If you are wondering how to gain weight through yoga? Then you are on the right page. We take up this issue and make it simple for you through step by step guide to gain weight through yoga practice.
Well, let’s start with some basic questions, paradoxes, and differences that keep baffling us.
Weight: Health or Aesthetics?
Nowadays, weight is a central aspect of our lives. Whether we are on our right weight, too skinny, or too fat, we are all constantly obsessing about it. And we should be concerned, but in a healthy way, as weight is not only a matter of aesthetics but, most importantly, a matter of well-being. Extremes are never good, and being overweight or underweight can bring about a great variety of diseases (cholesterol, depression, lack of energy, high pressure, etc.) as well as associated body damages (joint pain, weak bones, and so forth).
A correct weight balance in accordance with your own body’s structure and metabolism is crucial for leading a happy, healthy life.
Most people are concerned with weight loss, but there is a more marginal, smaller group of people whose concern is gaining weight. Leaving aside eating disorders, there are many individuals who lead balanced and harmonious lives and diets and are naturally skinny, but who would like to gain some weight without recurring to unnatural methods (like popping pills). Yoga is a great path to achieving this in n organic, non-harmful way.
Yoga is able to augment body mass through muscle building while stimulating your inside organs improving their functioning. In this brief article, we will walk through some of the asanas and pranayama exercises that are especially beneficial for weight gain.
Also, read our post on Can Yoga Build Muscles?
Healthy Skinny VS Unhealthy Skinny
Before going into concrete asanas, it is important to note that there is a big difference between healthy and unhealthily skinny. Some people may need to gain weight because they suffer from some kind of eating disorder (anorexia, bulimia) or because there is some lack of balance in their metabolism, as is the case of Hypothyroidism in which the Thyroid Gland is not releasing the correct amount of hormones into the bloodstream.
Even though there are asanas that may contribute to each of these particular cases when talking about unhealthy skinny, medical, and even psychological consultations are a must. The following asanas are recommended for people who are naturally skinny and would like to improve their body mass in a non-invasive way.
Why Are Some People Naturally Skinny? Should They Try To Gain Weight?
As we have seen, some people are naturally skinny. But why? There are several factors that may take apart, like your own family’s genetics, stomach size, amount of physical activity, gut bacteria activity, stress, a fast metabolism, diet, and so forth. But what is really interesting is that recently, scientists have discovered that naturally skinny people present a different genetic coding that helps them keep thin and trim.
Actually, healthy skinny individuals do not have a special “thin gene” but do lack the genes that increase the chances of being overweight. In other words, thin people tend to have fewer genetic variants associated with obesity.
How To Gain Weight Through Yoga? Yoga Asanas to Gain Weight
Now that we have assessed the differences between healthy and unhealthy skinny and their causes, let us take a look at some yoga asanas that may help you gain body mass. It is important to signal that no one asana will automatically make you gain weight.
The regular practice of all these asanas and pranayama, or in other words, the regular practice of Yoga as a whole, will ensure optimum functioning of your metabolism by lowering stress levels, building muscle mass, improving your appetite and digestive system which will, as a consequence, help you gain weight.
# 1 Virabhadrasana (The Warrior Pose) 1, 2 and 3
The Warrior sequence might help you build body mass. As muscles gain elasticity, the practice of these asanas will contribute in opening up your appetite as they burn up a lot of calories while keeping your energy levels up.
# 2 Savasana (The Corpse Pose)
Even though it might call our attention, Savasana or The Corpse Pose is fundamental when wanting to gain weight as it helps us reduce stress levels and reach a state of relaxation.
A nervous, altered mind contributes to weight loss while a peaceful body and mind prevent this. Meditation is highly recommended as well. Moreover, it helps the body properly absorb all the nutrients.
# 3 Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand)
The Shoulder Stand is helpful when treating weight gain as it acts directly against indigestion problems. If your digestive apparatus functions properly, your overall metabolic process will be optimized.
As if this were not enough, it prevents hormonal disarrangement as it works directly on the Thyroid Gland which is in charge of releasing weight-control related hormones into the bloodstream. For people who already suffer from a hormonal disease such as Hypothyroidism, which causes weight loss, it may help them reverse this condition.
Apart from the digestive and hormonal benefits that Sarvangasana grants its practitioners, muscle mass also increases with this asana, directly affecting your weight.
# 4 Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclining-Bound-Angle-Pose)
Supta Baddha Konasana is a restorative pose and as such, its benefits are directly linked to lowering stress levels. As mentioned above, stress and weight loss usually go hand-by-hand, so reducing stress levels may prevent you from losing weight.
