Author: Randeep Singh / go to all articles on Yoga cure
Yoga for a Healthy Appetite:
Hunger and appetite though different in meaning still can be used as synonyms in common parlance: hunger basically means the urge to eat, and appetite likes for a certain kind of food.
Generation of the feeling of appetite, or the desire to eat, is the nature’s way of urging the body to eat, so that the energy needed for one’s survival could be replenished. Yoga for a healthy appetite helps regulate this natural instinct for overall health.
One eats and refuels oneself, after the ingested energy is spent on various activities, processes of the body one needs to eat again for sustaining the existence of the physical body.
The brain is always aware of the sugar, basic source of energy, and insulin levels in the blood via a certain group of chemical messengers, hormones, which are releases in the abdomen and which flow to the brain with the blood stream for it to take appropriate action depending on the sugar level present at a particular time.
The moment the energy ingested from the last meal gets expended the insulin and sugar levels in the blood drops. This triggers the release of a hormone ghrelin in the digestive system. This hormone upon reaching the brain is read as depleting energy levels, or danger to sustenance by the hypothalamus. The brain immediately responds by releasing another hormone into the bloodstream called neuropeptide Y. This hormone stimulates the urge to eat.
Hunger is often described as a grumbling feeling within the stomach or the intestines. Ones enough food is ingested a group of nerve sensors circling the stomach read the distend produced within it signals the brain to end the craving to eat.
The brain in response again releases a set of hormones , leptin being one of them, for inhibiting the drive to eat. The cumulative effect of these hormones is to produce a feeling of fullness, or satiety in the stomach.
Thus the communication and coordination between the digestive organs and the brain jointly maintains the healthy intake of food which is crucial to the survival of the body; ghrelin induces hunger and leptin subsides it. On the other hand leptin if artificially injected, as in case of compulsive eaters, into the body can lead to loss of appetite.
Yoga asanas for a good appetite
The way one breathes while doing the yoga for a healthy appetite determines whether one will gain or lose weight. Yoga exercises to gain weight must be accompanied by fast breathing. Normally the PH level of the blood stays around 7.35, by breathing fast the PH level of the blood increases slightly rendering it alkaline.
In order to restore the PH balance within the blood the body generates craving for eating acidic food like junk food which will add to the overall weight of the body. On the other hand if the yoga for healthy appetite is accompanied by slow breathing the PH level of the blood goes down rendering it more acidic, this in turn triggers the craving to eat more of alkaline food like fresh fruits and vegetables, this will bring the weight of the body down.
Another significant point to note is that if one uses the diaphragm while breathing during the yoga for weight gain the digestion, absorption, and elimination processes inside the body are undertaken with enhanced efficiency.
Any tendency to hold back the diaphragm or increasing the tone of the abdominal muscles in the name of six pack abs will put the restriction on the movement of the diaphragm leading to a dysfunctional digestive system. Short and rapid breathing is normally the result of a scattered, stressed mind which can lead to the inadequate use of the diaphragm resulting in digestion issues.
Yoga practice like Kapalbhati involve rapid breathing can lead to the increase in the PH level of the blood triggering excessive eating of non-healthy ( acidic) food; it is always advisable to end kapalbhati with a kumbhaka ( holding the breath in) or Sunyaka ( holding the breath out ) for a considerable amount of time in order to undo the effect of rapid breathing inherent to the technique.
Yoga for weight gain can become ineffective if the practitioner is not activating the target muscles of the yoga asanas for a good appetite; keeping the target muscles passive will not push the blood within the vessels which will keep the energy, glucose level in the blood, preserved leading to loss of appetite.
The healthy advise for the practitioner of yoga for appetite would be to practice the techniques with a relaxed, steady mind so that the agitation in the mind doesn’t lead to hyperventilation while doing the asanas; keep the breath slow and long by pacing it properly with the entire length of each movement required for a particular posture.
Patanjali Weight Gainer, Yoga for weight gain
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