Why Fullness is Not Your Enemy

Yoga Pose - Sunset
Over the years many of us have been taught that ‘being full’ is not as normal as it actually is. This belief fosters disconnection with ourselves and we end up trying to convince our minds that we are either ‘still hungry’, ‘full’, or ‘stuffed’ when we’re neither. In recovery, dealing with emotions is hard and sometimes it’s easier to deny the emotion and translate it to hunger, fullness, craving, or restriction – which just ends up disconnecting us more from ourselves and the process. Once we embrace the recovery process we have to deal with the real emotions and physical sensations that just ‘accepting the process as it is’ brings with us
and these can be really uncomfortable.

One of the physical sensations that this process may bring in the first few months is the feeling of uncomfortable fullness –which generally is a mixture between “mental fullness” and “physical fullness”.

Thankfully, there are several techniques that can be applied to – physically –  ease the uncomfortable feeling, such as yoga or mindfulness!

Applying the following yoga postures in sequence will help your digestive system to move and process, letting the sensation pass and giving space to deal and accept the real underlying emotions:

cat & cow yoga pose

CAT & COW

The cat-cow stretch is a yoga classic, and with good reason. It consists of moving the spine from an arched position (top photo) to a rounded one (bottom photo). As you arch, inhale and as you flex or round, exhale.

DOWNWARD-FACING DOG (Adho-Mukha Svanasana)

Downward-facing dog is a yoga-must in every style and class. Many believe it’s just an upside down triangle, but it’s actually one of the most fundamental poses in the asanas series. To do this pose, come onto your hands and knees with your palms just forward of the shoulders. Spread your fingers, keep your yoga pose downward dogknees under your hips and toes tucked. Inhale, and lift your knees away from the floor as your sit-bones reach towards the ceiling. Exhale, and elongate up through your tailbone moving the abdomen towards the heels. Your heels lower and your legs lengthen without strain to the hamstrings or a pull on the lower back. Keep your gaze down with your head in line with your arms. Stretch your back and feel the length in the spine as the weight is evenly distributed between your hands and feet. For beginners, a slight can be kept in the knees, and the heels do not have to touch the floor.

EXTENDED PUPPY POSE (Uttana Shishosana)

Extended Puppy Pose (Uttana Shishosana) is a variation of Downward-Facing that has a stronger emphasis on the heart and back, rather than including the legs in the complete pose. This pose invites the heart to melt down toward the ground, thereby stretching the spine, shoulders and arms. Yoga pose: extended puppy poseFirst Come to all fours with your shoulders over your wrists and your hips above your knees. Walk your hands (shoulder-width apart) as far from your legs as you can – without bringing your hips forward. Lower your chest down toward the ground while trying to reach your hands with your chin. Keep your knees under your hips, and gently release your forehead down to the ground. Allow your neck to relax and direct your breath consciously into the lower back, thereby lengthening your spine in both directions.

SUPINE TWIST (Supta Matsyendrasana)

This is a great pose to end or begin the day!It stretches your back, opens your heart, and rinses your internal organs.  Start with lying down, hug your knees towards your chest and inhale. Extend your left leg and with your left hand, drop down your right knee to the left side as you exhale; keeping the right shoulder-head down. After that, stretch your arm to the right and turn your head slowly to watch the hand. Then, come back to center, hugging both knees to your chest and end in your relaxed position. Repeat again with the other side.

yoga pose supine twist
CORPSE POSE (Savasana)

yoga pose: corpse poseSavasana is one of the most complete -and advanced- yoga poses in any and every style. It consists in releasing all of your expectations, thoughts, and feelings into the solid ground. Come to lie down on your back and separate your feet hip-width apart, letting your feet fall down to the sides. Bring your arms alongside your body, but slightly separated from the it, and turn the palms to face upwards. Relax your whole body, including your face, eyeballs and jaw and focus on your breath.

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Image source: Pinterest, ©Michael Winokur
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