Tips to help you fall back in love with pooping.
I’m a hopeless poopmantic.
I love when people, myself included, have good poops.
To my mind, there are few things more satisfying and downright glorious in this world than an easeful, shapely bowel movement. Of my many passions in life, helping someone rise from the porcelain throne with a smile on their face is certainly atop the list.
The 21st century is making this endeavor necessary. We are producing an ever-increasing population of struggling poopers. Whether it be poor diet, stress, emotional withhold, or some combination of everything, the lifestyle inherent to many of today’s earthly inhabitants is one where a good poo is becoming increasingly elusive.
Cavemen used to poop as many as six times a day. Dogs poop when they feel like it, where they feel like it. Horses take the most impressive dumps without so much as a flick of the tail.
One can observe that animals, as well as humans for that matter, operating under more natural conditions do not strain, sweat and grunt their way to a good poo. This needn’t occur for us either.
Our digestive systems are incredible things. It’s a wonder that we have any regularity at all given the toll that we so often put our bodies through, what with processed foods, mindless eating, and the myriad of other trials and tribulations that our physiology faces on a daily basis.
So, given the resiliency and wonder of our innards, imagine the miracle that can be created if only we dedicate time and focus (emotionally, physically and otherwise) to healthy elimination.
Speaking from personal experience and observation alike, the positive impacts extend far beyond the bathroom.
Regularity allows us ease-fulness, emotional release, and a sense that we can conquer the day.
To this end, here are some tips to keep you going regularly.
The best way to start the day
Though we all operate on different circadian rhythms, a bowel movement first thing upon waking is a default human tendency.
Routine can be tremendously helpful in this regard. Going to bed and waking up around the same time each day can help you get poo-ing on a more regular basis.
From an Ayurvedic perspective, for example, we can understand the importance of this through the cyclical presence of worldly elements. Going to bed before roughly 10pm (‘roughly’, given that everyone operates differently) is suggested as this is the time of day when pitta, or your fire element, is most active. If you stay up later in the night, your digestive system is firing on all cylinders and so you may find yourself craving a snack. This time, however, is meant for clearing away excess waste, so it’s best to ignore your cravings and catch some shut eye if you can.
Drinking warm water, perhaps with lemon, can help get you going in the morning (along with numerous other benefits).
If, after proper hydration and a light snack, you respond well to coffee or caffeinated beverages, the diuretic effects of these substances may also prove conducive to getting your day started the right way.
2. Hydration hydration hydration
To my last point, the human body responds best to warm water. When you consume it cold, your metabolic function is hindered as your body needs to work extra hard to heat the calorically-empty liquid.
We all know it, but many of us don’t put this knowledge into practice: drink enough water! Make sure you’re drinking regularly throughout the day and, if possible, avoid chugging liters at a time to “catch up”. The general rule of thumb for water consumption is to have between 0.5–1 ounce of water per pound of body weight per day.
4. Find what works for you
Find the times and foods that feel best for your body.
If you’ve struggled through irregularity for some time, or if you’re just not entirely conscious of what you’re eating, this will take time and experimentation.
If you’ve always been more inclined to poop at a certain time, it can help to try even if you don’t necessarily feel the urge. Building the mental synapses that contribute to healthy flow is important; there is undoubtedly a connection between your mind and body.
Plug and play with different foods, making retrospective observations. If you had a fantastic movement, consider your consumption over the course of the past few days to see what’s working.
5. Positioning…find your squat!
Modern toilets do not support a naturally sound pooping posture. While a 90-degree position may seem comfortable, it’s not optimal for healthy elimination.
Fortunately, things like squatty potties have been popularized, making us culturally more aware of the difficulties inherent to contemporary pooping.
Simply put: elevate your legs to achieve better elimination.
Squatty potties tend to err on the more expensive side, so I personally prefer using yoga blocks. They’re far cheaper, manouverable, and adjustable. You can easily find ones that suit your physiology on Amazon.
6. Breath work
Incorporating specific digestive-stimulating breathing techniques into our lives can be tremendously beneficial.
These 5 kundalini exercises are something that I’ve personally used to increase energetic flow to and around my digestive organs, helping to maintain their strength and flexibility.
7. Digestive Postures
As a yoga instructor, I’ve found several simple and manageable postures to be tremendously beneficial for both my clients, and myself. These positions essentially assist in massaging and wringing out any stuck toxicity in the intestines, thusly helping to relieve digestive discomfort.
8. Herbal remedies (triphala, poop tea, prunes)
There are a number of herbal remedies that can be used to sooth an ailing tummy.
9. Presence and mindfulness
Be present with your poo!
Leaving distractions outside of the bathroom when I need to help me get down to business and, before I know it, get me moving on with my day.
You’re not alone in the quest for a good poo. If you have any tips, whether conventional or otherwise, please share them in the comments below.