Teach Myself to Hit The Toilet at the Appointed Time
September 20, 2007 11:51 AM   Subscribe

I want to practice yoga early in the mornings. But it's got to be after bowel movement. Problem is, my bowel movements, though quite regular in terms of daily-ness, occur at odd times. Sometimes I have to wait 2 or 3 hours after waking, and that throws off the whole sched. I also need to do yoga on an empty stomach, so eating something to stimulate the bowel movement isn't a solution. And I don't like coffee or cigarettes. I do try to keep a regular sched, waking/sleeping at approximately the same time each day. So....do I have any other options for teaching my body to do its bizness first thing upon waking?
posted by jimmyjimjim to Health & Fitness (15 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
But it's got to be after bowel movement

Just curious - why? If you don't have to go, then how does that interefere with the yoga?
posted by jpdoane at 12:05 PM on September 20, 2007 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: thanks.

I've tried eating a light thing or two. Doesn't usually help. In any case, I'd rather than figure out a home-grown way to stimulate this, I'd prefer to somehow teach my body to be more prompt as a general rule, so it's not a daily trevail.
posted by jimmyjimjim at 12:06 PM on September 20, 2007

My mother says fiber capsules, just a couple at night, helps her go first thing. Experiment with dosage, starting with one, she says.

My idea: maybe a brisk 10-minute walk first thing will get your motor running?
posted by Ollie at 12:09 PM on September 20, 2007

a quick jog around the block does it for me every time
posted by waxboy at 12:17 PM on September 20, 2007

How regular are you with your eating pattern? It might be a timing issue of when you eat. You might want to adjust it by shifting your meals a couple of hours ahead or back to see if your poop patterns change.

Also, try 4-6 oz of very warm, but not super hot water on an empty stomach in the morning. That should be enough to stimulate your bowels.
posted by SoulOnIce at 12:22 PM on September 20, 2007

Yeah, really just jump up and down.
posted by aeighty at 12:28 PM on September 20, 2007

you don't like coffee, but what about tea? try the traditional caffeinated 'breakfast' variety.
posted by buka at 12:43 PM on September 20, 2007

I remember reading about this jelly bean cure for constipation. I know you're not constipated, but maybe you could experiment with it to see if it helps with regularity.
posted by peep at 12:54 PM on September 20, 2007

oh, another suggestion: a lot of people drink warm water with lemon in it in the morning. Add a enough lemon juice to yours and it should work well.
posted by buka at 1:02 PM on September 20, 2007

I remember reading somewhere (it may have been in an old Reader's Digest 'I am Joe's bowels' type articles) that you can train your bowels by going and sitting on the toilet for about twenty minutes at the same time every day. No straining or anything, just sit there and relax with something to read, and if nothing happens, get up again and go about your day. Continue doing that every day at the same time and eventually your body should get the idea.
posted by happyturtle at 2:40 PM on September 20, 2007

Response by poster: Yoga's about letting go.
posted by jimmyjimjim at 4:56 PM on September 20, 2007

Response by poster: woops, that last post was in reply to the person who asked why I need to do this prior to yoga practice.

Thanks everyone. But the thing is, I do go daily. Why can't it be earlier? Without coaxing and remedies?

Happyturtle, I'll try your tough love approach, though it seems like a recipe for hemmoroids (sp?)
posted by jimmyjimjim at 5:15 PM on September 20, 2007

I always go right after breakfast. I have no idea why. It's been this way for a couple of years, since I took fiber pills for a month for IBS. Don't take the fiber anymore, and I'm still regular as a clock.
posted by IndigoRain at 7:32 PM on September 20, 2007

Definitely try supplemental fiber (give it a couple weeks for your body to get used to it, you might get a little bloaty/gassy at first). You can play around with when you take it to try to fine-tune your morning schedule. It does tend to regularize the schedule. Beyond that, you know, digestion, it's a process. You go when it gets there. You can only control these things so much. A regular eating schedule may also help.
posted by nanojath at 10:11 PM on September 20, 2007

Response by poster: I figured it out. As is often the case, my system is trying to accommodate me.

There are days when I'm busy in the morning, and don't promptly follow the urge. Deflect for a couple of hours, and the next day, the urge comes later. Keep mixing it up like this, e.g. because of scheduling issues, and the system loses its natural 24 hour inertai, resulting in random results.

The trick is that when you have a day where the urge strikes at the right time, accommodate the urge immediately. For next 48 hours, pay particular attention to consistency of meals and sleep, and, again, accomodate the urge immediately.

The cycle thus reinforced, the only things to derail you are 1. sudden changes to your sleep/meal cycles, 2. your own procrastination in following the urge, or 3. illness
posted by jimmyjimjim at 9:32 AM on October 10, 2007

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