Can you lose weight with Yoga, and what is Yoga?
Simply put…yoga is a series of physical postures, breath work, meditation, and relaxation to improve health, well-being and your connection to yourself. Yoga is not about tying your body into knots; as we are already tied into knots due to stress in our lives. Practice yoga to untie the knots within our bodies and our hearts. When we allow ourselves to unfold we reconnect with the infinite happiness, balance, radiant health and peace that already resides within us all.
On a physical level, the poses help to tone and stretch muscles. They also help with balance as well and help to develop motor and sensory skills. The more vigorous poses help to build endurance. On an emotional level, the poses help to develop concentration, empathy, focus, confidence, self-esteem, respect for others, improved attitude, more positive outlook.
There is so much information out there regarding weight loss. Some are new fads and dieting ideas. Some are “new” forms of exercise. By using Yoga as your weight loss solution and this book as your weight loss system, you are entering into a 5000 year old science which we are just now starting to study and understand. The bottom line is that yoga works! If it didn’t, top actors and actresses like Jennifer Aniston, Live Tyler, Halle Berry, Gwyneth Paltrow, Madonna, David Duchovny, Giselle Bundchen and supermodel Christy Turlington wouldn’t bother.
Yoga makes you more susceptible to influence for change – so if you are thinking you want to change your lifestyle, you want to change the way you think about food, you want to get over destructive eating patterns, yoga will help give you the spiritual connection to your body that can help you make those changes. Essentially, in yoga you learn your body is not your enemy, and the conscious awareness of the body that you gain translates into better appetite control.
People come to yoga for many different reasons, but we have seen many success stories in terms of losing weight and learning to control weight. Active yoga, even for the novice, can change your body and your life.
Basically, there are 14 reasons why Yoga can be the way to help you lose weight.
- Whether you have been struggling with your addiction to food for many years, or just recently, you will feel good about starting right where you are today. You will learn howto take each moment, each breath as it comes. You will learn how you can stop the cycle of attachment. You will be empowered to regain confidence in your own inner voice and learn how to put down your habit of indulgence. You will learn about your eating habits from your knowledge of physical postures on your yoga mat. You will begin to feel and notice a change of mind, body, and spirit, simply by getting on your mat and working with the postures, breath work, and visualization techniques.
- The poses, or exercises, of yoga, wring and soak the abdominal organs to increase and stimulate digestion. Yoga helps ease bloating and that heavy feeling we get when we overeat. Yoga stimulates digestion. In order to digest food, we need to increase our metabolism. Yoga directly affects the brain which controls the hormonal secretions of the digestive organs. Yoga literally tells the body to rev up the metabolic rate.
- Yoga works on the musculo-skeletal system, it also works on the mind. You start to realize what your habits are, good or bad. You start to realize what triggers which responses. You start to change from the inside out.
- Where there is stretching, there is relaxation. By elongating and lengthening muscle tissue the body develops leaner muscle mass. By relaxing with the sensation of stretch, the body releases toxins and toxic emotional build up.
- Most of our lives are spent using our major muscles to move and support our spine. This puts a lot of pressure on the shoulders, head and neck. It can also literally tighten your stomach into knots. Yoga trains your muscles to work more efficiently.
- Learning to balance and move with grace brings confidence. With inner confidence, we can do anything. We can reach any goal and find ease in our life. When you start to own your body through yoga, you start to change destructive habits and alter how you interact with the world around you. You become more active and engaged. It is a big paradigm shift that happens automatically! Because we have this life to do something positive, to make a difference, to love fully, we need to have a body that can serve us. We need to take our bodies back, eat to have fuel to work and endeavor at a better rate, and stretch our muscles so that low back pain and weight gain do not control our mind or our life. Will power and perseverance are the keys.
- Yoga increases strength and muscle tone by using your own body weight against the resistance of gravity. Yoga was designed 5,000 years ago to create the cleanest, purest, and healthiest physical body possible in order to allow the mind to relax and focus on inner clarity and absorption with the universe. By working slowly and steadily, day after day, with Yoga , you will notice a significant increase in strength and flexibility. You will notice an ease and grace to your movements. You will work to tone your muscles from the deepest to the peripheral, by using gravity to aid muscle strengthening. It will be the most challenging work out you may have ever encountered with the most drastic results.
- You will build internal heat which will help you burn fat more efficiently. One of the first rules of yoga is “tapas”. “Tapas” is stoking the desire and internal heat to effect change. Getting on your mat day after day is “tapas”. It is reverence for yourself, your body, your life. You will turn on your metabolism and start to sweat. You will heat up. You will burn away the urge to fill your stomach with empty calories. You will lose weight in the process.
- You will increase your sensitivity to the foods you eat. So much of Yoga is building a framework for self-discovery and mindfulness. Working through the physical aspects of the practice will bring you to a play of mindfulness meditation. What you learn on your mat will then carry over into your life, your choices at the store, and your choice of food. You will evoke change through sensations on your mat. You will become more disciplined.
- Yoga is designed to help you feel lighter and longer. Each posture works to elongate the muscle fibers and then strengthen the muscle in that elongated position. Your muscular system will be trained to work from the deeper core muscle out to the peripheral muscles, which enables the skeletal system to work less and feel more freedom of movement. You will start to engage and activate the deepest set of abdominal muscles to support your trunk and initiate your movements. You will work to strengthen the muscles of the back for a more upright posture. You will look and feel taller. Your spine will actually feel longer.
- Yoga teaches you how to move efficiently and fire muscles when called upon, and relax when needed as well. Most of the time, we are activating and clenching muscles that we do not need to. This puts stress and strain on our central nervous system. This stress makes us feel anxious and tense. When we need to call on these muscles to help us move, they are tired and can’t fire, leading to a greater risk of injury. The Yoga System will help us sense when we are clenching and just how we can let go.
- Increasing lean muscle mass is the fastest way to lose weight. When you work in a deep, isometric, and intelligent way, your body increases its own capacity to burn fat. Each posture is designed to build muscular strength and endurance. Each posture is designed to counter the effects of a sedentary life style. Each posture tones muscle.
- Your metabolism will increase through Yoga. The sequences of postures used in Yoga are designed to cleanse the digestive system. You will find that your body starts to burn away toxins and fat more efficiently. You will feel everything in your body emptying out and revving up.
- Each action in Yoga is designed not only to fire up your physiological weight loss systems, but it will also give you the courage and inner fortitude to find the right diet, naturally. When you start to learn the standing postures and how to balance on your bare feet on your mat, your work will start to translate to how you hold yourself in public, how you balance your life, how you eat a balanced diet.