Yoga has proved its strength in almost every aspect of our body fitness. Yoga dominates as the most reliable and effective way to nourish the human body in the fullest sense. Regular yoga can also be effective for gaining weight over a duration of time. As per studies, Yoga mudra for weight gain can lead to a steady increase in muscular strength along with maintaining a better metabolic and digestive system.
What Happens When You Are Underweight?
Before getting into this, one should know when you are considered to be underweight. Therefore, it is important to know your Body Mass Index (fat based on your height and weight), and if your BMI value is below 18.5, it shows you come under the underweight category.
While some individuals may be underweight genetically, others are likely to be underweight due to a lack of essential nutrients needed by the body. These nutrients do not reach their target tissue because of malnutrition or improper absorption.
As per studies, there are several health risks associated with a body of poor nutrition and less than average weight. A few of them are listed below:
- The comparatively weaker immune system of underweight individuals makes the body prone to various diseases quickly and makes it difficult to fight illness and disease.
- Deficiencies of essential vitamins and minerals such as iron, calcium, vitamin A, vitamin E, and many more can lead to malnutrition and anemia.
- Due to the minimum presence of Vitamin D and calcium, it can cause osteoporosis.
- Not enough body mass or unavailability of required nutrients can trigger irregular menstrual cycles by causing abnormal production of hormones and low estrogen levels. Therefore, these mentioned poses of Yoga for weight gain for females can be effective for menstruation-related issues.
- Growth and development issues
- The risk of complications increases, and the healing rate decreases after or during surgery or trauma as a sufficient amount of nutrients are not available to rebuild or repair the tissue.
- It makes you feel tired and less energetic very often, even if you are working with proper breaks and timely schedules or even while taking a slow walk in the garden. And this may target your mental health and even self-esteem.
Does Yoga Help You Gain Weight?
Yoga helps you to fight problems such as poor metabolism, stress, malnutrition, and digestive issues by increasing the ability to absorb nutrients and building muscle strength of the body. While it helps to overcome these problems, it ensures stabilization of weight to reach the right weight goals as per your body requirements.
According to studies, yoga can help with muscle strength and endurance as proper yoga stretching helps muscle fibers and get them to form compact structures to become stronger, which will eventually cause weight gain or muscle gain. Additionally, in order to support your weight gain journey, you also need to take a high-calorie diet.
Yoga supports and improves blood, nutrients, and oxygen circulation, which ensures improvement in absorptions of the same. The rhythmic breathing patterns, accompanied with any yoga pose, increase the oxygen flow to our body cells which affects their performance.
Yoga itself will not cause you to gain weight directly, but regular practice can lead to increased muscle strength. This will make you more strong, energetic, and flexible than ever before.
Yoga asanas show visible results over time as they mainly focus on controlling your body’s metabolism by regulating stress hormones released in the digestive system through diaphragmatic breathing exercises. Therefore, one should not stop the practice if they don’t see any immediate difference. You should be forbearing and focused.
Yoga Poses for Weight Gain:
This pose is also called the Chair pose, which targets your muscles present in the thighs, hamstrings, and glutes.
Steps to perform it:
- Stand straight with your arms on your sides and feet placed together.
- Raise your arms above your head, close to the ears, with your fingers directing towards the sky.
- Get into a partial squat position by bending your knees, making them parallel with the thighs. This will restore your hips positioning in a way as if you were sitting on a chair.
- Gently lean your upper body slightly towards the front. Focus on your palms and keep your back erect.
- Hold the pose for 10-15 breaths.
It is considered to be the perfect pose for a muscle gain routine as it helps strengthen your muscles of ankles, thighs, calves, and spine. Also, it stretches and stimulates the abdominal organs.
2) Chaturanga Asana:
This pose is also called the Four-Limbed Staff pose, which targets your core and proves to be one of the most effective yoga weight gain exercises.
Steps to perform it:
- Begin with acquiring the posture of the traditional plank.
- Hold on to your core and bend the elbows, placing them close to the body, facing towards the back. Also, make sure that elbows and shoulders are aligned properly at the same height.
- Move up with your upper body and legs about 2–3 inches above the floor.
- Slightly look ahead and open your chest and upper back even wider.
- Press yourself back up into the high plank pose.
- Hold the pose for 10–30 seconds.
It helps in directing and balancing your entire body.
