Yoga Asanas to Control Mindless Munching
do many of us simply tend to eat and eat and eat. The answer to
this uncontrolled munching lies in the fact that most of us are eating while distracted --
when watching TV, talking with family or friends,
or eating in the car. Another external factor influencing how
much we eat is serving size: If a larger serving is
in front of us, we tend to
eat more no matter what.
of a food is
another factor -- if it’s easy to reach out and grab
we’ll be more likely to eat it. Even the way a room is lighted can
cause us to eat more: Dim,
soft lighting encourages
us to prolong the eating experience and we
eat more. Still other factors include stress,
or emotional reasons
for eating. We do
on the internal cues, such as how hungry we
Yoga can go a long way in teaching asanas to
control mindless munching by relating
our body to
hunger, cravings and eating
behavior. Yoga will
help you better associate with internal cues like “fullness”, instead of
external cues like how much food is left on your plate. Listening to external
cues leads to overeating.
Poses generally recommended include the Crab
the Child's pose, the Downward Dog pose, plow
the Full Wind Pose, among others. Grounding postures like the Goddess Pose, Mountain
and the Standing and Prayer Squats are also used to increase strength and
Balasana (Child Pose):
This relaxing pose can decompress your mind, letting you reflect on the emotion
that's driving you to eat.
Sit on your knees with your feet together and buttocks resting on your
heels. Separate your knees about the width of your hips. Place your hands on
your thighs, palms down. (This is the vajra-asana or
Inhale deeply, then exhale as you bring your chest between your knees while
swinging your arms forward.
Rest your forehead on the floor, if possible, and then bring your arms
around to your sides until the hands on resting on either side of your feet,
Breath gently through your nostrils as you hold the posture. Hold for about
one to two minutes. Then return to asana upright kneeling position with your
back straight and your hands on your thighs.
Repeat the posture at least one more time.
Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Dog Pose)
Downward-Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana) can be healthy for you and may
help you lose weight when included in your diet
& exercise plan.
- Begin on your hands and knees. Your wrists should be underneath your
shoulders, and your knees underneath your hips.
- Inhale as you tuck your toes under your heels. Then exhale to lift your
hips, coming into an upside down "V" shape called Downward Facing Dog.
- Spread your fingers wide and create a straight line between your middle
fingers and elbows. Work on straightening your legs and lowering your heels
toward the ground. Your heels should be slightly wider than your toes, so
the outside edges of your feet are parallel with the outside edges of your
mat. Relax your head between your arms, and direct your gaze through your
legs or up toward your belly button. Work on holding for five breaths.
Uttanasana (Standing forward Bend)
Simple standing forward bends can help calm your busy brain, halt craving and
Stand in Tadasana,
hands on hips. Exhale and bend forward from the hip joints, not from the
waist. As you descend draw the front torso out of the groins and open the
space between the pubis and top sternum. As in all the forward bends, the
emphasis is on lengthening the front torso as you move more fully into the
If possible, with your knees straight, bring your palms or finger tips
to the floor slightly in front of or beside your feet, or bring your palms
to the backs of your ankles. If this isn't possible, cross your forearms and
hold your elbows. Press the heels firmly into the floor and lift the sitting
bones toward the ceiling. Turn the top thighs slightly inward.
With each inhalation in the pose, lift and lengthen the front torso just
slightly; with each exhalation release a little more fully into the forward
bend. In this way the torso oscillates almost imperceptibly with the breath.
Let your head hang from the root of the neck, which is deep in the upper
back, between the shoulder blades.
Uttanasana can be used as a resting position between the standing poses.
Stay in the pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Don't roll the spine to come up. Instead bring your hands back onto your
hips and reaffirm the length of the front torso. Then press your tailbone
down and into the pelvis and come up on an inhalation with a long front
Pawanamuktasana (Wind Liberating Pose)
Lie down on your back and stretch both your legs. Now leaving the left
leg stretched on the ground bend your right leg at the knee and bring the
bent knee near the chest. Now inhale and press your bent leg on your chest
with both hands, which should be interlocked for 90 this purpose.
Keep the breath full in your belly and go on pressing the leg on it.
Stay in this position for some time. Now start exhaling, lift your head and
try to touch your bent knee with your nose. Inhale and bring your head back
in the normal position; also take the leg down and exhale. Concentrate on
Maniptir Chakra. Repeat this process with your right leg and then with both
Remember, eating is a multidimensional behaviour and there are a number of
factors within our environment that promote over consumption. Its
time you take control.
Dated 28 February 2013