can have a huge impact on how well our entire digestive and elimination systems work together. As a yoga therapist I can help you address physical limitations that lead to tension or tightness or holding patterns. You can schedule a session with me at Living Waters Therapies.