Yoga for Obesity



Obesity is not a disease, it’s a condition…!!!

In recent times, Obesity has reached epidemic proportions. 20 to 40% of the youth and 10 to 20% of the children worldwide today are in the grasp of this condition. It is caused as a result of the accumulation of so much body fat that it might have a negative effect on one’s health. Obesity is now being considered as a medical condition and various procedures and treatments are being developed to cure it. This is the main reason why it has gone out of control. The best possible approach is, of course, prevention. But in case, you do become obese due to an unhealthy lifestyle, one thing is for sure, you can get away from Obesity by adapting Yoga in your daily life. But more important than reducing your weight, is to find out the reason behind the weight gain. One such reason is the food you eat. If you do not control what you put in your body, then you will never be able to get away from this condition. We’ve written extensive articles on what and how to eat food in our Great Eating section. The second reason for obesity is the lack of physical exercise. A combination of eating the right food along with Yoga will surely help you reduce your weight and get away from Obesity. Another reason is considered to be hereditary. Which is very unfortunate as one doesn’t have any control over what kind of genes are handed down from one’s parents. This is where Yoga comes into play in preventing this condition. Also one must avoid intake of supplementary sugar.

If you do not control what you put in your body, then you will never be able to get away from this condition.

Baba Ramdev lets us know that Obesity is also the root cause for various other ailments, like Arthritis due to excessive weight on the joints, back pain, Diabetes, Heart diseases and may also lead to Depression. Again before you start the workout you must perform the 7 Pranayamas as described in the Great Breathing section. This is very important as some people gain weight due to dysfunction of the Thyroid gland. This may be cured by performing Pranayamas before the workout.  Once you’ve finished with the Pranayamas and in case you feel a little tired, do take a small break and then start the following workout:

We start by doing 7 Sukshm Vyayam (small exercises). These small exercises will loosen up your joints and flex your muscles so that you can then undertake the Asanas.

Exercise 1: For the Ankles – Rotate your ankle back and forth. With great effort, your entire foot must extend and retract. This is very good for Arthritis and you’ll start feeling the release of tension from your feet.

Now rotate both ankles together clockwise and then anti-clockwise. Repeat each of these at least 5 times.

Exercise 2: For the Hips – Butterfly is an exercise for the hips. Bend your knees and connect the bottom of your feet. Grab them with both hands by interlocking the fingers. Now make a butterfly wing-like action with your legs. You can repeat this exercise till you start feeling your hips loosening up and relaxing.

Exercise 3: For the Wrists – Make a fist with both hands with your thumb curled inside the fingers and then rotate them, first clockwise and then anti-clockwise.

Exercise 4: For the Shoulders – Bend your arms and place your fingers on your shoulders. Connect your elbows in front of your chest. Now, while breathing in, rotate your arms up and around your shoulders, all the way back as far as possible. Continue rotating your shoulders, while breathing out, till your elbows re-connect in front of your chest. First, do this clockwise and then anti-clockwise.

Exercise 5: For the Shoulders – Now stretch your arms above your head and grab each other at the wrists. While breathing in pull your left hand with your right hand behind your head. Make sure your neck is straight. Then, while breathing out, come back and pause in the middle. Do the same on the other side. Take caution and perform this exercise slowly if you suffer from cervical spondylitis or pain in the neck. All these ailments will subside with this exercise.

Exercise 6: For the Neck – Lift your right arm, place it on the side of your head and press against each other. The pressure will create a shiver in the neck muscles and strengthen them. Do the same for the other side, from the front and from the back.

Exercise 7: For the Shoulders – Place both your hands on your knees and rotate your shoulders clockwise and then anti-clockwise. Repeat this at least 5 times each.

Now we will perform 10 Asanas. These are a combination of 3 sitting Asanas, 2 standing and then 5 laying down.

Asana 1: Grinding – Align your legs in front of you. Interlock your hands with your fingers and while inhaling, bend your body backward. Then while exhaling, bend it forwards. At the same time rotate your hands around your feet, clockwise and then anti-clockwise. Repeat this for at least 5 times in each direction. Make sure you don’t lift your legs or bend your knees while doing it. This very simple exercise will remove ailments from your waist and stomach.

