How to manage weight and stress with Yoga

How to manage weight and stress with Yoga

With the ongoing festival season, we celebrate by indulging in rich calorie loaded food that leads to weight gain. The demands of the festivities also add to our stress levels. And more stress means more cortisol (body’s chief stress hormone) which leads to higher appetite for junk food and results in more belly fat.

To maintain overall well-being, it is important to take care of our emotional health as well as physical health. If one is neglected, the other will suffer. Stress certainly plays a role in maintaining health as excess cortisol can lead to increased abdominal fat, depression, bone loss, suppressed immune system, fatigue, diabetes, and heart disease just to name a few things.

Yoga helps to combat increase in weight and stress as well. Though some yoga practices burn fewer calories than traditional exercises like jogging, swimming, etc., yoga helps to increase your mindfulness. This helps you to become more aware of what you are eating and make better food choices. Also various styles of Ashtanga Yoga help to burn calories, tone and stretch your muscles, as well as provide weight bearing exercise for your bones. Yoga also helps in increasing your digestive capacity and in turn boosts your metabolism. Eventually this reduces body’s capacity to store excess fats.

5 ways to get your body and mind in shape –

  1. Practice mindfulness (theability to observe) that helps to change the relationship of mind to body, and eventually to food and eating.
  2. Be passionate about your asana practice. Various asanas help to detoxify our liver, activate our thyroid glands, alkalize (maintain pH balance of the body), boost our heart rate, improve digestion, etc. Bhujangasana, Dhanurasana, Chakrasana, Sarvangasana, Matsyasana, Paschimottanasana, Salabhasana, Naukasana, Veerabhadrasana, Trikonasana are just some of the asanas to be done daily. If time doesn’t permit to do all of the asanas at one go, then it is also suggested that the asanas can be divided in 2-3 groups. You can spend at least 10 mins on a few asanas before each meal time to make the most of it.
  3. Most basicbreathing practices in Pranayam also aim at cleansing, balancing and rejuvenating our inner organs by flushing our toxins and promoting good health.
  4. Relaxation practices like Nispandbhav and Savasana, help to reduce stress which in turn reduces weight too. Also practicing relaxing techniques promotes good digestion. Moreover, inadequate sleep gives rise to cortisol levels rise, which leads to fat gain. So regularizing sleep schedule with about 8 hours of high-quality sleep will help to get rid of extra kilos.
  5. Follow a balanced diet and monitor eating habits. While simple eating is the mantra of yoga, you must also be aware of not eating food with disturbed state of mind. When mind is disturbed, it’s best to sip some liquid like buttermilk, herbal tea, lemon juice or even eat fruits. Lastly Yoga never endorses starving to lose weight.

Balance is all about gaining something in the processing of losing something. Yoga helps to gain peace of mind while letting go stress as well as excess weight.

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1 Comment
  • Tal Ravid
    Posted at 12:21h, 25 January Reply

    As always the Institue’s teachings are simple yet professional. We read and talk about some posts during my lectures and classes here. All the best!

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