Metabolism is a highly used word. In scientific parlance, Metabolism describes all chemical reactions of the body that keeps your system alive and functioning. For a deeper understanding, Metabolism is a process. It’s the way the body cells convert food into energy required for breathing, moving and doing everything to feel alive.
More often or not, metabolism is linked to weight. And, it’s true. Metabolism influences your body’s basic needs, the amount of food you consume, physical exercises performed that determines your weight. But metabolism is not the sole culprit of your weight gain. There are other body mechanics that contribute to individual weight gain.
Yoga for Stimulating Metabolism and Weight Loss:
The physical yogic movements alter metabolism on a healthy level so that the body is able to burn calories at an increased level. Additionally, the practice of yoga triggers other body functions related to metabolic change:
● Stress Control: Yoga asanas and meditation reduce the production of cortisol (stress hormone). By regulating stress levels, yoga brings the metabolic rate to a normalized state.
● Breathing: The practice of Pranayama (controlled breathing) performed with inhalation and longer exhalation increase calorie expenditure and metabolism.
● Sleep: Sleep has a major role in metabolic functions. Sleep deprivation is linked to decreased metabolism. Yoga practices calm the body-mind that ensures higher sleep quality. Better sleep ensures metabolic homeostasis.
8 Yoga Poses to Stimulate Metabolism:
Twists: Twists help in aligning the spine, displacing the anger, energizing the body and massaging the endocrine system that gives a boost to metabolism.
1. Revolved Cresent Lunge (Parivrtta Anjaneyasana): Start in a Cresent Lunge Pose. Gently, twist the torso to the right side. As you twist, hook your elbows to the outside of the knees and fold the palms in Namaste position. Elongate the spine, open the heart and gaze in an upward direction. With an exhale, twist more deeply but within your limits. Do not forget to perform on the left side as well.
Backbends: Backbend yoga poses expand the lungs and opens the anterior spine that increases oxygen exchange and fat-burning capabilities.
2. Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana): Lay your back on the floor. Keep the legs straight and arms by your side. Press the hands into the ground and bend the knees to lift the pelvic floor off a yoga mat. Raise the hips as high as possible. Rest the shoulders, neck and head on the floor. Interlock the fingers of your hands underneath the pelvic floor on the ground. Hold the pose for 20-30 seconds.
3. Wheel Pose (Chakrasana): Lie in supine position on a yoga mat. To move into Chakrasana: bend the knees. Place the feet on the floor, heels close to the sitting bones. Take a bend at the elbows, reach behind with your forearms, and rest the palms on the ground near to the ears (forearms relatively perpendicular to the floor). Pressing the palms and feet into the ground, push the hips off the floor and come into a full backbend (wheel position). Straighten your arms and let your head hang in a backward direction.
Inversions: They bring fresh blood to the brain and clear lymph nodes by flushing out the toxins.
4. Headstand (Sirsasana): Start in a kneeling position. Firmly set the forearms on the ground, elbows shoulder-width apart and interlace the fingers of the hand. Place the crown of the head against the clasped hands. Beginners can use a folded blanket under their head and forearms. Inhale, take the knees off the mat. Walk your feet closer to the elbows, heels raised up. Bring your body into inverted ‘V.’ Exhale, uplift the feet up and stretch the legs up. Keep them straight and perpendicular to the ground.
5. Downward Facing Tree Pose (Adho Mukha Vrksasana): Perform Downward-Facing Dog Pose. Now, bend the right knee and push through the heel to straighten the right leg up. Perform the same movement with your left leg. Once both your legs are above your hands, use your abdominal muscles to lift the hips over the shoulders and to find balance in the posture. Drop the head down. Look at the center of the room.
6. Plow Pose (Halasana): Lie down on a yoga mat with your face in an upward direction. Bring your knees closer to your chest with arms resting beside your body. Push the hips up from the floor with knees still bent at the chest. Move your hands to your lower back with upper arms on the floor. Straighten your knees, when you raise your legs up, your body should be in one single line. Next, bend your legs and place the toes on the ground beyond the head.
Chest Opening Yoga Poses: These poses stimulate thyroid glands and help in correcting the hormonal imbalance.
7. Camel Pose: Kneel on the floor. Extend your arms to grab the heels. Lean back to open the chest and slowly tilt the head back without straining the neck. In the pose, lengthen the tailbone and hold the pose for 30 seconds.
8. Savasana (Corpse Pose): It helps the practitioner stay calm and composed.
Lie on the yoga mat. Spread your legs and arms to the sides. Shut your eyes. Breathe Feel the tensions melt away and stay here for as long as you feel like.
Have an incredibly high metabolism with the science of yoga.