The Link between the Gut and the Mind

The focus of month’s practice is better digestion for better emotional fitness.

Did you know that there is a direct link between what’s happening in your gut and your moods? Well, it’s true. The brain communicates with your gut via the central nervous system and the vast network of neurons that line the gut called the enteric system.

In fact, up to 90 percent of the cells involved in digestive sensations carry information TO the brain rather than receiving messages from it. This means your gut can influence your mood as much as your thoughts do. The balance of microorganisms that live in your gut has a major impact upon your thoughts, emotions and mood. Stress stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, better known as the fight, flight or freeze response, which leads to a decrease in digestive function. A decrease in digestive function can lead to distress signals to brain, just as an upset brain can send distress signals to the gut. Your stomach or gut problems may cause mood swings, depression, stress or anxiety.

Try this month’s practice to clear away stressful mental clutter that can accumulate faster than fur balls in the corners of your kitchen (assuming you have a dog or a cat!)

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Step 1. Apply Digest Zen

Digest Zen is a blend of oils that includes anise, peppermint, ginger, caraway, coriander, tarragon and fennel.

Physically this digestive blend helps to relieve gut unrest such as gas, bloating, nausea and heartburn.

Emotionally, it helps to relieve mental indigestion by helping you break down and translate mental experiences.

Place a few drops into your palm and then dilute with about a teaspoonful of a carrier oil such as coconut oil or use an unscented lotion.

Rub this mixture in a circle around the navel center starting from your right to left following the flow of digestion.

Join us for the next Introduction to Essential Oils workshop (free!)

Image from mudras for Awakening the energy Body by Alison Denicola

Image from mudras for Awakening the energy Body by Alison Denicola

Step 2. Mushtika Mudra

Sit comfortably and place your hands as shown in the photo above resting them just above the belly button. Keep your shoulders and face relaxed.

Do 5-10 slow abdominal breaths feeling the belly move away from the spine on the inhale and towards the spine on the exhale.

To learn which mudras, breathing practices and yoga postures best support you right now, book in for a 1 hour private yoga session.

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Step 3. Yoga Nidra for Mental Digestion

Yoga Nidra is one of the most powerful meditation techniques for relieving mental exhaustion. When you can no longer process the information coming in, it leaves you exhausted and confused.

Yoga Nidra is a form of guided meditation. All you do is get comfortable, close your eyes and listen.

Click here to sample a 20 minute guided Yoga Nidra session. Don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel!

If you like it you can get the full MP3. This album includes a balancing practice for each of the three elemental types (dosha types) plus two bonus tracks.