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Yogic Management of Obesity

The word obesity is derived from a Latin word Obesus which means to eat. It is a nutritional condition of the body characterized by over accumulation of fat under the skin & around certain of the internal organs. Obesity is like constipation. Just as waste accumulates in the gut, matter which should have been thrown out of the body tends to gather in the form of fat on the various organs. Skin being stretchable, fat accumulates in layers upon layers under the epidermis.



PROBLEMS
Main problems are hypertension, coronary heart diseases, diabetes & reduced pulmonary functions- all resulting in lower life expectancy. Because of the extra fat the heart does not get supply of blood in enough quantity which is a root cause of many diseases.

CAUSES
Over eating, irregular eating habits, intake of fatty, sugary & starchy foods, a luxurious, inactive or sedentary life and disturbances of some of the endocrine glands like the thyroid, pituitary & the sex glands; contribute to obesity. Genetic susceptibility in some cases, psychiatric illness, excess liquor consumption particularly beer, digestive disorders & problems in the nervous system are some other factors. Ladies tend to put on excess weight after child delivery.

HOW OVER WEIGHT DEVELOPS
Over weight develops when we consume more calories than we burn. The modern lifestyle leads to the excessive rise in obesity rates. The individual is either working or feeding himself the fatty, nourishing & high calorie food day & night. In such cases the body gets more food than it needs for its balanced growth. As a result, over weight has to develop & in most cases it takes the form of obesity. In India, there are traditions of over feeding a guest because he is always treated like a God. Even if we consume fifty calories of extra food daily, we can easily end up weighing four pounds more in a year.

ROUTINE OF A MODERN MAN
He gets up in the morning, has bed tea, shaves, washes up, dresses up, has sumptuous breakfast, comes down in elevator, gets into his car, rides to his office building, takes the elevator upstairs, sits in his chair for office work, goes downstairs in an elevator to a restaurant in the same building, has delicacies for lunch, comes back to his office & sits there till the closing time, then takes his car & returns home. At home during the evening, he watches television while drinking beer or some drinks. Then he has dinner of choicest food & plenty of drinks. Without waiting for even an hour, he retires to bed & goes to sleep. Again he repeats the same routine the next day & this continues. This routine is for five days. During weekends he sleeps more, eats more & that also all the wrong food.

LONG TERM MAINTAINANCE OF WEIGHT
By a combination of sensible diet & regular exercise one can reduce weight reasonably well. One should know what should be eaten and what not. Just watch your food before eating. Is this food going to give you nutrition or just the taste? For example, if coke or juices both are available to you then you have only one at that time. If you want to take care of yourself then you will have juice only. Count the calories in the food you take in. Similarly calculate the calories you burn through your activities. Note your progress- draw a graph with your initial weight as base to show your progress. Check your weight once in 3 days & record. Do not expect a miracle; start losing it gradually & in a long run. Maintenance of weight has to be done throughout the life.

YOGIC MANAGEMENT PROGRAM

ASANAS
Trikon, Suryanamaskar, Shirsh, Sarvang, Matsya, Hala, Paschimottan, Bhujang, Dhanur, Chakra, Ardha-matsyendra, Yoga-mudra, Mayur & Shavasnas. Vajrasana before meals 5 minutes, after meals 10 minutes.

WHY
Many a times the glands are sluggish in our body. These sluggish glands are stimulated by Yogasanas to increase their hormonal secretions. Especially the thyroid gland plays an important role in our weight because it affects body metabolism. It is not necessary to put in a lot of labour in practice of Asanas. We should know that what all muscles & glands we should work on more. In Asanas like the Sarvanga and Matsya thyroid gland is stimulated. The practice of Bhujangasana reduces hunger & the practice of Suryanamaskara tones up the whole body. Regular practice of Vajarasana increases the stability of mind and improves digestion.

PRANAYAMA
Kapalbhati, Bhasrika, Shitali, Sitkari & Anulom vilom.

WHY
Kapalbhati & Bhasrika increase the respiration rate thus causing the burning of fats and toxins that have accumulated into the body. The practice of Shitali & Sitkari control hunger, thirst & sleep. Anulom vilom Pranayama bring balance in the systems in terms of physical and mental functions.

YOGA NIDRA
Yoga Nidra 30 minutes any time of the day.

WHY
It improves concentration and willpower & reduces anxiety and tends to reduce anxious eating. For a better result, picture yourself as slim everyday during Yoganidra.

NOTE
People with medical conditions should do all these under the guidance of qualified & experienced yoga expert.

DIET
Having right food in right quantity at right time will nourish the body, mind as well as the soul.

AVOID
Banana, spota, mangoes, sweets and sugar, cold drinks, fried, fatty, spicy, starchy and sugar containing food, tea, coffee cocoa, tinned fruit, white flour, refined cereals. Stop addictions such as smoking, drinking alcohol or any other drugs.

ADOPT
Low fat meal, with fiber rich vegetables and fruits should be taken. The fruits recommended are oranges, pineapples, raspberry, apple, pears, papaya, musk melon & melon. The vegetables should be green of all types, cucumber, gourds etc. Tuberous should be avoided. Tomatoes & carrots can be taken.

DIETARY GUIDELINES

• Take a glass of lemon water (lukewarm) with one / two teaspoons honey after waking up.

• Before breakfast, have munacca (10 no.) and figs (2 no.) soaked in water overnight in a glass container after being cleaned thoroughly. The water in which they are soaked should also be drunk. Chew well.

• For breakfast, seasonal fruits / Fruit Juice / butter milk /1 glass of soya milk + 1 sandwich

• Before lunch, salad in any quantity (onion, cucumber, tomatoes, sprouts, carrots, beetroots, cabbage)

• For lunch, one should take 2 chapattis of wheat flour with extra bran & seasonal vegetables & buttermilk of skimmed milk / dalia (broken wheat) / khichadi.

• Evening, fresh fruit / Veg. juice

• Dinner, (7.00pm) 1-cup soup + steamed vegetables / salad / fruit

• Before going to bed, take ½ glass of warm water.

FURTHER RECOMMENDATIONS

• Step by step eliminate all those things which tend to make you put on weight.

• Drink water as much as possible during whole day other than at mealtime. We can have soup, buttermilk along with the meals. After half an hour of completion of meals, certainly plain water can be taken.

• Do not take meals unless the previously taken food is digested. One should give a gap of minimum 3 hours between breakfast and lunch & of 6 hours between lunch & dinner. In between, one can have lots of warm water, thin buttermilk, salads & fruit. One should have early and light dinner. Usually the common vegetarian diet gets digested within 4 to 6 hours.

• Eat food consciously, peacefully and without speaking. Chew the food properly. Each morsel of food should be masticated so much that it should be properly mixed with digestive enzymes in the mouth in the form of a paste. Avoid eating while reading or watching TV.

• The evening meals should be taken before 7 PM / at least two hours before going to bed. It is good for health to observe fast once a week

• The method about consumption of food is that one should fill the stomach half full with food. One fourth should be left empty for water and the last one fourth should be kept vacant for allowing gas formation.


CONCLUSION

Lifestyle changes are hard to make but if you want to succeed you need to make and break some habits. Through yoga abhyasa one goes on increasing consciousness in life which lies within you as knowledge of self or awareness of the self & capable of explaining to you as to what is conducive to your well being. Make a firm resolve today, right now to reduce obesity. If your effort is honest, you will invariably attain desired results.

 Courtesy: Dr. Rita Khanna
Aum Shanti

2 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing a Nice article about Yoga

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