The same can be said about depression: as it is a common cause of weight loss, keeping its levels low is key, and this asana will help you achieve that. Moreover, keeping your mind calm ensures proper digestion which, in turn, facilitates weight balance.
# 5 Pawanmuktasana (Wind-Relieving Pose)
This asana, as some of the ones mentioned before, is especially beneficial for the digestive system, ensuring its proper functioning and thus, general metabolic well-being.
Digestive problems may also be alleviated through the regular practice of Pawanmuktasana. Furthermore, blood irrigation in the lower abdomen is enhanced. As a result, more toxins are eliminated while the absorption of oxygen and other vital nutrients is increased.
Bloating and constipation are, in consequence, relieved. As digestion improves, weight is eventually gained.
# 6 Bhujangasana (The Cobra Pose)
As it acts directly on the posterior and anterior areas of the digestive organs, Bhujangasana may remove blockages while improving your appetite, making it a great asana for weight gain.
Moreover, as the chest opens up, the breathing improves and oxygen is absorbed in a more efficient way. With more oxygen, blood circulation improves and thus, nutrient absorption is optimized. Overall, your whole metabolism is regulated.
# 7 Vajrasana (Diamond pose)
This asana is really unique as it works directly on the digestive system and can be practiced immediately after a meal. As it calms the mind, it helps reduce stress while regulating your general metabolism. With time, its regular practice may help you gain weight in a natural way.
# 8 Matsyasana ( The Fish Pose)
Extremely beneficial, Matsyasana is especially beneficial when wanting to gain weight as it works simultaneously on many systems: circulatory, endocrine, and digestive, among others. In the case of previous asanas, we stated that the poses that are favorable to the circulatory system ensure the proper absorption of oxygen and other nutrients.
The digestive apparatus, when blockages are eliminated and digestive organs are stimulated, the exchange of toxins and nutrients increases as does your appetite, contributing to weight gain.
As for the endocrine system, hormonal abnormalities and diseases such as Hypothyroidism may make you reduce weight. Maintaining hormonal balance is key in weight control. Matsyasana acts directly on the Thyroid Gland, addressing its problems and ensuring its healthy behavior.
# 9 Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)
Similar to Matsyasana, Dhanurasana works directly on the digestive system. Its most important benefits come upon enzyme production as it stimulates the pancreas, liver, and intestines.
# 10 Chakrasana or Urdhva Dhanurasana (Wheel Pose)
The Wheel Pose, similar to Dhanurasana but the other way round (it may also be called Upward Bow Pose) presents similar effects as it stimulates abdominal organs while exercising your back muscles and stretching the abdominal ones.
Also, read our post on How Often Should I do Yoga
# 11 Surya Namaskar Sequences (Sun Salutations)
Even though many people claim that Surya Namaskar, or the Sun Salutation, is bad for gain weight because of the caloric burn it produces, the truth is that, as it stimulates general metabolic well-being, even though you lose calories, oxygen and nutrient absorption increases, as does toxin release, aiding skinny people to gain weight in the long run. It also opens up your appetite.
# 12 Pranayama for Weight Gain
As we have mentioned above, the practice of Pranayama or breathing exercises is extremely important for the accurate behavior of your metabolism as it is directly linked to the optimum functioning of the circulatory system.
A healthy circulatory system, in its turn, allows a favorable absorption of oxygen and nutrients on the one hand, and the correct elimination of toxins on the other. Some of the Pranayama exercises that you can practice for gaining weight are KapalBhati Pranayama and Anulom Vilom Pranayama.
They work on the pancreas ensuring the correct amount of insulin hormone release, stimulate your digestive and respiratory apparatus, reduce stress levels, and keep your mind calm. All these consequences of Pranayama contribute to natural weight gain if maintaining a regular practice.
Also, chek our post on Best Time To Do Yoga For Weight Loss
To conclude, and after taking a quick look around the best asanas and Pranayama exercises to gain weight, we can say Yoga is beneficial to all the key body systems that influence weight: circulatory, endocrine, and digestive systems.
All these enhance nutrient and oxygen absorption, toxin release, and hormone levels. In addition, stress and depression levels are lowered, as the mind is calmed and controlled through its regular practice, while body muscle is built-up.
The overall balance and stimulation of your metabolism keep you healthy, preventing diseases, ensuring weight balance, and allowing you to enjoy general well-being and happy life!