Tired of hearing from your relatives, “Doesn’t your mommy feed you well?” Or from your friends that “You are too skinny”. First of all, we would like to state outright that your body is yours to feel proud of. There is nothing like too thin or not too thin. However, it is important to eat well, work out and be healthy. If you would like to get rid of your lanky or thin frame, then try yoga for weight gain.
Even though you’ve changed your eating habits, you still remain thin? If this is the case with you, then you’ve stopped at the right place. And yoga is the answer to all these questions. However, it’s important to understand the cause of your thinness, if it’s because of some disease, hereditary or distorted diet-plan or any other.
Lameeya Arsiwala, an expert in Hatha Vinyasa, Iyengar, Vinyasa Flow, attended the Australian Yoga Academy in Melbourne and now manages The Yoga House, Mumbai. “A fit body is not one that is necessarily ripped and pumped; a fit body is high on stamina, healthy from within and comprises of a fit emotional well-being. Our emotions are responsible for a large percentage of diseases in the body. The mind plays a very important role in a healthy, well-functioning body. It is only natural then, that yoga enthusiasts and practitioners pay close attention to meditation and other non-physical aspects of yoga.”
Lameeya practicing her yoga regime
Abhishek Maheshwari, yoga instructor at Mystic Yoga Cafe, Kolkata points out that a lot of things are inter-linked when it comes to yoga. Therefore, there aren’t asanas which would directly impact increased muscle mass. Rather, if one wants to gain weight, they have to practice yoga postures regularly – which will aid in better digestion and would consequently increase the diet of the individual. He adds, “Yoga will bring your metabolic rate to an optimum level.”
Here are some poses that will help you relax your body, build muscle mass, improve your digestive system and flourishing the practitioner’s appetite, hence facilitating weight-gain.
1. Virabhadrasana (The Warrior Pose):
The poses in the series of Virabhadrasana can help you build muscle mass, recommends Lameeya. This will further increase the elasticity of your muscles. This yoga pose burns a lot of calories and provides the body with the requisite energy throughout. Hence, helps in increasing your appetite.
2. Savasana (The Corpse Pose):
The corpse pose is vitally regarded as one of the most effective poses for keeping the body and mind at ease. This relaxing and meditative pose is beneficial for the body’s ability to gain weight as it reduces stress, which is a key cause in losing weight, and leaves the body peaceful. Ms Hansaji J. Yogendra, Director – The Yoga Institute, Mumbai adds that this asana can help you focus on being cheerful. She says, “It’s all about being positive and practicing attitudinal training because ultimately you need to keep your mind healthy and that can be achieved through this asana.”
Click here to know how it’s done – Savasana.
3. Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand):
It helps in problems related with indigestion and also nourishes the blood flow in brain. It can also be considered as an efficacious posture to increase muscle strength. To perform this pose, you first need to lie down on the floor, make sure that your legs are together and your palms face the ground. Then, lift your hips while inhaling at the same time. The third step is to raise your legs initially to about 30 degrees and then to 90 degrees and slowly take your back off the ground with the help of your hands.
Hold onto this position for 5-8 counts and then revert slowly to your initial position. Repeat this 4-5 times in the beginning. This yoga asana comes under the inverting postures along with Sarvangasana and Viparita Karani (Legs-up-the-wall pose) and is useful in maintaining the hormonal function apart from obtaining muscle mass. It is further beneficial for people having hyperthyroid, due to which there is weight-loss and this asana will help lessen the effect.
4. Supta Badhha konasana (Reclining-Bound-Angle-Pose):
Lameeya suggests this restorative posture which helps in maintaining calmness of the mind and can help in digestion. It can help in acquiring complete control over body and mind. The asana helps in receiving symptoms of stress and depression. To do this, you need to first sit straight on your yoga mat and fold your knees. Then, follow the below mentioned points:
1. Now press the soles of your feet together with the help of your hands.
2. Start leaning on your back now and keeping your hands beside you to avoid uncomforted posture and continue until your back rests on the mat.
3. Put your hands above your head in a prayer pose and inhale deeply.
4. Concentrate on your breathing and relax.
5. Pawanmuktasana (Wind-Relieving Pose):
The asana will improve your appetite and act as a remedy for digestive problems. Also, blood circulation in lower abdomen will be improved. For this, you first need to lie on your back with your arms beside you.
1. Keep your feet together and stretch them.
2. Fold your knees slowly and wrap your arms around them.
3. Take a deep breath and while exhaling pull your knees close to your chest.
4. Inhale again and try to touch your chin with your knees.
5. Hold the breath for about 30-40 seconds in the beginning and gently exhale.
It is said that in the end, your body has its own intelligence and you are required to follow an adequate balance of active (dynamic) and passive (restorative/non-dynamic) yoga practices along with a diet which nourishes your body. Losing weight or gaining it, the motive should be to remain fit and healthy. Lameeya asseverates that if one is looking to keep the body at its natural state, a traditional hatha yoga practice is appropriate for you. “You can additionally also adopt alternate nostril (anuloma viloma) pranayama in order to bring the body into balance internally. This will regulate your hormone function, facilitating healthy weight gain where necessary.”
Ms Yogendra says that one may not see significant difference initially but after regular and prolong practice. Diet also plays an important role along with the yoga regime. To gain weight, one should consume a diet that contains more calories. However, these additional calories should be added by healthy food sources containing essential nutrients such as proteins, fiber, vitamins and minerals. In brief, a balanced diet. This will ensure that the body is well nourished, putting it in a good position to add weight. Junk food should be avoided nonetheless.