"I practise yoga but my weight is not going down! Worse, I have gained some kilos!"
Does this sound familiar to you?
Fret not, you are not alone. This is a common issue faced by a small group of yoga practitioners. Read on to know why this happens.
First of all, remember that the practice of yoga is a not a two-minute solution to life's problems, akin to an instant noodle meal to satiate one's hunger. A constant and disciplined practice will give tremendous results, not just to your body, but mental health and social interaction as well.
One's body weight tends to fluctuate, depending on the food you consume, and hormones can also have a major effect on how much water your body retains (especially in women). Also, it is possible to gain muscle at the same time you lose fat.
Whatever you are going through, give some time to your body and never give up. Everyone is different and health conditions may influence how one's body reacts to certain actions.
Below are 5 most common reasons behind weight gain after yoga. Figure out which one is yours!
Don’t rush your pose!Are you always rushing in your practice? You are probably doing it wrong, and this may cause weight gain. Move through postures smoothly and hold your postures for 10 to 30 seconds, or longer. In between, try to simply hold your breathe to calm your mind. If you are unable to hold your breathe, then return to your most natural minimal breathing. Breathing techniques play a crucial role in the practice of yoga.
Increase of calorie intakeAs a yoga practitioner, remember that moderation is the key to a healthy life, and that includes food intake. You don’t have to eat so much food, especially after a yoga, or work out session. Eating less food, especially high-fibre food, helps keep your bowels moving. According to yogasynergy.com, taking more food than the body needs for energy can convert the excess food into fat, or it can even become fermented and putrified by microorganisms inside your body.
Body is too stressed outYou pick up yoga hoping to lose some weight, but what happens if you keep stressing yourself out? Some still struggle to lose weight despite following a diet and practising yoga regularly, due to their stress levels. Stress can be a major disruptor to bodily functions, including causing hormonal imbalance. On the other hand, stress also makes us eat more, especially sugary food. So be wary of your stress, and don't rush into results. Avoid comparing yourself with others and try meditation. Sometimes, the easiest way to shed the kilos is swapping your yoga sessions with meditation lessons.
Medical conditionSo you are eating less, exercising regularly, living a stress-free life, but your weight is still not going down? It's time to talk to your doctor then. Medical issues such as thyroid problems can affect weight gain and weight loss. Fibroid, cyst or PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) among the ladies can also contribute to weight gain. Other factors include low metabolism rate due to ageing. As a yoga practitioner, you must know your medical condition and be ready to discuss about medications you are taking, that could affect your body's ability to shed the kilos.
Building up muscleThe good news is, you might be building up muscle, but your body is doing it slower than shedding fat. On a general note, someone who is new to fitness, especially Power and Iyengar Yoga, will gain a significant amount of weight but that's not a hard and fast number. All you need is patience. Once the fat burns off, it will give way to a toned body.
Nizha Periaswamy is a yoga instructor and freelance writer.
Photo source: Jenani Udayakumaran Facebook