Asana 2: Kati Soundarya AsanaOpen up your legs and spread them out as far as possible. Now stretch out your arms to your sides and while taking a deep breath turn your right hand around to touch your left toe. Rotate your left arm behind your body and up. At the same time rotate your head to look at your left arm. This will completely twist your waist. Then, while breathing out, return to the center position. Repeat the same on the other side. If you are ill or suffer from ache in your waist, then don’t bend completely. On the other hand, if you’re completely well, then you may also perform it faster, without stopping in the center. Do this at least 5 times for each side. This is one of the best exercises for the waist. It will help reduce the fat on the sides, increase flexibility and your stomach will become healthier. It also applies pressure on your liver, spleen and intestine and actives them.

Asana 3: Pashu Vishram Asana (Animal Relax Pose)Fold your left leg outwards so that your toes are facing out and heels are facing inwards. Then fold the right leg and place the bottom of your right feet on your left thigh. Sitting in this position, while breathing in, raise your arms above your head and lean back as far as possible. Now, while breathing out, lower your body towards the right side and place your forehead in front of your right knee. At the same time extend your hands forwards and place your palms on the ground. Hold this pose for a moment and while breathing in, lift your body up. Do the same on the left side. Repeat for a couple of times and then in the end while coming up rotate your arms around and place them on the ground behind you.

Asana 4: Konasana (Angle Pose) – Stand with your legs spread apart as far as possible. Spread your arms on your sides, palm facing downwards. Now, while breathing in, rotate your waist and touch your left foot with your right hand. At the same time rotate your left arm upwards and look at it. Hold this pose for a while and then rotate back into the initial pose. Repeat on the other side.

Asana 5: Tiryaka Tadasana (Swaying palm tree pose) – This Kriya is also good for increasing height in children. Spread your legs apart by about 2 feet. Stretch your arms, palms facing upwards, with your fingers interlocked as before. Now while breathing in, bend sideways, towards your right, as far as you can. Hold this pose for a while and then, while breathing out, rotate back to the upright position. Repeat on the other side. This will help reduce fat on your sides and your body will become healthy. Repeat at least a couple of times on each side.

Asana 6: Ardha Halasana (Half Plough Pose) – Lift your right leg up to 90 degrees and rotate it back down. Repeat for the other leg. This same exercise may also be performed with both legs together. Make sure your legs are straight at all times. You may repeat this exercise from 5 to 10 times. People with heart diseases, high blood pressure and Hernia may avoid doing this exercise.

Asana 7: Padvritasana – Again, keeping your legs straight, rotate them around your hips so as to make a complete circle. Place your hands firmly on your side, palms down, to balance yourself while performing this exercise. You may do this first with your right leg, then left leg and finally with both legs. First do it clockwise and then anti-clockwise. Repeat each one of these exercises 5 to 10 times.

Once you’ve done this Asana with individual legs, you may also perform the same with both legs.

Asana 8: Dwichakrikasana (Leg Rolling) – Lift both legs up together. Then bend them at the knees so as to touch your thighs to your chest and then straighten them back down. Repeat 5 to 10 times.

The next 2 Asanas are a little bit more difficult. If you suffer from High Blood Pressure or Heart diseases or Cervical Spondylosis then please avoid doing these Asanas.

Asana 9: Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand) – Lay down in Shavasana (Corpse Pose). Make sure your feet are stretched downwards, knees are straight and your hands are placed next to your sides, palms down. Lift both your legs slowly and turn them towards your head first. At the same time lift your back and support it with your hands. Now lift your legs upwards at 90 degrees from the ground. Make sure your legs are stretched upwards and knees are straight. Hold this pose for a minute or two while breathing normally. Now remove your hands from their supporting position and bend your legs towards your head. Now slowly lower your back down and rotate your legs back to their original position. The Asana ends with you lying down in Shavasana again. This Asana is extremely beneficial for Thyroid Gland, Eyes, and Hair. This will help you get away from Obesity. Your face will always be lit up with redness of extensive blood flow. Youth will always accompany you, wrinkles will not populate on your face and dark circles will not appear under your eyes.

Asana 10: Halasana (Plow Pose) – Again starting with Shavasana slowly raise your legs and rotate them over and above your head. Place them on the ground above your head making sure your knees are completely straight. Hold this pose for a minute or two while breathing normally. You may support your back with your hands if you feel the need. Then slowly return to the original pose. This Asana is very good for stomach related ailments along with Diabetes and Thyroid. It is also very useful in increasing kids’ height.

That brings us to the end of the workout prescribed for reducing weight. Along with these, an overall lifestyle change is recommended. One must sleep for at least 6 hours every day. We’ve also spoken extensively about eating habits that one must adapt to get away from Obesity in the article on Raw Food Diet. If you follow these you will definitely achieve a huge change in your life.