Yogic treatment & Natural Remedies

30. Obesity

Symptoms: Fat is an indispensable element of the human body. Without fat, the natural activity of the bones and muscles could not be sustained for a single moment. But when this very fat abnormally accumulates beyond the ordinary requirement of the body, it causes all the organs of the body to become incapacitated. This state is called obesity.

Causes: Lack of physical labour, and at the same time eating lots of curd (yogurt), milk, butter and other high-calorie foods; eating large quantities of sweets and large quantities of mucus-producing foods (fish, tamarind, etc.) are the main causes of obesity. And especially if, along with the above reasons, a particular person undertakes too much mental exertion, then in most cases he/she becomes obese.

Persons who do physical labour need nutritious and nonvegetarian types of food, milk and ghee. Those who do mental work and don’t undertake much physical work require very little non-vegetarian, sweet and fatty foods. But sensual persons, for the sake of taste-satisfaction, take large quantities of food which they do not need or need very little of.

In the world today a handful of people who do no physical work, but live by their wits, have appropriated to themselves most of the wealth of humanity, so they are able to buy comparatively expensive foods, and use them to satisfy their taste buds. As a result, they, on the one hand, swell with unnecessary fat, while, on the other hand, those people doing hard manual labour are forced to live in poverty and deprived of the ghee, butter and sweets they need to maintain their bodies; they have nothing to compensate properly the energy they expend, and they become weak, emaciated and broken in health. On account of malnutrition and excessive hard labour, they fall victim to tuberculosis. Remember that in tropical countries non-vegetarian food is generally like poison, but for those doing a great amount of physical labour, a little such food does no harm to their bodies, nor does it exert its harmful influence on their minds.

So my point is that obesity is primarily a disease of well-off, non-labouring society. High-salaried office workers, rich businessmen and parasitic politicians are those who suffer most from obesity.

It should be borne in mind that the fat stored in the human body is nothing but its work energy in latent form. When fasting or doing physical labour, it becomes liquefied, then transformed into vital energy or work energy. So when people perform little manual labour, their fat becomes their enemy and pushes them to their death.

When this fat accumulates in the abdominal region, it causes sterility in women and impotency in men. That is why we find that in most cases obese people have no children. Too much accumulation of fat on the chest and abdomen disturbs the váyu; and then, as long as the liver is not affected, the person suffers from “demon hunger”; so much so that in homes where the person is entertained, he or she becomes famous for his or her voracity. Another distinguishing mark of such people is that they are most greedy for those foods which are most fattening; that is, when invited outside, they will never even by mistake eat much in the way of vegetable preparations – instead they will eat a lot of luci, fish, meat and sweets.

As they grow older and their livers become weak, they will lose that voracious appetite. Then they will sorrowfully say to people that they cannot consume food as they used to. Their muscles become flaccid and they begin to suffer from acidity, constipation or intestinal troubles. Fat accumulated on the chest affects the heart and lungs and makes it difficult for these organs to function. Victims’ respiration becomes troublesome, they tire out very easily, gasp for breath, and sit down sweating profusely. Fat accumulated in the blood vessels causes patients to suffer from high blood pressure, which may finally lead to an internal haemorrhage by bursting the blood vessels of the brain or of any part of the body, causing death or paralysis.

Excessive fat creates disorder in the normal functioning of the liver as well as in the breathing. Fat also creates constipation, seminal diseases, abnormal menstruation, and different kinds of intestinal disease.

Treatment:
First phase
Morning – Utkśepa Mudrá, Diirgha Prańáma, Yogamudrá and Bhújauṋgásana.

Evening – Matsyamudrá, Naokásana, Pashcimottánásana and Matsyendrásana.

After gaining some mastery over these ásanas, begin the second phase.

Second phase
Morning – Utkśepa Mudrá, Diirgha Prańáma, Yogamudrá, Bhújauṋgásana and Padahastásana.

Evening – Matsyamudrá, Naokásana, Pashcimottánásana and Matsyendrásana.

After gaining some mastery over these ásanas, begin the third phase.

Third phase
Morning – Utkśepa Mudrá, Yogamudrá, Diirgha Prańáma, Bhújauṋgásana, Karmásana and Garud́ásana.

Evening – Naokásana, Pashcimottánásana, Matsyendrásana and Kurmakásana.

Diet: Some obese people try simply to eat less, surmising that in doing so they will be able to lose weight. This is not a correct approach, because such dieting can weaken the patient to such an extent that he or she cannot even get up or walk. What the patient needs is a simple, carefully selected diet. For instance:

1. One should drink about four or five seers of water daily, but not much at a time. As far as possible the patient should always mix lemon juice with the water.

2. Completely stop taking non-vegetarian food, ghee and oil. Three-fourths to a seer of diluted milk should be taken, a little at a time, a number of times during the day.

3. Depending upon the appetite, all kinds of fruit in plentiful quantity, preferably sour juicy types, can be taken. These fruits are very beneficial for the obese.

4. Reduce or eliminate rice, rut́i and pulses, and instead eat green vegetables and soups made from them in greater quantity.

5. One must reduce the use of raw and refined sugar, but may use a little honey – nor more than three spoonfuls a day.

Dos and don’ts: Rules of fasting and sun-bathing should be observed by patients. Generally speaking, obesity is the disease of the sedentary and the greedy. So as far as possible, simple food should be eaten. Instead of luci and puri, dry rut́i should be taken. And patients should give up their habit of sitting and giving orders, and instead should do the work by their own physical efforts.