Yoga reigns as the most trusted and effective method of nourishing and toning one’s body in a holistic sense. Although the focus usually for most is on losing weight, for some, gaining weight – the right kind, and not just in fat content – is equally as difficult. Yoga is an incredible way of life that has solutions for all health problems, including gaining weight. It addresses problems such as poor metabolism, lack of appetite and digestion problems. With its different and promising asanas, it ensures good circulation of blood and oxygen, depositing nutrients throughout the body. This article focuses on a few such yoga asanas that help in gaining weight naturally, with also several other health benefits.
1. Chakrasana (Wheel Pose)
2. Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)
3. Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
4. Vajrasana (Diamond/ Thunderbolt Pose)
5. Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand)
6. Matsyasana (Fish Pose)
7. Pavanamuktasana (Wind Relieving Pose)
8. Savasana (Corpse Pose)
9. Diet Tips To Combine With Yoga
Chakrasana (Wheel Pose)
This asana ensures good blood circulation to all parts of the body and increases the flexibility of the spine. It also strengthens the arms, shoulders, hips, thighs and wrist. It balances the hormones, keeping all the body processes in check.
How to do it: Start by lying down on your back, then place your hands behind your shoulders. Slowly raise your body with the support of your palms and feet, doing your best arch. Stay in the position as long as you are comfortable and concentrate on breathing. Gently lower your body and then take a few minutes break until the next exercise.
Tip: Don’t use excessive force when doing this asana, as that may cause undue strain on your arms.
Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)
Dhanurasana strengthens the back and abdominal muscles. It massages the thyroid gland, improves digestion and stimulates the reproductive organs. It also alleviates stress and fatigue, stretching all the muscles.
How to do it: Start by lying on your stomach with feet apart. Next, fold your knees, take your hands behinds, catch hold of the ankles, pulling your legs up towards the back. Lift your chest and look straight ahead. Stay in this position for 30-60 seconds and concentrate on deep breathing.
Tip: This asana is not recommended for those with heart issues or high blood pressure.
Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
This pose stretches the muscles in the shoulder, back, abdominal and neck region, relieving stress. It improves digestion, bettering metabolism and removing any blockage. It also increases blood and oxygen circulation in the body, promising better nutrient absorption.
How to do it: Begin by lying down flat on your stomach with legs stretched out and feet facing down. Keep your elbows on your sides with palms flat on the surface. Next, take a deep breath, lift your chest and abdomen, placing all the body weight on the palms. Make sure the navel is touching the floor. Slowly release the breath and come back to the starting position. Do this 4-5 times.
Tip: When doing this asana do not spread your legs. That can potentially injure your lower back.
Vajrasana (Diamond/ Thunderbolt Pose)
This asana calms the mind and imparts strength to the thighs, calves and abdominal muscles. It improves blood circulation around the body and promises good digestion- improving metabolism, relieving constipation and increasing appetite.
How to do it: It is important to do this asana on a yoga mat. Place your thighs on the calf muscles, toes pointing out behind you. The back and neck must be erect. Place your hands on the thighs and concentrate on deep breathing. Hold this position for 5-10 minutes. Then stretch out, exhale and relax.
Tip: People with a recent injury or severe pain in the knees, ankle pain or joint pain should not do this asana.
Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand)
This asana’s primary benefit is to ensure good blood circulation. It brings relief from indigestion and constipation, also improving spine flexibility. It is particularly beneficial for thyroid gland functionality.
How to do it: To perform this pose, start by lying down on your back with legs together and hands by the side. Then inhale a deep breath, first lifting the hips and next to the legs. Legs need to initially be in a 30° angle and then a 90° angle with the support of the hands-on lower back. Stay in this posture for 30-60 seconds.
Tip: People with high blood pressure or those who have glaucoma or other eye problems should avoid this asana.
Matsyasana (Fish Pose)
Matsyasana stretches the muscle of the stomach, chest and lowers back. It relieves tension and stress, improving the functionality of the digestive, reproductive and cardiovascular systems. It also leads to better nutrient absorption, thus helping gain weight.
How to do it: Begin by lying on the back, with feet together and hands alongside the body. Lift your body and gently curve the back till the head touches the ground. Concentrate on inhaling and exhaling. Hold onto this position for a few seconds and then come back to the starting position. It is important to ensure that this asana is practised early in the morning, hours after a meal.
Tip: Those who have problems like these shouldn’t do the asana: abnormal blood pressure, neck injury, migraine, spondylitis. pregnant women and those suffering from heart ailments.
Pavanamuktasana (Wind Relieving Pose)
Pavanamuktasana is greatly beneficial for anyone having any kind of digestion problems, including acidity, indigestion, constipation and flatulence. This pose is also great for menstrual problems and enhances reproductive organs. It adds strength to the lower back muscles.
How to do it: For this pose, you will have to start with lying down on your back. Next, lift the legs and bend your knees. Lift your upper body, till your thighs touch the stomach and hug your knees. Lock your fingers and stay in this position for 20-30 seconds. Breathe rhythmically and slowly release the body.
Tip: Don’t overstretch when doing this asana by trying to pull the thighs too close to the body and causing a strain.
Savasana (Corpse Pose)
This asana is usually practised at the end of the session because it is relaxing and is meant to rejuvenate your mind and body and shift its attention to the inner-self, letting the body absorb all the nutrients. It has numerous health benefits such as lowering blood pressure, reducing fatigue and decreasing stress.
How to do it: Lie down on your back with your legs separated. Keep the hands close to the body, although away from the torso. Relax the entire body down, even the face. Breathe in naturally and evenly. Stay in this position for 5-10 minutes.
Tip: Modify by having a pillow or bolster underneath your knees if you suffering from any lower back issues.
Diet Tips To Combine With Yoga
Only doing the yoga asanas won’t help you gain weight. You have to have a balanced diet that also aids the increase in weight. A person gaining weight must follow a high-density diet. Eating nutritious food along with these asanas will ensure promising results. It is pivotal to have food rich in proteins and carbohydrates which will ensure healthy fats in the long run. Having chapatis, rice, suji, dals and oats is necessary. Other than that, one must eat nuts, pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds, milk and milk products, soy chunks, tofu, eggs and meat regularly to gain weight. It is crucial to also have fruit and vegetables which will deposit healthy and safe sugars into the body.
Tip: A dietician must be consulted before starting any high-density diets to ensure it suits your body.
Q. How do I know I am of the correct weight?
A. The right way to check your weight is through BMI (Body Mass Index). If it is below 18.5, you are underweight, if it is between 18.5-24.9, you are healthy, if it is between 24.9-29.9, you are overweight and if it is above 30, you are obese. It is important to ensure you work towards staying healthy for no future health issues.
Q. Can Gomukhasana help me gain weight?
A. No, Gomukhasna is beneficial in losing weight, particularly belly fat. It is a seated yoga posture that helps stretch the arms, triceps, shoulders and chest. This asana is therapeutic and can help release tension from the shoulders and hips.
Q. What are some foods to eat to maintain optimum body weight?
A. For anyone to have optimum weight, it is necessary to follow a balanced diet with all food groups: proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and proteins. Some foods to have are green leafy vegetables, colourful fruits, dals, rice, milk and milk products and meat. It is important to stay fit and have a good immune system.
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