Lose Weight With This Gentle Yoga Practice
A brutally exhausting workout regimen is hard on the body and not the easiest to commit to. Instead, try this gentle yoga practice that helps you shed the pounds without overdoing it.
We are living though a fascinating age of engineered food and high-jacked tastebuds, food porn and body shaming, yo-yo celebrity fad diets and extreme workout trends. The whole system is set up for failure and shame.
So, I think we can agree that, in this environment, we are at high risk of having a completely disordered relationship with body image and how we nourish ourselves.
But there is another way. A kinder, gentler way! In my own personal experience, the quieter aspects of Yoga allowed me to go from a size 16-18 down to a size 8-10. And not one hot sweaty killer workout was involved!
Frequent classes in a regular-temperature environment in the Iyengar tradition of Yoga, and following Ayurvedic nutrition principles resulted in my weight-loss / health gain experience in 2002. These practices have been very easy to maintain over time, and have been a key part of keeping that weight off.
How Yoga Helps
80 per cent of what is wrong with us is stress related. When we are stressed, it becomes easy to look for comfort through food. Through messages found everywhere, we are constantly encouraged to do just that. The quieter practices like restorative poses and breath work turn on the rest and digest aspect of the nervous system, the parasympathetic nervous system.
With Yoga, our minds become much more clear and peaceful, and the horizon of options for healthy choices expands so we can make wiser decisions for ourselves around eating and self care.
Yoga asana (poses and movements) are definitely an important part of any weight loss effort, but the real value and promise of Yoga is in the way that we can bring control over our minds and thoughts, and through that, we control our health. We use the breath to bring awareness to our movement habits and nourishment habits, and we discover very interesting insights about them. We open our minds to new ways of looking at how we can make changes, and we can experience these changes with an open heart and with joy!
Hot or Not?
Although I’ve enjoyed some Hot Yoga practices, I never lost weight as a result of Hot Yoga. In fact, over the years I have seen many women coming to Hot Yoga because they thought it would help lose weight. For so many, they were disappointed, and sadly, they were never encouraged to explore other styles and traditions to see if they could yield the results they were looking for! Be curious and try different temperatures and traditions so you can find a style you enjoy and a teacher you love, so it never becomes a “workout”.
Standing poses with longer holds are very grounding and help with balance. The poses created more strength and stability in my lower body, allowing me to build more muscle mass and burn more fat.
Working the core, belly organs and the digestive system, and the 3rd Chakra by taking the body through various compressions, twists, and openings, will definitely result in an improvement of the body’s ability to digest and assimilate nutrients. These poses bring fresh blood and lymph to the mid-section and all of the body’s organs are nourished and bathed in fresh prana, lifeforce and vitality.
Inversions that provide compression of the base of the throat, such as bridge pose and shoulder stand with lots of blankets are very helpful. They stimulate the base of the throat and bring fresh blood and prana to the thyroid and parathyroid. This is very important for metabolism.
Pranayama breath practices like Bellows Breath (Bhastrika) and Shining Scull Breath (Kapala Bhati) are excellent breaths that bring clarity to the mind and help get the fires of digestion in the 3rd Chakra going.
But relaxing is KEY!