Home > Therapy > Yoga & Weight Management

Yoga & Weight Management (Obesity)

Yogacharya Vishwas Mandlik & Dr. Prafulla Dorle


What is Obesity or Overweight?


It may be defined as excess weight or deposition of excess fats on body, which leads to various diseases like diabetes, heart diseases, hypertension, lowered pulmonary functions, lowers life expectancy.

Medical words, it may be defined as an abnormal growth of the adipose tissue due to enlargement of fat cell size (Hypertrophic) or an increase in fat cell number (Hyperplastic). It can be of 2 types, first is Abdominal obesity and second is Gluteal obesity. Generally 20 % excess weight is considered as health risk.




Obesity Reasons


Physical inactivity (lack of proper exercise)
Eating Habits -
1. Eating in between meals
2. Preference to sweets, refined food, fats, preserved food
3. Composition & periodicity of meals
Psychological Factors
1. Emotional disturbances
2. Depression and anxiety
3. Frustration and loneliness
Endocrine glands problems
Familial tendency
Males are at high risk during age 29 to 35 and females are at risk during the age 45 to 49
The risk increases with age.

Assessment of Obesity


1. Body Mass Index = Weight in kg./ (Height in meter)* (Height in meter)
  If the BMI is in between 19 to 23, it is considered as normal, but if it is more then 23 then it can be called as obesity.
2. Waist to Hip ratio = if it is more than 1 in male is Obesity and 0.85 in females.
  There are other methods to assess the obesity.

The obesity results in various diseases like diabetes mellitus, hypertension, coronary heart diseases, reduced pulmonary functions and resulting in lower life expectancy.




Yoga has an important role to play in the treatment of Obesity. Yoga techniques affect body, internal organs, endocrine glands, brain, mind and other factors concerning Body - Mind complex. Various Yoga techniques can be practiced effectively to reduce the weight and achieve normal healthy condition of Body and Mind.




Yoga positions or postures are especially useful to reduce the fats in various parts, especially forward bending, twisting and backward bending asanas help reduce the fats near abdomen, hips and other areas. Also the practice of asanas improves functioning of internal organs, strengthening heart, lungs, kidneys, excretory & reproductive organs. Regular practice builds strength in muscles.

Asanas can be practiced with fast speed like exercise with good effects, the practitioner may increase repetitions instead of maintaining the asana for long.


Sun salutations


Sun salutations are very beneficial in Obesity management, every day 24 sun salutations with a speed of 4 rounds in 1 minute gives great benefits of Yoga Asanas and exercise as well. The practice of Sun salutation is a sequence of 7 asanas practiced in order which tones almost all of the muscles and also internal organs are stretched increasing blood & oxygen supply to these parts. Regular practice of sun salutation with breathing gives good exercise to the lungs. Mantras have relaxing effect on mind.




Pranayama is very important technique in yoga which is control and extension of Prana or Vital energy or Life force. Pranayama helps in management of this energy. Various techniques are available in yoga, which give interesting but good results.

The Pranayama can be classified in 2 types in terms of physiology, Hypo ventilation or vitalizing Pranayama and Hyper ventilation or relaxing pranayama. Kapalbhati, Bhasrika and Fast breathing can be classified under Hyper ventilation (increases Oxygen and reduces carbon dioxide) and Deep breathing, Bhramari, Shitali, Sitkari can be classified as Hypo ventilation (oxygen level remains mostly same but the speed of respiration is lower, heart rate lower).

Kapalbhati, Bhasrika & fast breathing can be practiced by people suffering from obesity with good effects; these Pranayama techniques increase the lung capacity and help burning fats. Regular practice of Pranayama brings balance in the system in terms of Physical and Mental functions.


Cleansing Techniques


Shankha Prakshalana or Master cleansing technique - Drinking 2 glasses of water, performing special asanas, again drinking the water, followed by asanas to evacuate the bowels is the process of cleansing of entire GI tract. The process is completed when one has completely cleansed the intestinal tract.




Fast movement of abdominal muscles in and out, is very good exercise to get rid of the accumulated fats in the abdominal region also it helps in streamlining Digestive system.




Uddiyan Bandha

Mula bandha




More raw vegetables, fruits help in balancing the intake of the food. Reducing refined & processed food, fast food, non vegetarian diet helps in weight control. A special fasting program has shown promising results. Please refer for more details...