Why Yoga WILL lead to weight loss
…and how holiday pounds can be avoided by Wendy Randall
Yoga is experiential. No matter how much anyone can try to persuade you that it works, you have to experience it for yourself and see what happens. The good news is that, each time you practice, you’ll feel less stressed and more energized!
Yoga teaches you how to focus and pay attention to detail. You have to learn to stack your arms, legs, spine, and neck in correct alignment so you can stay balanced. You also have to maintain your attention and make adjustments so you don’t fall over. It forces you to focus on how your body and mind feel, along with how to breathe through physical challenges.
This translates directly into your life off the mat. It helps you see what’s in front of you more clearly so you can act from a grounded place and make good decisions. This is what is called MINDFULNESS. It is something that we develop the more and more we use it.
A recent study in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found a strong association between yoga practice and weight control. Researchers attribute it simply to eating “mindfully.” Yoga devotees learn to stay calm in the face of discomfort, and that tendency spills over into other parts of their lives, making it easier to turn down foods that aren’t good for you, no matter how good it sounds. I can vouch for this from personal experience. I developed a hyper awareness of how my body and mind felt after yoga -cleansed energized, strong and healthy – and I wanted to keep it that way by putting fresh, whole foods in afterwards.
Another crucial factor in yoga’s junk food crushing power is that it’s proven to reduce the one thing that 50% of Americans say makes them overeat — STRESS.
There is a common misunderstanding that yoga isn’t effective for weight loss compared to other forms of exercise. I am here to tell you that couldn’t be further from the truth. For starters, you will sweat, blast calories and tone and shape your entire body, but calorie burning is not even where the bulk of yoga’s weight loss power lies. Time spent on the mat helps you get a handle on being mindful which translates to a better understanding of what your body needs to be healthy and feel good.
Yoga requires your full attention and concentration to move through the poses and to hold them. Cultivating attention and awareness on the yoga mat shines a spotlight on habits and behaviors off the mat, including choices about what – and how much – is for dinner. Over time, a regular yoga practice will sharpen your ability to gauge how hungry or full you are. Do you really need that piece of pizza or chocolate? How will it make you feel?
HOLIDAY POUNDS can be avoided–
- MOVE everyday as much as possible
- EAT regularly in small amounts
- DRINK plenty of good ole’ H2O
- PRACTICE portion control
- Bring MINDFULNESS to eating
- Deep BREATHE before you eat
- SAVOR each bite
- Don’t DEPRIVE yourself
- Get plenty of REST
- Feel GRATEFUL for your health
“Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at change.” -Dr. Wayne Dyer