Yoga for Increased Metabolism and Mental Health

Established over 26,000 years ago and practiced seriously for over 4000 years, yoga represents the effort to enhance self-awareness and general well-being of one's body and mind. The ancient yogis practiced yoga from very early times as they recognized its potential not only as a source of natural healing, but also a way of maintaining overall health of the mind and the body at the same time. The modern yogis who carried yoga with them across the seas to the west, in the form of the popular Hatha-yoga, are busy propagating it, not only as a means to burn one's karma or duty, but also the calories in pursuit of weight control.

Metabolism purports to life-sustaining enzyme-catalyzed reactions of a of a chemical nature that occurs within the body cells, and supports the body functions like digestion, breathing, blood circulation, muscle contraction, and even the functioning of the nerves and the brain. In other words, metabolism refers to all bodily functions that create and use energy, when the body needs it. You measure the metabolic rate by the calories you burn every day for the above-mentioned functions. Metabolism has two aspects. Catabolism works on breaking down organic matter to collect energy, while Anabolism uses the energy to construct cell components like nucleic acids and proteins.

How Yoga Can Speed Up Metabolism?

Yoga speeds up our body metabolism in several ways:

    The body metabolism improves due to yoga's effect on improved blood circulation and stimulation of the abdominal muscles.
    Back bends during sun salutations enhance metabolism because it involves all body muscles.
    The right recipe of Asanas will stimulate the thyroid gland, which controls metabolism.

Muscle Strengthening

Since, the yoga postures are almost akin to resistance exercises they help in building muscle mass. Yoga's principle of using body weight as resistance helps to strengthen and tone up the entire body. Consequently, calorie burn occurs at a higher rate because the muscle tissues' metabolic requirements are much higher.

How Thyroid Stimulates Metabolism?

Though small, the thyroid gland produces hormones that control and regulate the body metabolism rate. Any drop in the level of hormones produced by the thyroid gland will directly result in a slowing of the metabolic rate. On the other side, research by the national institutes of health have shown that those who have excess hormone production resulting from an active thyroid, put on weight, become lethargic and have a general difficulty in maintaining the temperature of their bodies. Yogic poses like the back bends, bridge pose, and shoulder stand, motivate the thyroid gland.

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