This is a huge concern of many people that what if they gain weight once they stop practicing yoga or what if their stress level increases and they get depressed after stopping yoga? So the answer is, simply quitting yoga doesn’t bring any side effect. Also it will not do the exact opposite(of the benefits) to you by making you gain weight or making you depressed. Whatever happens after you quit yoga has got nothing to do with yoga. Not at all.
Scientifically, Yoga is a breathing technique with various yogic postures not like another medication, in which you consume some chemical products and your body reacts or responds accordingly. Yoga is an activation of your cells, or simply Natural charging of your body through asanas and pranayamas practice. Normally,we breath 500 ml of Oxygen per breath in average, however, during deep breathing we breath 10 times higher, i.e. 5000ml of Oxygen, resulting in storage of more energy than earlier, or natural healing of your body, mind and soul.
On other hand, if you stop doing yoga for longer time ( say, more than a month), your body will return back to its normal state, but not worse than earlier, since there is no changes in the body response system. Like, your amount of oxygen intake will not reduce than 500 ml/per breath. Thus, you are back to your normal state.
In other words, when we start practicing yoga regularly for the first time, our body and mind start experiencing numerous positive changes. Our mind and body shifts from the previous state to a new state of well being and positivity. When we stop the practice our mind and body simply returns to its previous state. It is difficult to believe because it doesn’t feel like the previous state. It feels worse in some cases. It is just because now the comparison starts. Our body and mind had experienced a better state of being while we practiced yoga. It’s similar to you have been walking in a hot sunny day and suddenly you get a cool shade under a tree. You start feeling much better and happier. The moment you move out of the shade and start experiencing the hot sun again, you start feeling worse than before. It is because now you have experienced a better feeling and hence the comparison starts between sun and shade. So, if you were happy before yoga and you became happier after, it feels difficult to go back to happy because you have experienced being much happier.
Weight gain happens because obviously the body is not burning calories as much as it used to burn with yoga practice. It is same with dancing, gymming, swimming, cycling or any other physical activity for that matter. You eat same but have stopped your physical activity so it’s natural to gain weight. It’s completely maths and science. LHS is not equal to RHS. Input is more than output. In terms of yoga ‘prana’ is much more than ‘apana’. Nature loves symmetry and it always works better when symmetry is maintained.
If you feel sad or depressed after stopping your practice it’s just because you have experienced a happier state and a happier feeling. You simply return to your previous state. The only difference is you have been better and seen better now.