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Yoga - Hunger control with yoga

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Hunger control with yoga

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While any exercise is better than no exercise, yoga is the best resort to hunger pangs, cravings, and the sweet tooth. This is because its impact is not just on fat storage, but also on the brain chemistry itself.

It employs pressure points which massage and work-out the lymphatic drainage system and the fat-storing liver. It also works on not just the major skeletal muscles, but also the muscle fibers that surround them, thus enhancing the metabolic rate that burns fat even while at rest. But the best impact, as noted earlier, is on satiation signals.

Hunger levels even out to meet individual need, unlike with other exercises like swimming, running etc where the hunger levels go up dramatically immediately after a bout of action. Since the best way to do yoga is meditatively, it also muscles will power so that you are doubly armoured against harmful cravings.

In asanas or yoga poses, important acu-points are activated, while in pranayama or breathing practices nerves that control or release feel-good factors and inner triggers (like hunger etc) are tweaked. This explains why the impact of yoga on energy levels and hunger control is so powerful.

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Pranamasana (Prayer pose)

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Sit back on your knees, with hips resting on your heels. Inhale. Exhaling, lean forward to place crown on the floor. Simultaneously place hands on either side of head. Continue breathing.

Raise your back and hips so that the crown is firmly placed on the ground. Ensure chin locks into the spot between your collar bones. Hold the pose for as long as is comfortable. Return to starting pose with an inhalation. Repeat a few times if a beginner. Later, with continued practice you may hold the pose longer.

Benefits:

This pose helps control hunger, due to pressure on certain key acu points. The neck lock it creates hikes metabolism by the pressure it applies on the thyroid gland.

Also, respiration becomes more efficient, hiking energy levels. It is used as therapy in anger management, hunger control, obesity and respiratory problems.

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Bhujangini mudra (cobra respiration)

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This is a yogic trick that plays with satiation signals in the brain. Sit relaxed in a meditative pose. Inhale air through mouth, into the stomach, in gulps, as though drinking air. Belch it out.

Initially you may not be able to belch it, due to self-consciousness. But this is a rather harmless practice. And if you are not unable to belch, the air will in any case be eliminated through the regular channels. Do this three to five times when you feel untimely hunger.

Avoid: In polluted places or if having respiratory problems.

Benefits:

It tricks the satiation signal in the brain which triggers the need to consume food. Also tones the digestive tract and helps with most digestive disorders.

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Suku pranayama (Happy breathing practice)

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May be done seated. Purse your lips to form an 'O'. Inhale deeply, so the cheeks cave in. Shut your mouth, pressing lips back to normal.

Exhale from the nostril. This is one round. You may do up to nine rounds. Please note that since this involves mouth breathing, never to attempt this practice if you are in a polluted, dusty place or where the quality of air is suspect since that could lead to respiratory problems.

Avoid: In polluted places or if having respiratory problems.

Benefits: This is a simple version of the anti-aging cooling breathing practices called Sheetali (cooling) or Sheetkari (Whistling).

This is said to impact hunger centers in your brain, controlling emotional binging. It is a cooling practice which is an immediate de-stressor. It is a powerful anti-aging practice because it is said to tweak the parasympathetic nervous system, needed for repair and rejuvenation. Apart from that, it also works out the cheeks and the delicate region around the mouth, preventing sagging and removing fine laughter lines.

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Pushan mudra

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For right hand, touch tips of index finger and middle finger to tip of thumb. For left hand, touch tips of middle finger and ring finger to the tip of thumb.

Hold for minimum fifteen minutes for impact. Longer, if suffering from low vitality and sluggish metabolism or toxic conditions.

Benefits: Improves the earth and air element in the body, boosting strength and energy. Detoxifies powerfully, while boosting mood.

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