The Secret of Yoga and Weight Loss
Good yoga teachers and other health professionals will let you in on a foundational truth of what it takes to gain a truly healthy body and mind. That is, whatever exercise and nutrition you incorporate into your life must be a sustainable long-term, lifestyle. That foundational truth is important to keep in mind while you read about the secret of Yoga and weight loss below.
We all know that gyms are packed at the beginning of the year with people making weight loss “resolutions”. But where are they come February? The many people that fall away have chosen routes that are not sustainable. Yes, high-intensity, sweat drenched, aerobic based Yoga will burn calories. So will high intensity interval training (HIIT), running, Pilates, jazzercise, cycling and may other fitness activities. Not to mention the confusing maze of crazy fad diets! Results are possible with numerous fitness and diet plans out there, but for many people they are not practical in the long run, and quite often not very enjoyable.
With this in mind, yes, the physical activity of Yoga is absolutely important, but not so much the sweat, and especially not the stress. With Yoga it’s more of the conscious stretching and specific postures that promote flexibility, circulation and even the release of important synovial fluid that helps to keep the joints and muscles healthy, to name just a few of the subtle physical benefits. But, just as important is what unifies the mind body experience, and is critical for the success of a long term Yoga practice, that is incorporating breathing techniques that promote deep relaxation.
Incorporating breathing techniques into a yoga practice turns it into a meditative experience that calms the mind, eventually building new subconscious patterns that help us to make healthier choices. Today, there is no denying the benefits of meditation for improved health and well being as there are countless clinical and peer-reviewed medical studies to prove it. Just imagine what is possible for anyone that undertakes an enjoyable, sustainable Yoga practice that incorporates these aspects and continues to develop it over a period of time!
To make this concept even more apparent, most everyone has “stressed ate” potato chips, pizza and other comfort food at one time or another, only afterwards to feel guilty or confused. Well, the opposite happens with the shift over time to a relaxed state of being that Yoga provides and your body and lifestyle gradually transform. Instead of burgers and fries you’ll find yourself naturally and effortlessly choosing greens and fruits. No joke, this happens all the time within a few months of people starting a regular Yoga practice.
So I’m sure you’ve figured it out by now. Yes, the secret to Yoga and weight loss is that with the mind calm and the body performing enjoyable, breath-guided Yoga postures on a consistent basis, people begin making healthy lifestyle choices, even subconsciously. This leads to better nutrition and other habits which promote natural weight loss.
Here’s something even more interesting about Yoga. Over time, it changes with you. No matter what your reason(s) for first starting a yoga practice, your reasons for continuing will change. Things that you first thought were important may drift off and a new focus will begin. Perhaps you began yoga for weight loss, but then without realizing it found that you could be happy exactly as you are, deciding you prefer the meditative style of classes with little or no physical exertion, which in turn leads you to an even happier life and better relationships. Perhaps you may even find that in fact, you no longer care if you do have a few extra pounds! Maybe even like so many others before you that stick with Yoga as part of your lifestyle find that, “hey, I’m happy… just where I am and how I am right here and now”.
Interested in learning more about yoga? Check out the schedule at Ozark Mountain Yoga Studio. Every teacher is selected and trained to answer your questions and help you individually anytime, every time.