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These Yoga Poses Will Normalize Your Appetite in 5 Minutes

 Stress,  hormones, and even intense exercise can all make you overeat, which can soon snowball into a full-blown bad habit. This harmful habit is destructive to your heart and digestive health, plus it negates all the hard work you put into your wellbeing and fitness.

To combat overeating and to regain control over your own appetite, try one or more of these yoga postures, designed specifically for said problem. Apart from normalizing your appetite, these poses have tons of other health benefits and will make you feel great. On top of that, doing these yoga asanas takes only a few minutes tops.
 

1. Downward Facing Dog

Downward-facing dog is one of the most famous yoga positions for a good reason, as it combines the benefits of a forward fold and engages the abdominal muscles at the same time. Apart from preventing you from overeating, it has the following health benefits:

  • balances blood pressure
  • engages the abdominal muscles
  • relieves lower back pain
  • promotes intestinal health

This pose is an overall body and mind strengthener.

toga appetite control Downward facing dog

How to do the pose:

Step 1. Start from an all fours position. Your knees should be directly under your hips and hands should be at shoulder width. This alignment ensures your weight will be spread equally throughout your body once you’re in downward dog.

Step 2. As you breathe in naturally, slowly lift your knees and elbows and straighten them, if possible, until your body looks like a downward letter "V". Situate yourself comfortably in the posture, breathe in slowly and mindfully, sucking your belly in and distributing the weight equally through your legs and shoulders.

Hold this position for at least 10 cycles of breath, then slowly land back on your knees and elbows.

Important note! A common mistake in downward dog is that people try to straighten their legs and not their lower back. The most important thing in this posture is a straight spine, so engage your belly and straighten the spine as much as you can... and the legs can stay bent.

2. Plank Pose

Another “celebrity” yoga pose, the plank is an essential component to most workout routines. Did you know that it can tame your naughty appetite, too? Apart from that, planks are excellent full-body strengtheners, as well as mood boosters and belly fat erasers.

How to do the pose:
Step 1. We recommend you start your plank from the downward facing dog position. The trick in this pose is to start when you’re exhaling and gradually moving your head and chest forward while simultaneously engaging your core and buttocks even more. Eventually, your body will form a sideways "L" position.

toga appetite control Plank and side plank

Step 2. Once you’re situated, make sure your spine and legs form a straight line. To do that, you have to engage your thighs and glutes quite a bit. Also, make sure to keep your neck relaxed. To do that, spread and pull your shoulders down.

Hold this position as long as you can, start with around 5 breaths and then evolve until you can hold it for 2-3 minutes.

When that becomes easy, you can move to a more difficult variation called the side plank (see picture above). To do it, just move your center of balance to one hand and lift the other. To maintain the balance, move the leg that’s closer to the floor a bit forward like the woman on the picture.

Also, don’t forget to repeat it on the other side.

3. Lotus Pose

One of the most effective breathing and meditation poses is the famous lotus position. It has several benefits: it can help you focus and disconnect from the stresses of the world, concentrating on a deep breath. This calming effect is also reflected in your emotional state and appetite, calming and normalizing both.
toga appetite control lotus

How to do the pose:

Step 1. Sit down on the floor with your legs bent at your knees and crisscrossed to form a comfortable seat. The goal here is for you to sit comfortably and to have a straight spine.

Tip: if you did as instructed and still can’t straighten your back, grab a pillow (or two) to sit on. This will lift you up and make it easier to straighten your spine.

Step 2. The standard lotus requires for you to fold your legs so that your feet stick out, like two lotus flowers. This posture can be hard on your knees, though, as it requires extreme outward knee rotation. That’s why many yoga teachers nowadays recommend spreading the knees with the feet folded below them like the picture on the right shows.

You can hold this position for several minutes and simply focus on DEEP breathing.

