Do you ever wonder if you can lose weight by doing Yoga?
It seems that more weight loss programs insist on starving yourself and focusing on intense high-calorie burning workouts while assuming that yoga is just for stretching.
Typical weight-loss programs address the symptom (excess fat) and ignore the cause, which is an imbalance of a range of emotional issues that include bad habits and poor nutrition.
So, with these 3 Tips you can love your body and reach your ideal weight through yoga:
By teaching you to turn your focus inward, yoga works on an emotional level to put you in touch with your feelings and to strengthen a nurturing relationship with yourself.
Essentially, in yoga you learn your body is not your enemy, and it is through conscious awareness of your alignment, foundation, and breath in your body in that translates into better appetite control.
Practicing yoga helps to increase your sensitivity to your inner signals such as hunger and cravings. There are physical components to both of these sensations, but true hunger to feed our body’s basic needs is a totally different experience than craving foods that do not nourish us.
Yoga helps to slow you down mentally so you can learn to distinguish between the urge to eat and the emotional impulses that sometimes drive us to eat to quell our feelings.
For example, Yoga increases your susceptibility for change as you work on constant adjustments to fully represent each pose. So if you are thinking you want to change your lifestyle and you want to change the way you think about food or you want to get over destructive eating patterns, yoga will help give you this deeper connection to your body that can help you make those changes.
I notice that if I eat too much or unhealthy food like ice cream and french fries, before a yoga class, I feel tired and gross. If I make healthy snack decisions then I feel notably energized and excited as I start to move.
Further, after every class, my desire to eat has lowered considerably as I’m feeling peaceful and content. If it does happen to be mealtime, I’ll make healthier decisions and consume smaller portions after practicing yoga.
Be very aware that your thought patterns (consciousness) aren’t just in your mind, they are permeating every cell in your body. However, YOU have the power to change them through continuous effort and awareness to create new, positive, self-affirming thought patterns, it just takes repeated practice, like yoga.
Combine your yoga session with positive self-talk. Appreciate your efforts and praise your inner goodness.
For example, instead of thinking, “I’m so fat, why can’t I look and feel like them? You can say, “I love my body. I want to give it balance through healthy nourishment as well as strengthening and stretching opportunities."
2) Breathe Deeply
Don’t be fooled by yoga’s deep breathing and sometimes-slow poses. Doctors and personal training experts say it can seriously trim and tone your body
Gentle and restorative yoga can help with weight loss by kicking on the parasympathetic nervous system, which regulates breathing, digestion and hormones.
Through this breathing process, blood flow is redirected to the digestive and reproductive organs, and the endocrine and lymphatic system the body is better able to extract nutrients from the food you eat and more effectively eliminate toxins because of the increased blood circulation.
By relaxing, bringing attention to the body, and withdrawing attention from stress-inducing thoughts the Parasympathetic nervous system elevates mood, strengthens the immune system and increases physical and psychological well-being.
The definition of yoga, according to Patanjali’s yoga sutras states: “Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind.” Yoga uses postures (asanas), ujjayi breath (pranayama), and a gazing point (dristi) to train the mind to be still, so union (yoga) can occur between your mind, body and spirit.
So, to continue this self-love and rewarding feeling of slow awareness, and go to class faithfully.
If you work out at home, set a specific day and time for your yoga session and stick to it nurturing an attitude adjustment that paves the way for long-term change.
So the metaphor for yogic breathing can be summed up as follows: Inhale – drawing in new life force, healthy habits, new life experiences, new career opportunities, new relationships, improved self-esteem, a deeper connection to Spirit and the courage to live out your heart’s desires.
Exhale- releasing and WILLING to let go of: fear, negative self-talk, draining relationships, careers without passion and purpose, stress, unhealthy habits and addictions such as, overeating, not eating enough, drinking alcohol, obsessive exercise, compulsive shopping, smoking and drugs, just to name a few.
3) Power Yoga
Power Yoga can offer all the fat-burning potential and heart benefits of an aerobic workout with faster, more active movements than other forms of yoga.
Vinyasa and Ashtanga are forms of power yoga that can burn up to 360 calories per hour.
However, while you’re striking fast-moving poses, it’s crucial that you pay attention to your alignment, to avoid injuries.
Certain poses, or asanas, are killer for weight loss, with benefits that far exceed mere calorie burning and muscle strengthening.
A. Shoulder stand and fish pose stimulate the thyroid, helping to give your body a metabolism boost.
B. Spinal twists massage the abdomen, target internal organs and aid with optimal digestion.
C. The dogs: Downward-facing dog and upward-facing dog poses are particularly helpful in toning hips, arms, and thighs.
I hope to see you lose the weight that you desire as you love yourself though:
Hannah seeks to find relationships between nature, cultures, yoga, and art through her writing.
My Paintings are now on Yoga Pants!
Fun Yoga in the Park
Travel the world with me through yoga!
These themed lessons are fun for all ages and levels at Mission Bay Park.
See the page, Park Yoga, for more information!
Lessons from Abroad