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Yoga For Weight Gain 2024: 7 Poses & Meal Plans You Can Try
Not everyone works out to lose weight and get rid of belly fat. Some people struggle with gaining weight and achieving the optimal weight for their height and build, while others want to increase their muscle size and strength. For them, “toning” is their goal, with or without weight loss. Yoga can do both.
Yoga can be an amazing workout for losing body weight as much as for increasing your muscle size while at the same time helping increase your balance, flexibility, and mobility levels.
With technology came the age of mobile applications (apps), which brought all of the fitness classes and experiences into the comfort of your own home. So, if you can’t find the time to make it to a yoga studio, download one of these amazing fitness or yoga apps and get your body moving in your living room.
7 Yoga Poses For Weight Gain
Explore yoga asanas for weight gain, focusing on poses that promote muscle growth and overall well-being:
- Chair pose
- Warrior one
- Warrior two
- Warrior three
- Cobra pose
- Goddess pose
Yoga For Weight Gain
Also known as utkatasana in Sanskrit, the chair pose is an excellent exercise that targets your lower body and helps build the strength of your glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, and calves.
Start in a standing position with your arms by your sides and both feet together. Lift your arms over your head, keeping them parallel and palms facing each other. Bend your knees and activate your core. Keep your upper body still as you bring your hips down as far as you can like you’re trying to sit in an imaginary chair behind you.
Bring your shoulders down and away from your ears and breathe. With every inhale, try to push your thighs into one another, and with every exhale, try to sit a little deeper into the pose. Stay for at least five long inhales and exhales. On your last exhale, extend your legs and bring your arms back by your sides.
How to do:
- Stand tall, feet together, arms at sides.
- Inhale, raise arms overhead.
- Exhale, bend knees, hips back.
- Hold a chair-like position, and engage the core.
- Breathe, aim for 30-60 seconds.
- Keep your back straight, chest lifted, and knees aligned over your ankles to prevent strain.
- Activate your abdominal muscles to stabilize your body and improve balance.
- Take slow, deep breaths to help you hold the pose comfortably.
Optimal Sets and Reps: Hold for 30-60 seconds in each repetition, two or three times during a single yoga session.
One of the most powerful poses in yoga, chaturanga is a low-plank position that works your entire body, from your arms and shoulders to your core and legs.
Start in a traditional high plank pose, palms right under your shoulders and feet high on your balls, heels lifted. Make sure your hips are aligned in a straight line from your neck to your heels, preventing them from dropping too low or lifting too high.
Take an inhale and shift your body slightly forward and over your wrists; exhale and bend your elbows, lowering your chin and your entire body close to the floor while keeping your elbows at a 90-degree angle.
You can stay here for a few moments, shaking through the hard hold, transition into an upward-facing dog, or push yourself back and straighten your arms into the starting plank position.
How to do:
- Start in a high plank position.
- Lower body, keeping elbows close to ribs.
- Hover a few inches above the ground.
- Straighten arms, and push up to plank.
- Engage the core, and maintain proper form.
- Keep elbows close to your body to protect your shoulders.
- Engage your core and maintain a straight line from head to heels.
- Start with modified versions to build strength before attempting full Chaturanga.
Optimal Sets and Reps: Yoga pose that is incorporated into a yoga flow or sequence, and the focus is on maintaining proper form and alignment rather than counting sets and reps.
Warrior One (Warrior I)
Warriors are powerful yoga asanas that work your entire body, starting from the ground up. Your front leg is bent and needs to be strong to efficiently hold the pose for three to five long inhales and exhales. Furthermore, your core has to be fully engaged so that it prevents your lower back from collapsing and causing tension.
Activate your core muscles and keep your hips as low as you can. Lift your torso and bring your arms straight over your head. Clasp your palms together and send your shoulders away from your ears. Keep your spine straight, hips squared, your front leg bent, and your back leg straight. Hold the position for at least three to five inhales and exhales.
On your last exhale, bring your palms back to the floor and switch legs. Repeat everything on the other leg.
How to do:
- Begin in a runner’s lunge: Front leg bent, back leg extended, toes raised.
- Place both palms on the floor beside your front foot.
- Ground your front foot, and lower your back heel fully.
- Keep the front knee directly above the ankle to protect your joints.
- Square your hips toward the front, enhancing hip flexibility.
- Engage core muscles for stability and balance during the pose.
Optimal Sets and Reps: You may hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute on each side.
Warrior Two (Warrior II)
Starting from Warrior I, open your back foot so that it’s parallel to the mat and bring your arms halfway down so that they’re straight and parallel to the floor. Shift your torso slightly backward to align your shoulders with your hips and bring your shoulders down.
How to do:
- Swing your back foot open, both feet grounded.
- Inhale to straighten your spine, exhale to deepen the lunge.
- Aim for a 90-degree angle in your front knee.
- Engage the front thigh and glute muscles for strength.
- Exhale, lower palms by your front foot.
- Transition to a plank and switch legs for Warrior I on the opposite side.
- Keep your front knee directly above the ankle for joint safety.
