Yoga for Obesity

Yoga for Obesity

Anyone who is overweight has sometime or the other, been the butt of unwanted nicknames like Plumpy, fatso, Hippo or even more painful terms like Elephantine, Obese, humongous and so on. This world with all its myriad facets can be very cruel and cannot be changed, so the right approach to handle this situation is to change oneself which is within one’s capacity.

One is considered to be overweight or obese when the person’s body weight is not in accordance with his/her height and age. The Body mass index (BMI) is more than 25 to 30 and more. Such individuals usually complain of symptoms like tiring easily, feeling breathless, lethargy, inability to carry out simple tasks. They may be also plagued by psychological issues such as anxiety, fear, irritation, low esteem, anti-social expression of negative emotions. And yet we sometimes come across overweight people who carry their weight with aplomb. They exhibit qualities of cheerfulness, laugh easily and not self-conscious or diffident at all. This has a lot to do with one’s emotional stability, acceptance of reality and a productive life style. Causes of obesity or excess weight are various, they could be due to hormonal fluctuations, depression, complacency, gluttony, guilt, self-abuse, sheer lack of knowledge about nutrition and wrong eating habits.

There are any number of waist wilting diet plans floating around for all those who want to shed some of those stubborn kilos and these diets almost always come with fantastical promises of overnight transformation in to slim reed-like figures. Unfortunately for all those who fall prey to these Yo-yo-ing diets, there is never ending disappointment in store. So, what is a surefire mantra that assuredly slowly and steadily melts away the unwanted flab? Well, the mantra reveals itself to those who are rich in receptivity of knowing the right approach- here one makes a pact of moment to moment ‘Awareness’ regarding what one eats 24X7.

Stop trying to lose weight and shift the focus on gaining holistic fitness. The open secret is quality consciousness as well as quantity control. One should stop pandering to one’s taste buds and start focusing on the body. Awareness leads to understanding the difference between emotional eating and actual nutritional requirements. This can be achieved over a period of time by shifting the focus from food to something more creative and productive in nature.

Yoga offers various techniques on a platter to those who are conscientious in their attempt to reach their goal.

Definite lifestyle changes under Ahara, Vihara, Achara, Vichara:-

  • Guidelines for right kind of sustenance and build immunity(Ahara)
  • Sukshma vyayama (simple and easy body movements) to unwind (Achara)
  • Simple easy and highly beneficial Asanas for flexibility, stamina.(Achara)
  • Relaxation techniques to work on one’s mind and body (Vihara)
  • Pranayamas for mind control via breath control (Vichara)
  • Attitudinal training (Vichara)
  • Meditation techniques for one’s spiritual progress (Vichara, Achara)

A few tips that can help are :

  • Focus on fiber rich foods as these satiate and yet low in calories e.g. whole and multi grains for breakfast and lunch, sprouted soft pulses and lentils.
  • Eat seasonal vegetables and light soups for dinner.
  • Fruits that are not pulpy but juicy.
  • Plenty of green leafy vegetables like Amaranth, spinach, dill, Drumstick leave.
  • Incorporate variety of raw seeds like Pumpkin, Sunflower, flax, Sesame, Subja/Chia dill etc.
  • Snack more on walnuts, black currents prunes, figs and less of dates, Apricots, Cashew nuts, and pistachios.
  • Snack on celery sticks, Romaine lettuce, Tomatoes, cucumbers. Also puffed amaranth( rajgira), roasted soya nuts and chick peas.
  • Avoid any kind of sweeteners not even honey.
  • Focus on plenty of fluids like diluted lime juice, butter milk, tender coconut, Barley water, green tea minimum of 2 litres of water plus rest of the fluids.
  • Avoid fasting eat very small but healthy portion of foods every two to three hrs.

Cultivate a hobby that will take your mind off food for, when one is trying to lose weight one uses food as security blanket it is more a secure feeling than hunger. It is all in the mind and here attitudinal training of different Bhavanas will help.

Drastic weight loss is detrimental to one’s health so keep small targets of losing a few ounces per week. Focus on losing inches over pounds. Relaxation techniques ease the way. Vigorous kapala bhaati, Bhastrika, Surya namaskar, hip walking, Knee raises, brisk walking etc. all contribute in losing weight and increasing cardio vascular health.

Last but not the least, cultivate an attitude of gratitude for all the small blessings in ones life.

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