Yoga and weight loss part 2

Now think of other organs and the important roles they have in our
body. The pancreas for example controls our blood sugar levels through
secretion of glucagon and insulin. These two hormones are secreted to
control high and low levels of sugar in the blood.
Insulin for example will tell the liver and other body cells to absorb
and to store blood glucose, the stored glucose is then converted into
a form of sugar called glycogen or fat. This is also related to the
process is known as anabolism. Anabolism is also the process by which
smaller components such as amino acids and fatty acids become proteins
and fats. Glucagon on the other hand does the exact opposite. When
blood glucose is low (often during excersize), glucagon will tell the
liver to release glucose into the blood stream. This glucose is a
product of the break down of fats and proteins, and will continue to
as long as there is a demand for it. This in essense is a catabolic
process. It is for this reason that a reduction of weight (fat burning
and muscle loss) is a product of catabolism, and why weight gain
(muscle and fat forming) are associated with anabolism.
Our ability to reduce fat and to build muscle is very much related to
catabolism and anabolism. The question is, how can we control or
assist these two processes through yoga?
Practicing asanas will increase our body’s demand for blood sugar,
especially during more muscular exerting poses such as virabhadrasana
and navasana. This paired with the habit of eating less before yoga
all contributes to the process of catabolism. After an hour or two of
yoga it is very likely that our bodies are still in a catabolic state.
Generally speaking we hope glucagon has been secreted, fat has been
catabolized into blood glucose, and are ready to receive the full
benefits of anabolism when eating our next meal.
Anabolism and catabolism can not efficiently function if the pancrease
is not functioning properly. If the nerves that communicate with our
pancreas are not functioning at an optimal level would it affect our
release of insulin and glucagon? Again, because of the complexity of
the body, we can at best conclude “it very well could”. Like the
thyroid, communication from the brain to the pancreas is also via the
spine, which means that yoga postures relieving pressure on the spine
will ultimately lead to higher organ function. Much like the types of
postures that would benefit thyroid function, spinal twists, forward
and back bends, and other postural yoga exercizes all can benefit
communication between our brain and our pancreas.
There are also a few good asanas which are directed at stimiluating
the pancreas directly as well. Yogamudrasana, pashimottanasana,
shalbhasana and ardha matsyendrasana all put pressure on the region of
the pancreas. Ideally, the increase in pressure will act as stimulus,
and lead to detoxifying of the organ as well.

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