- Extend your arms parallel to the floor, engaging your shoulder muscles.
- Gaze over your front hand while maintaining steady breath and core engagement.
Optimal Sets and Reps: Hold for 30 seconds to one minute or longer on each side.
Warrior Three (Warrior III)
The last pose in the Warrior series, Warrior III, brings the challenge to a new level. It requires a strong core and powerful activation of the standing leg as you balance it and create a capital-T shape with your body.
How to do:
- Lift your back leg and align it parallel to the floor.
- Straighten and engage your front leg while balancing on it.
- Extend your clasped arms or keep them alongside your torso.
- Hold for 3-5 breath cycles, then switch sides.
- Maintain a strong core for balance and stability.
- Keep a micro-bend in your standing knee to avoid hyperextension.
- Use a focal point to aid balance during the pose.
Optimal Sets and Reps: Aim to hold the pose for 30 seconds to one minute on each side.
One of the best yoga asanas for your upper body and strengthening your back muscles is the cobra pose. It’s easy to perform, but it’s also easy to control and notice progress over time.
How to do:
- Begin lying on the floor, feet together, and palms by chest.
- Inhale, press the tops of the feet down, and lift the torso and head.
- Gaze forward or up, and keep your hips on the floor.
- Stay for 3-5 breaths, then exhale, lower torso gently.
- Protect your lower back by engaging core muscles.
- Start with a gentle lift, avoiding excessive backbend.
- Listen to your body, don’t push into discomfort or pain.
Optimal Sets and Reps: Hold for 15-30 seconds to start, gradually increasing the duration as your practice progresses.
Goddess pose is one of the best yoga asanas for increasing muscle strength of your glutes and entire legs and improving your blood circulation. Start in a standing position, feet wider than your hips, and open. Inhale and lift your arms over your head. Exhale, bend your knees, and come into a partial squat position. Take a deep breath here, and on your exhale, try to go even deeper towards a full squat.
Stay here for at least five long inhales and exhales and feel the blood rush into your legs, and your thighs start to burn. On your last exhale, straighten your legs and return to the standing position.
How to do:
- Keep knees aligned with toes to protect joints.
- Engage core muscles for stability and balance.
- Maintain an upright spine and deep squat for proper form.
- Maintain a wide stance with turned-out toes for balance.
- Keep your knees directly above your ankles to protect your joints.
- Engage your core and maintain an upright posture for stability.
Optimal Sets and Reps: Two or three sets of 10-15 reps per set.
Does Yoga Help You Gain Weight?
Gaining weight doesn’t always have to mean gaining fat. If you’re working on increasing your muscle mass, fine-tuning your diet to include a higher number of protein-rich foods, and adding more strength training into your routine, the scale might start showing a slightly higher number. Muscle weighs in, too.
Yoga does not necessarily help you gain weight per se, but it can help increase your muscle size and enhance your endurance level. When combined with hypertrophy training and a caloric surplus, it will result in muscle gain. Studies show how certain yoga poses like “chair” and “warrior” result in an increase in muscle size and strength in both the upper and lower body.
Practicing these poses on the regular will help you gain muscle and endurance, but changes you make to your diet can result in either weight gain, weight loss, or weight maintenance. To gain weight, you need to be in a caloric surplus; to lose weight, you need to be in a caloric deficit, and to maintain weight, you need to be taking roughly the same amount of calories as you’re expending.
Increasing lean muscle mass or toning your body, whether with yoga or another exercise, includes fat loss. Depending on how much you intake through food and supplements, your scale will either show a lower number, higher number, higher number, or plateau.
Diet Plan To Combine With Yoga
Since weight gain cannot be achieved without a diet that supports or promotes it, to gain weight, you need to bring your body into a caloric surplus. And since the goal is to increase muscle size and strength with minimal fat gain, you’ll have to clean up your diet and increase the amount of protein you consume.
Keeping your diet clean will support the health of your digestive system and increase your nutrient absorption, supplying your body with the vitamins and minerals you need to thrive. Increasing your protein intake will promote muscle gain and fat loss, which might tip the scales a bit and make those yoga asanas effective for gaining weight the right way.
Increase the number of vegetables and fruit, complex carbs like rice and quinoa, healthy fats like avocado and nuts, and lean protein like chicken and fish. This will lower your body mass index (BMI) while promoting healthy weight gain consistent with healthy body weight.
A higher percentage of muscle will help make you stronger, improve your metabolism, promote better blood and oxygen circulation, and keep your thyroid gland healthy and functioning.
Additionally, when looking to gain weight healthily, it’s always best to consult with a nutritionist or a registered dietitian, both pre-workout and post-workout and design the perfect meal and supplement plan for your body.
Practicing yoga weight gain that can result isn’t its main goal, but it can be a great way of increasing your muscle mass and, with it, realizing a healthy weight gain.
In addition to exercises that promote an increase in muscle size and strength, it’s important to focus on your nutrition and dietary supplements and find the best diet that works for you and your health and fitness goals.
+ 7 sources
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