Yogic breathing for Belly Fat Burning

By Atul Vyas

Stubborn belly fat is a serious condition. Recent studies show that chronic stress is a recipe for dangerous weight gain. The gained fat is generally deposited as abdominal fat, also known as visceral fat. This fat gives the person an apple shape appearance rather than a pear shape. It is the worst kind of fat because it surrounds vital organs and is associated with a number of diseases such as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.

The latest research has shown that it accumulates due to a stress hormone called cortisol. The cortisol is released by adrenal glands, which are two small caps-like structures sitting on top of the kidneys.

The adrenal glands are the parts of three central glands in the body that manage stress namely the hypothalamus, the pituitary gland, and the adrenal glands. These three glands make what is called the HPA axis through which stress affects the body. So when the brain perceives stress through the HPA axis releases cortisol hormone from the adrenal glands.

Cortisol is a steroid hormone that causes multiple physical response effects in the body. The combined effects of this hormone allow you to run faster, jump higher, and react more quickly. They interfere with digestion and send blood to muscles for heightening one’s senses – short-term stimulation.

As soon as cortisol reaches a certain level of concentration in blood giving enough time to react appropriately to the stressor, it starts to work its way out of one’s bloodstream and the body returns to its normal, non-stressed balanced state called homeostasis.

However, when one’s body remains stressed for too long or gets stressed too often the supply of cortisol is continued till adrenal glands are fatigued. In order to fight stress, cortisol releases glucose in the blood either by taking it from the liver or breaking muscle proteins.

Due to chronic stress, the level of cortisol in the body is increased and reaches a condition called, ‘allostasis’ that makes physical and chemical changes in the body to adapt to chronic stress. Thus, the glucose released by cortisol, if not used or utilized by action, is deposited as belly fat.

So if you are having trouble losing weight then you must learn stress management skills, says a study at Georgetown medical center. Normalizing cortisol levels in the blood and distressing the body helps in combating belly fat.

Yoga is one of the best tools to manage stress. One of the most effective techniques for stress management is deep long diaphragmatic breathing.


  • Lie down on your back and place a small book on your belly
  • Inhale and the book goes up
  • Exhale and the book go down
  • Repeat for 5-10 minutes daily


  • You can direct and control breathing
  • Calms basal ganglia – the area of the brain that controls anxiety
  • Helps the brain to run more efficiently
  • Relaxes one’s muscles
  • Warms up the hands
  • Reduces stress
  • 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.
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