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Yoga for Obesity

Yoga for Obesity

What is Obesity?

Body mass index (BMI) is a calculation that takes a person’s weight and height into account to measure body size.

According to the  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in adults, obesity is defined as having a BMI of 30.0 or more. But BMI isn’t everything. It has some limitations as a metric.

According to the CDC: “Factors such as age, sex, ethnicity, and muscle mass can influence the relationship between BMI and body fat. Also, BMI doesn’t distinguish between excess fat, muscle, or bone mass, nor does it provide any indication of the distribution of fat among individuals.”

Despite these limitations, BMI continues to be widely used as a way to measure body size. Obesity is also very often associated with a higher risk for serious diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

How is obesity classified?

The following table is used for adults who are at least 20 years old:

BMI Class
18.5 or under underweight
18.5 to <25.0 “normal” weight
25.0 to <30.0 overweight
30.0 to <35.0 class 1 obesity
35.0 to <40.0 class 2 obesity
40.0 or over class 3 obesity (also known as morbid, extreme, or severe obesity)

Causes of obesity

Eating more calories than you burn in daily activity and exercise — on a long-term basis — can lead to obesity. Over time, these extra calories add up and cause weight gain. But it’s not always just about calories in and calories out, or having a sedentary lifestyle. While those are indeed causes of obesity, some causes you can’t control.

Common specific causes of obesity include:

  • Genetics, which can affect how your body processes food into energy and how fat is stored.
  • Growing older, which can lead to less muscle mass and a slower metabolic rate, making it easier to gain weight.
  • Not sleeping enough, which can lead to hormonal changes that make you feel hungrier and crave certain high-calorie foods.
  • Pregnancy, as weight gained during pregnancy, may be difficult to lose and might eventually lead to obesity.
  • Certain health conditions can also lead to weight gain, which may lead to obesity. These include polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a condition that causes an imbalance of female reproductive hormones.
  • Prader-Willi syndrome, a rare condition present at birth that causes excessive hunger.
  • Cushing syndrome, a condition caused by having high cortisol levels (the stress hormone) in your system.
  • Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid), a condition in which the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough of certain important hormones
    osteoarthritis (OA) and other conditions that cause pain that may lead to reduced activity.

Yoga for Obesity

Yoga for Obesity

What is Yoga?

According to Bhagwad Gita Equanimity, Stability, Balance, Harmony, Equipoise is yoga i.e. Samatvam Yoga Ucchyate.

According to Sage Vashistha yoga is the skill to calm down the mind i.e. Manah prasamana upayah yogah.

And according to Great Sage Maharishi Patanjali yoga is the cessation of mental modifications i.e. Yoga is to gain mastery over modifications of Mind.

According to Guruji Shubham Barwala Ji, yoga is the recognition of Mental Modification the moment they arise in our consciousness.

According to Guruji Neeraj Medharthi, Ji Yoga is the state of perfect balance.

Evidence-based yoga therapy or Yoga for Obesity

At Vedamrita our purpose is to bring the best and scientific research and evidence-based yoga therapy to our beloved readers and our students likewise and thereby increasing the general acceptability of Yoga therapy amidst the field of various treatments available. Below are few research papers we find out related to yoga and Obesity.

Research Papers on Yoga for Obesity: –

Reducing psychological distress and obesity through Yoga practice

Dhananjai S, Sadashiv, Tiwari S, Dutt K, Kumar R. Reducing psychological distress and obesity through Yoga practice. Int J Yoga. 2013;6(1):66-70. doi:10.4103/0973-6131.105949

A Pilot Study of Iyengar Yoga for Pediatric Obesity: Effects on Gait and Emotional Functioning

Hainsworth KR, Liu XC, Simpson PM, et al. A Pilot Study of Iyengar Yoga for Pediatric Obesity: Effects on Gait and Emotional Functioning. Children (Basel). 2018;5(7):92. Published 2018 Jul 4. doi:10.3390/children5070092

Yogic Diet – Yoga for Obesity

  • Eat on time. Chew food properly.
  • Sattvic home-cooked meals.
  • Increase the intake of seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables. Include high-fiber foods such as vegetables, cooked peas and beans (legumes), and fresh fruit in your diet.
  • Choose foods that are low in saturated fat and cholesterol.
  • Keep the body well hydrated.
  • Avoid processed and refined foods. Try to avoid nerve stimulants such as tea, coffee, alcohol, dark chocolate.

Asanas – 11 Yoga Poses for Obesity

  • Surya Namaskar
  • Shakti Vikasak Kriya
  • Paschimottanasana
  • Udrakasanasana
  • Tiriyaka Tadasna
  • Bhujangasana
  • Ustrasana (Camel Pose)
  • Sukhasana (Easy Sitting Pose)
  • Ardha Matsyendrasana (Sitting Half Spinal Twist)
  • Pavanamuktasana (Wind Relieving Pose)
  • Setu Bandhasana (Bridge Pose)

Kriyas – Yoga for Obesity

  • Jala neti/sutra neti
  • Vamana dhauti
  • LSP
  • Purna Shankh Prakshalan
  • Kapalabhati 20-30 strokes per min

Pranayama – Yoga for Obesity

  • Avoid cooling pranayama, bhastrika
  • Right nostril breathing – suryabhedana
  • Nadishuddhi
  • Bhramari
  • Sectional breathing
  • Ujjayi

Manomaya Kosha – Yoga for Obesity

  • Yoga Nidra
  • Bhajan
  • Chanting
  • Emotional counseling
  • Prayer
  • Mind Sound Resonance Technique (M.S.R.T.)

Vijnanamaya Kosha – Yoga for Obesity

  • Counseling about the disease, triggering factors, diet

Anandamaya Kosha – Yoga for Obesity

  • Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Spend time with family and loved ones.

Explore this Health Topic to learn more about Yoga for Obesity, the role of yoga and yoga therapy for various diseases, and where to find more information regarding it.

Read more about Yoga for Obesity

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