Many years ago, a King was looking for a new advisor. All applicants were told to inform the King of his best gift or asset and why it was so. As you can imagine, several material goods were proposed as gifts – the gift of wealth, the gift of gems and precious stones. Physical features and inheritances that only a King would have access to were also proposed – the vast armies at his disposal, the bountiful orchards of his kingdom, the King’s ability to be politically discerning. These are all wonderful gifts, and it was hard for the King to see who was the wisest.
Later, a nobody entered the chamber and proposed the gift of bowel movements. The King laughed mightily and waited for the real proposal. The courtiers and other contenders weren’t nearly so kind in their comments. The King seeing that this wasn’t a joke, starts to dismiss the proposal. Everyone has this gift, so why would this be considered the greatest!? The nobody stood their ground, “I challenge you Sire, go 5 days without evacuating your bowels. Then tell me that it isn’t the best gift in the world”. The King accepted his challenge.
During the next five days the King realized how smart the nobody was. The King couldn’t sleep well due to abdominal pain. The King lost his appetite, his pleasure in eating, and his taste for fine dining. The King became concerned because his mind was cloudy and unable to focus. The King was unable to enjoy physical pleasures – a good horse ride, sparring with his men, chasing his children, or pleasuring his wife. All areas of his life were diminished or wrought with pain all because he wasn’t allowing this gift of bowel movements to occur!
On the day that the King finally released his bowels it is said to have been one of the happiest days of his life. And on that day the nobody was appointed as his consultant.
This myth has been told several times before I was even alive. But it still holds true. The King and courtier’s response to dismiss the wonderful gift of elimination is something that most of us unconsciously do every day. We don’t think about how amazing our bodies are, and how much pooping can impact our lives.
Ayurveda LOVE poop. Your poop tells an Ayurvedist so much about what is currently going on inside the body. When you poop, how you poop, and what you poop works together to give a full and complete picture of your health at that moment.
When you poop!
Preferably you poop every day, first thing in the morning. For many Americans, this type of consistency is as much of a Myth as the King described above. Ayurveda has so many helpful tips and tricks to make this not a myth. By eating the largest meal of the day at lunch time, gives the body plenty of time to work on digestion and allow the food eaten a chance to go through the body. Making sure you eat consistently, eating only when hungry and to satiation, and in a calm environment will do wonders for your digestive tract.
Wake n’ Poo is the best feeling in the world. You’ll start your day feeling light, ready to take on the world with clear thoughts, and no sluggishness.
How you poop!
Please don’t strain. I know sometimes you might have to, but oh my that is so difficult on your body. If your body is in balance, straining shouldn’t even be part of your language in terms of the bathroom. Investing in a squatty potty or something to lift your feet up so that you are more in a squat will help reduce the strain issues.
Power pooping is also not super great. You know the kind I mean. The “Oh man! I have five minutes to poop, grab lunch, and be back at my desk!”. Please don’t do this to yourself, pooping should be a like a daily meditation. Time just for you, to do what you need and allow it to happen naturally.
And last of all when your body says it is time to poop. Do it. Don’t let meetings, life, or the fact that it isn’t your own personal toilet get in the way of evacuation. When the body is ready to release, you should listen. Or else, it is like stopping the factory line. Not pooping when the body is ready throws off the rest of the poo-duction (ok, poo production was a bad pun. But the knowledge is sound).
What you poop!
Let’s throw this out on front street right now, if there is blood in the stool go chat with your doctor. That’s a sign you should listen to.
If there is still food that you can easily identify after you poop, that means your Agni (Digestive Fire) is really low and that you aren’t getting the nutritional benefits of what you ate.
If you are pooping water or more liquid type poop, this tells the Ayurvedist that your Agni is STRONG (Tikshna Agni). I mean, too strong. That means you are burning up all that good stuff that your body could have used. Think of going camping and making smores. A low fire means raw marshmallows and you aren’t getting that gooey goodness that is the best part of a smore. But at the same time, if the fire is too hot or you leave the marshmallow in for too long, then all you get is a mouthful of ash and no one wants that. If your body is giving you this ‘hot tip’ then you should probably start inspecting your life for where the heat can be turned down. Too much anger? Try meditating. Too much spiciness? Reduce the hot foods and load up on the cooling spices. And make sure that you are eating enough!
If your poop is taking the scenic route through your gut and just getting to be a big ol’ large load, then you my friend are experiencing Manda Agni, (slow, weak digetsive fire). In this instance your bowels take forever and a day to get through the tract, and this means that you aren’t absorbing what nutrients you need, and instead you are making the body work double time to move this double wide poo-mobile. That is super stressful on your system and it means that you probably aren’t Wake n’ Poo-ing every day. Typically, these people will feel sluggish, dull, mentally cloudy, and just not motivated for a lot of movement. So, help your body out by eating warm, nourishing and light foods, with digestive spices that will help break the food down even more, and going on walks before or after meals.
If your poop is dry, hard, and compact – like a rabbit’s poo – then this means you have low or irregular digetsive fire (Vishama agni). This type of fire is tricky, because some days you will feel right as rain, pooping on schedule, eating with vigor, and feeling great after you eat. Other days will feel like getting hit with a brick wall – all of a sudden no appetite, no hunger, feeling gassy, bloaty, and distended, and on top of all that constipation with a lot of effort for very little poo to come out. Talk about annoying! To help balance out that fire, try warm, nourishing, and oily foods, consistent eating times, and slow relaxing yoga postures.
Poop matters! It helps us eliminate wastes, allows us to have clear thoughts and healthy appetites. It gives you a great idea of what things are being absorbed into the body and what is seen as “enemies of the state” (I.E. foods that are hard for your body to digest like dairy or gluten). Pooping forces you to have your own little meditation on your porcelain throne.
Now go enjoy your poop!