To be honest, yoga certainly isn’t the first thing on our minds when we are thinking about weight loss. But recent studies suggest that it shouldn’t be like that. Because yoga isn’t just some physical practice, but rather something that includes all aspects of life including our diet, mental attitude, and lifestyle choices. We should perceive yoga more as the holistic package that aims for cleansing and youthifying the whole body both inside and outside.
Traditionally, we approach weight loss as the physical problem and there is a tendency to focus on physical means like teaching about nutrition and exercising without giving too much attention to emotional and spiritual needs of an individual.
The problem with this approach is that we often connect the process of losing weight with struggling. With something we need to endure. It needs to be painful in order to be effective.
On the other hand, recent studies have shown that even a mild, restorative yoga can help us with weight loss. But not in a traditional way. Not by burning calories. But rather with stimulating changes in our minds and behaviors. That way the enchanted circle is broken and our weight and body shape will soon change.
The goal of this holistic approach is to see the bigger picture. We need to think about our minds and spirits, not just about our bodies. It is also important to ask ourselves why do we want to lose weight. Is it because of looks, relationships or simply increasing energy level?
To lose weight it is best to do yoga 3 times a week and do different exercises to speed up the process. And also combining different yoga styles with other physical activities such as hiking, swimming or running can help us achieve that dream body we have always wanted.
Because of everything listed above we can say that the benefits of yoga for losing weight are both psychological and physical. The yoga practice makes us look into ourselves with compassion. As our skills grow, the feeling of psychological and emotional reality is changing. It becomes less influenced by outside world and modern culture and more influenced by our inner value system.
With combining effects of self-acceptance we are increasing the consciousness of the body. And that is a natural side effect of a regular yoga practice along with increasing our ability to achieve our ideal body weight. And finally, we must not forget that above all yoga philosophy teaches its students to approach their bodies with compassion and understanding.
Finally, I recently tried out a new yoga program by Zoe Bray Cotton, and can highly recommend you read about it here.