It strengthens and supports the spine and abdominal muscles by improving core strength, overall stability, and posture.
This pose is also called the cobra pose.
Steps to perform it:
- Lie on your stomach with legs stretched out and feet down.
- Place your elbows next to your body at an aligned ninety-degree angle.
- Then, lift your chest upwards, placing the weight not only on the elbows but also on the forearms.
- Inhale deeply, expelling it strongly.
It works best for the digestive system by improving appetite, regulating metabolism, and removing blockages. The asana helps to remove toxins and waste from the body to increase blood flow and nutrient absorption.
This in turn balances hormone levels, increases enzyme production, increases blood flow and helps in eliminating toxins and waste only by improving the oxygen intake quality.
This pose is also called the Diamond or thunderbolt pose.
Steps to perform it:
- Place your thighs on your calf muscles as you sit down.
- Lay down your hands on your thighs freely without experiencing any kind of stress or stretch.
- Focus and breathe deeply with your eyes closed.
- You can even place a yoga mat or a blanket under the shins to avoid massive discomfort.
It works on the digestive system to keep your metabolism under control. It can even be done immediately after a meal as it will help in the effective digestion of the food.
It also boosts your mental stability to keep the mind calm and attentive by helping the gut-brain axis communication system of nerves and biochemical signals to travel in the bloodstream due to improvement in oxygen intake, connecting the digestive system to the brain effectively.
This pose is also called the supported shoulder stand pose.
Steps to perform it:
- Lay down on your back in Shavasana.
- Take a deep breath and start lifting your legs up as you support your hips with your hands.
- The legs should move from a 30 to 90 degrees angle with the support of your hands facing downwards.
- Shift the weight off your shoulders, and lift your upper body as both your head and upper back come to a resting posture, then hold the pose for about 30 to 60 seconds before release.
It improves blood and oxygen circulation, which allows necessities to reach even inaccessible areas to provide a nutrient boost to your body.
It enlightens your body with extensive strength through diaphragmatic oxygen flow, which will clear all the energy blocks.
This pose is also called the Fish pose.
- Steps to perform it:
- Lie down on your back, and cross your legs at Padmasana, or you can even keep your legs straight with feet together and hands close to your body.
- Lift your body and slightly bend your back until the head touches the surface.
- Focus on breathing.
- Hold the pose for a few seconds and then release.
- It is advised to perform this either early in the morning or hours after meals.
It is a highly beneficial pose that focuses on weight gain. It regulates the hyperactive thyroid gland, which then strengthens the digestive, circulatory, reproductive, and cardiovascular systems to support weight gain over time.
This pose is also called the Corpse pose.
Steps to perform it:
- Lay down on your back freely with legs and arms spread apart in a relaxed posture.
- Breathe naturally and even pace.
- Stay in that pose for 5 to 10 minutes.
It is a perfect yoga for weight gain and glowing skin that helps in rejuvenating the mind and body, which enhances the rate and quality of nutrient absorption to heal the body completely.
This pose rejuvenates the body and mind through reduction of emotional distress and improved quality of sleep by reducing cortisol levels and enhancing the alpha brain wave in the ecosystem.
This pose is also called the Wind Relieving pose.
Steps to perform it:
- Lay down on your back with legs in the air.
- Bend your knees and lift the upper body until you touch the thighs with your stomach.
- Wrap the arms on your knees in a hug pose and lock your fingers.
- Breathe slowly and hold the pose for 20 to 30 seconds before releasing the body to its original state.
This pose works best on the digestive system; it helps in stimulating and regulating the metabolism of the body. Also, it adds strength to lower back muscles.
Slow movements and the continuous focus on proper breathing can help in reducing muscular tension, which initiates the support to build flexibility and strength to improve balance and bone strength of the body.
This pose is also called the Bow pose.
Steps to perform it:
- Lay down on your stomach with your feet separated.
- Fold your knees and hold the ankles with your hands stretching the legs up towards the back.
- Then lift your chest upwards and look straight.
- Breathe deeply and try to concentrate on it.
- Stay in this pose for 30 to 60 seconds.
This yoga pose increases the strength of your back and abdominal muscles. It massages your thyroid gland improving the digestive system and enhancing the muscles along with relieving all the stress and fatigue.
How to Do Yoga to Gain Weight?
