Yoga helped me lose Weight
Has yoga helped you or someone you know lose weight??Please share your story with us.
One of my clients forwarded this great article by?Jennifer Kries, ?an internationally renowned mind-body-spirit innovator and author. I wanted to share this??article with you since it highlights how yoga helps create self awareness. Self awareness happens when we are able to slow down and practice mindfulness – “paying attention in a particular way on purpose in the present moment and non judgementally. It is a state of being.”, Jon Kabat Zin. Once we are able to be more self aware we are able to do more self care and self regulate.
Research shows?that most styles of yoga (even “power” styles) don’t elevate the heart rate to the same level as this other fitness pursuits, and that yoga doesn’t burn as many calories as other aerobic activities. (At roughly 175 calories per hour, it’s more akin to a light walk). ?*Calories burned estimates based on a 150-pound woman.
But these mainstream high-intensity exercise regimens can’t hold a candle to yoga’s long-term benefits. In the race for weight loss, yoga can truly be the dark horse, because, not just a calorie burner, the practice works on what’s inside, both mentally and emotionally. Anyone who’s ever lost weight and kept it off can attest that change has to happen there, too.
The True Secret to Lasting Weight Loss: What Lies Beneath the Surface
Where yoga really shines is when it stays true to its origins, as a science that fosters the union of all aspects of being, rallying us to discipline, helping us to slow down mentally, teaching us to distinguish between the urge to eat and the emotional impulses that sometimes drive us to eat, and helping us to discern what we are truly hungry for.?
Yoga encourages a vibrant, energetic connection?to?the body, as well as an enhanced awareness?of?the body, which has all the makings of a lifelong love affair.
Over time, yoga can help any practitioner develop a mind-body awareness that can help when it comes to?emotional eating.? It induces a deep calm that neutralizes stress and therefore the?stress hormones that can affect appetite?and the tendency to store excess body fat. And it gives practitioners the ability to sit with and examine emotions instead of reacting quickly (by reaching for food, for example). Yoga is the mirror that reflects the truth of what is inside, revealing what was previously hidden and making it clear and somehow more palatable.
Finding Personal Power through Struggle
“Tapas is one of the most powerful concepts in yoga.” The word “tapas” comes from the Sanskrit verb “tap” which means “to burn.”
“The traditional interpretation of tapas is ‘fiery discipline,’ ” says Lasater. “This refers to the fiercely focused commitment necessary to burn off the impediments that keep us from being in the true state of yoga.” In the yoga practice, the mind and the body, while usually at odds, join forces through a flow of poses that demands the practitioner endure challenging moments and see them through. This helps people find freedom through adversity and learn that they can triumph over obstacles. When the mind says, “No,” reconnecting with the breath helps you to burn through the negative noise of the mind, so that you are able to say, “Yes! I can do this.” It’s only through adversity that we can begin to tap into the true power within us.
Through hard work, discipline, determination and courage, you start to build the qualities that then spill into your life after you walk off the mat and into your day. And because you have just spent the last hour (or more) generating appreciation for this miraculous machine that is your body, you have reason to pause before eating automatically or unconsciously. You find yourself asking the question, “Do I really want to eat that? Is this food really serving my body?” And the answer that soon comes to replace the justification default, “I worked hard, and so I deserve this cupcake,” is “No. Actually, no I don’t! I deserve something better.”
Stress Reduction & Weight Management: The Science behind Yoga’s Magic
As you race through the day in high gear, your body can often secrete fight-or-flight hormones that can stress your organ systems, encourage overeating and fat storage, and wreak havoc on your bodily functions. In yoga, you activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which slows things down, permitting your body’s systems to take a rest. (It should be noted, however, that rigorous yoga practices actually activate the sympathetic nervous system and therefore do not have the same effects on the body.) What happens? Our hormones rebalance, our injuries begin to repair, and our digestion proceeds optimally, all of which can aid weight loss.
What makes yoga so effective in winning the weight-loss battle? It is both beautifully complex and simple at the same time. The physical postures in yoga help to bring everything back to a place of equilibrium. And as the mind and body come together, a magical alchemy takes place. What comes rocketing up through the body and to the surface of our consciousness is life force energy; as it flows freely, it sets a positive, life-enhancing chemical chain in motion: Feel-good chemicals are released, calming the central nervous system, lowering blood pressure, encouraging increased blood flow to the digestive organs, and the naturally sedating our fight-or-flight response. This energy quiets of the noise of the mind and the internal protests, and what is left is pure clarity: the space and will power to not only make better choices, but to honor them.
“The more I practiced yoga, the more I actually lived in this new realm of wholeness where I was strong, capable and connected. Yoga gave me a place where my mind could be free?where there was no guilt, no shame, no judgment, just appreciation for what my body could do, and who I truly am,” Schelter reminisces. “Yoga helped me to understand for the first time that weight gain is the by-product of my negative thinking. The incredible message you receive with yoga is that it’s not about achieving, or losing weight?although most people do.? It’s about?being, which is really just accepting yourself just as you are.”
If you would like to try a yoga class, please contact Innovative Wellness. We offer group classes in a warm cozy yoga den, plus we offer our “Yoga to Go” and will bring yoga to you.
Article written by?Jennifer Kries, ?an internationally renowned mind-body-spirit innovator and author.
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