4. Cobra Pose

This wonderful pose activates the entire upper body and does wonders for your spine. It can relieve neck and back pain and is very beneficial to digestion, which is why it can normalize your urge to eat. 

toga appetite control cobra

How to do the pose:

Step 1. Lie down on your stomach, legs straight and arms bent in the elbows like a grasshopper. Your hands should be on the floor right next to your ribcage. Breathe in, relax your shoulders and pull out your neck. This position will ensure that you don’t hurt your neck.

Step 2. On an inhale, engage your abdominals, your side body muscles and your back muscles as you slowly lift up your head, shoulders and upper torso as high up as you can. Don’t worry if your arms won’t be straight and remember that your torso should be doing all the work, and not your arms.

Make sure to keep your shoulders relaxed and neck straight.

Hold the position for 5 breaths or as long as you can until you return to your initial position.

5. Tree Pose

This balancing posture will calm your nerves and your digestive system. It is also beneficial for your posture and spine health.

toga appetite control tree pose variations

How to do the pose:

Step 1. Stand up straight with your arms on your sides. As you breathe in, raise one leg and put it on the other thigh. Can’t maintain the balance with your leg on your thigh? No worries, you can always keep it on your knee or slightly above the ankle. If you’re afraid of falling, practice this pose by the wall.

Step 2. When it comes to your hands, you have many options: you can either keep them together in front of your torso or lift them overhead (try simply holding them up and then connecting them like on the left picture). If none of those work for you, just rest them on your sides.

Hold as long as you’d like, slowly breathing and focusing on your breath and don’t forget to repeat on the other side.

6. Half-Boat

Boat positions come in different variations, and this specific one targets digestion. The side effects of doing this pose is a toned belly and thighs, and not only a happy digestive system. 
How to do the pose:
Step 1. Sit up straight on the ground with your legs bent and parallel to each other. Engage your core and lift your arms, palms facing up until they’re parallel to the floor.
toga appetite control half-boat

Step 2. When you’re ready, slowly lift your legs as high as you can by engaging your abdominal muscles. It is important to keep a straight lower back. No need to straighten your legs in this variation.

Hold this position as long as you can, but don’t overdo it because it is a very intense core exercise. 

Tip: if you find that it is difficult for you to feel your core and maintain a sense of balance in the posture, try engaging your inner thighs or even holding a book between the legs to make you do so.

7. Plow Pose

Any inverted position is essential for digestive health. This position is particularly beneficial to your pancreas and liver. Many people also experience a sense of release in the lower back while doing this position, so it’s a real multitasker.
We understand that this pose may look challenging, but it is much easier than it looks and we will give you a few variations of it, so find one suitable for you. 
Important note: Women on the first few days of their period and people who experience high blood pressure should avoid this posture.
toga appetite control plow variations
How to do the pose:
Step 1. Lie down on your back with your arms parallel to your body. Use your hands to support your lower back from the sides as you slowly lift your legs overhead. Knees can be bent or straight, feet can reach the floor or not.
Step 2. If you’re a beginner, support your lower back with your arms like the woman on the lower picture. If you’re more confident, you can move your hands towards your feet and maybe even touch them (see upper picture).
Wherever you are, relax and make 5-10 breaths in this position.

8. Warrior Pose

From the many warrior positions, this is the one that targets increased appetite, digestion, as well as balance and flexibility. Like all the warrior positions, it also aims to boost your mood and confidence

toga appetite control warrior

How to do the pose:
Step 1. Stand up straight. Now take a big step back with one foot, placing the foot at a 45º angle. The step should be just big enough for your knee to create a 90º angle when bent.

Step 2. Once your legs are situated, stretch your hands straight parallel to the earth like the woman on the picture. You can either look straight or in the direction of the bent knee in this posture.

The goal of this posture is to stretch your side body as much as you can, so stretch your hands and back leg as wide as possible to the sides, just like a starfish. Hold the posture for 5-10 breaths and repeat it on both sides.

H/T: brightside.me

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