By Atul Vyas
Modern living which includes a sedentary lifestyle, poor food quality, and high stress leads to metabolic syndrome, obesity, hypertension and lipid abnormalities, etc. Typically, people with metabolic syndrome are not conscious of their bodies or the effects of the lifestyle choices they are making. The metabolic syndrome leads to obesity.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the rate of obesity worldwide has doubled since 1980. But, both obesity and metabolic syndrome are preventable and curable.
Metabolic syndrome is a combination of endogenous risk factors like increased waist circumference, increased triglycerides, decreased good cholesterol (HDL), increased blood pressure, and increased fasting glucose.
Yoga provides very effective interventions to cure these lifestyle diseases. There are yogic exercises and techniques for stress reduction, nervous system balancing, shifting of metabolic function, and inducing anti-inflammatory effects to address the root causes associated with obesity and metabolic syndrome.
One such technique is Sahaj Agnisar. Agnisar literally means ‘fanning of the fire.’ It is an excellent respiratory exercise and an energy stimulant. Alternate squeezing and releasing of abdominal muscles is called Agnisar. The Sahaj Agnisar is a simpler version of the Agnisar.
- Sit straight in any comfortable pose and place your hands on your waist in a fashion that the thumbs of both hands remain on your back or waist and rest of the fingers on the front side of the abdomen, and the middle finger touching the naval or near the naval
- Exhale as deeply as possible
- Apply a slow pressure on the abdominal muscles with your fingers while exhaling in order to push the abdomen backward in the direction of the spinal column
- Exert optimum pressure, then relax and breathe in
- Repeat 3-4 times to start with, and increase as per capacity build-up
- A great exercise for visceral organs
- Appetizer, laxative, and antacid exercise
- It is anti-flatulence, anti-dyspepsia exercise
- Good for people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome
- Good for people suffering from amoebic dysentery
- Good for people with weak prostrate, and Colitis
- Increases digestive efficiency and metabolic rate sufficiently
- Increases thoracic efficiency, and oxygen consumption
Note of Caution
People suffering from any type of ulcers, hernia, and any surgery on the abdominal region should do this pose only under the guidance of an expert.
(The author likes to be called a “Yoga Scientist.” He is a celebrity yoga trainer and has trained several top Hollywood and Bollywood stars. He has trained for years under many eminent yoga gurus including his illustrious mother Daya Vyas, the first lady yoga guru of India.)