Studies suggest, practicing yoga regularly leads to a noticeable increase in muscle strength and endurance gradually. Being overweight or underweight totally depends on your diet and other resistance lifestyle patterns along with your entire fitness routine.
Therefore, you should introduce yoga at least four days a week along with a properly balanced diet and plenty of water consumption. It is important to focus on yoga poses that affect a large group of muscles with an appropriate relaxation period for greater efficacy in the results.
Body Areas Most Likely to Gain Weight Using Yoga:
Some yoga asanas are not directly involved in the weight gain procedure of your body. But they help in strengthening muscles of certain areas of your body, which eventually adds to your journey of weight gain.
It is expected that the biceps, triceps, and shoulders experience more muscle building than others due to repetitive practice of yoga variations and balancing poses.
Building core strength through lunges, planks, arm balances, and backbends can eventually participate in gaining weight for maintaining a healthy body frame.
Yoga for weight gain benefits all body muscles, but at early stages, only a few of the areas attract a boost in the strength of your forearms, shoulders, arms, quads, and glutes before any other group of muscles.
Diet Tips to Combine With Yoga:
A balanced diet always plays an important role along with the regular physical and mental stability exercises you perform. Because if your diet lacks in providing enough calories and essential nutrients as per your body requirements, it can become a huge drawback for the suffering of your kidneys, heart, gastrointestinal, endocrine, and central nervous system.
These problems can be faced as the building blocks proteins and tissues will not repair and grow to regulate necessary chemical processes such as glycolysis.
Increased and calculated nutrition in your diet will not only nourish the vital maintaining systems in your body but will also improve the quality and health of your skin, muscles, tissues, and hair, which are a direct victim of being underweight.
So, here are a few tips for you to take into consideration for better health:
- Take a diet rich in protein and carbohydrates that will ensure healthy fats over time.
- Make sure you eat proper four to six meals a day.
- One must have chapatis, rice, suji, all types of pulses, and oats to acquire proteins and various other nutrients such as potassium, vitamin B1, folate, and riboflavin, which will contribute to weight gain.
- Consume foods high in good quality fat such as avocado, dried fruits, nuts, peanut butter, ghee, and olive oil.
- In addition, one should also eat pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, milk, and other dairy products to get magnesium, fibers, phosphorus, omega-3 and various other antioxidants.
- Taking high protein pieces of soy, tofu, eggs, or meat regularly in your diet can be helpful in gaining body weight as it contains both proteins and fats, which promote weight gain.
- Include nutritious foods with rich starch content, which are rich in carbohydrates and fats such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, beans, and bananas, as they help in boosting muscle growth and weight gain.
- It is also important to have fresh fruits and fibrous vegetables for adding healthy sugar content to the body.
- Avoid all types of junk food, coffee, soft drinks, alcohol, and highly fried foods.
- Also, getting plenty of rest and an adequate amount of sleep is very crucial to staying both mentally and physically fit.
- However, before going for a high-quality strict diet, one should consult a dietician to make sure it is suitable for your body.
Summing Up on Yoga for Weight Gain:
Yoga is considered to be an amazing lifestyle change that is a perfect solution to almost all your health problems. It includes unique and promising asanas which ensure better circulation of blood and oxygen along with reduction of malnutrition and deficiencies by proper utilization of nutrients throughout your body.
Therefore, performing yoga at least 4 days a week is the best way for gaining the right weight organically along with proper diet changes; it will make you feel and look the best version of yourself.
- Geir Fagerjord Lorem, Henrik Schirmer and Nina Emaus, October 2017;What is the impact of underweight on self-reported health trajectories and mortality rates: a cohort study - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5625617/
- Dianne Neumark-Sztainer, Richard F. MacLehose, Allison W. Watts, Marla E. Eisenberg, Melissa N. Laska, and Nicole Larson, December 2017;How is the practice of yoga related to weight status? Population-based findings from Project EAT-IV - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5865393/
- Alan R Kristal, Alyson J Littman, Denise Benitez, Emily White, August 2015;Yoga practice is associated with attenuated weight gain in healthy, middle-aged men and women - https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16053119/
- Caren Lau, Ruby Yu, and Jean Woo, March 2015;Effects of a 12-Week Hatha Yoga Intervention on Cardiorespiratory Endurance, Muscular Strength and Endurance, and Flexibility in Hong Kong Chinese Adults: A Controlled Clinical Trial - https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/958727/