Yoga and Weight Management

Yoga supports physical, mental and spiritual development. It is said that if you want to have the best version of yourself practice yoga. It is also an effective tool to lose weight irrespective of its apparently non-aerobic nature. The awareness gained through a gentle, relaxing yoga practice helps to lose weight.

What does Ayurveda Say?

Ayurveda states that one of the main reasons of diseases is Pragya-Aparadh that translates to ‘mistake of the intellect’. It is like doing what is wrong despite knowing the consequences. In this modern era, we frequently do Pragya-Aparadh, for e.g. bad sleep patterns, excessive exposure to social media, over eating etc. Overlooking these factors results in weight gain and thus imbalance in the body. Yoga not only improves the flexibility of the body but also helps to get into right mental space to actually cut the weight.

It is a general perception that weight can only be reduced by doing cardial exercises. Yoga addresses weight loss issues through Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama and meditation. Let us know the relation between yoga and weight management.

1. Yoga and Mindful eating

When you practice yoga with the help of Asana, Pranayama and Meditation, mindfulness is developed, i.e., living in the present moment. This makes you more conscious while doing any action, say eating. You eventually start avoiding unhealthy food and may start consciously looking for fresh and unprocessed food.

Paying attention to what you are eating results into eating slowly, ultimately lessening the quantity of your food consumption. Thus, you start realizing the requirements of your body needless of consulting any dietician.

Your body tells you something, start listening to it. You can feel the capacity of your body and understand when it is asking you stop. This helps you to avoid over-eating

Unlike the short term diet plans, yoga is a lifelong habit with constructive effects!

2. Yoga and Sleep quality

Quality of your sleep is one of the major factors that affect your weight and its gain. If there is no proper sleep body craves for extra food which adds to weight.

Following practices will help you work for your sound sleep-

  • Yoga postures like Balasana, Uttanasana, Supta baddha konasana and Shavasan improve sleep quality.
  • Pranayama practices like Bhramari reduces stress which improves the sleep quality.
  • Regular practice of Pranav Jap encourages weight loss and helps to maintain a healthy body.
  • Guided Meditation and Yog Nidra may help to deepen the sleep.

3. Yoga and toned muscles 

Yoga in general is not an aerobic exercise. Practicing yoga postures helps to develop toned muscles and improves metabolism.

Asanas like the following can help to stretch the whole body, strengthen and tone the muscles and also improve blood circulation.

  • Chaturangadandasana,
  • Virabhadrasana – Warrior pose,
  • Trikonasana – Triangle pose,
  • Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward Dog pose,
  • Sarvangasana – Shoulder stand,
  • Sethu Bandha Sarvangasana – Bridge pose
  • Dhanurasana – Bow pose

4. Yoga and Cleansing processes (Shuddhikriya)

Shuddhikriyas like Vaman, Douti, Neti are useful to remove the toxins from your body. It improves the functioning of vital body parts, especially of the digestive, respiratory, circulatory and nervous system. This ultimately helps in removing the excess fat and thus reduces body weight.

5. Yoga and regularity

If one follows daily routine, Dinacharya, there is an improvement in overall health. Weight loss is a positive effect of following the Niyama i.e. rules. To abide by the daily routine is one of the basic principles for Yoga practitioner.

6.  Yoga and Life style

By practicing yoga, one starts to learn to let things go. This habit reduces mental and physical stress which controls all other negative activities like improper sleep, overeating, etc.

Thus we can conclude by saying that there is a simple mantra to maintain a healthy weight –

Mindful eating + proper exercise + sound sleep = Happy & Healthy Weight

What are you waiting for? Be a yoga practitioner and take care of your body.

 

Swati Mandlekar

 

Swati Mandlekar

Germany

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