Calm your gut with an ancient pose

You're going about your day... when suddenly cramps jolt your gut... and you've got to run to the toilet faster than Jesse Owens at a 100-meter dash.

When you've got ulcerative colitis, it feels like you'll never leave your house again without fearing the immediate need for a toilet... and the Olympic speed to get you there.

And if you've got stress heaped on your head, forget leaving the house at all -- because it's one of the main triggers of your symptoms.

Talk about "cramping" your style!

But according to a new study, you can live your normal life with renewed confidence, even during stressful periods -- because you can decrease your chances of a UC flare-up with some gentle physical activity.

I'm talking about the ancient practice of yoga.

The study out of Germany found that after taking a weekly yoga class for three months, UC patients reported that their quality of life was better!

In the study, 77 patients with ulcerative colitis (and, therefore, a reduced quality of life due to the disease) were randomly assigned to either take weekly yoga sessions or read some books on self-care and advice for other lifestyle changes.

The yoga group practiced a type of yoga known as "hatha" -- which involves postures and breathing exercises designed to calm the body and mind -- for 90 minutes each class.

At the end of three months, not only did those in the yoga group reported BETTER quality of life than those in the self-care group, but they CONTINUED to experience the benefits even after the study ended.

Even though they were no longer taking yoga, the group reported FEWER symptom flare-ups, compared to the reading group -- even THREE MONTHS after stopping!

Show me ANY drug that can do that for this condition.

The simplest explanation for the connection is that yoga reduces stress. And since higher stress levels lead to more severe ulcerative colitis symptoms (because of higher inflammation levels), yoga may be a way to "trick" your body into making lemonade when life gives you lemons.

That sure beats having to take steroid drugs and suffering the risky side effects.

Now, things have changed a lot since the Sixties. You no longer need to be a card-carrying hippie to give yoga a shot -- you just need to put on some comfy pants and be willing to try poses with unpronounceable names.

Check out a beginner or senior yoga class for a gentle start. You may even be able to find a yoga teacher who plays some familiar music you'll love instead of that "far out" stuff that puts you to sleep.