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   Yoga and Weight Loss

What Is Yoga ?

Yoga, an ancient art as old as over 5,000 years, is getting a newfound popularity worldwide. This ancient science is said to "remove the root cause of suffering" according to Patanjali, the first person to write down the principles of yoga.  The word "yoga" comes from the Sanskrit root yuj, which means "to join" Yoga can be defined as a union with all.   The continued practice of yoga leads you to a sense of peace and well-being, and also a feeling of being at one with their environment.

Yoga not only creates complete well-being, it also reduces excess weight by burning calories, boosting metabolism and encouraging a healthy lifestyle. It is undoubtedly a very effective form of exercise. Yoga postures and poses help in lengthening, strengthening and tightening the muscles of the body. It is an excellent long-term holistic approach to loosing excess weight - and keeping it off. Yoga also creates many other positive changes: improves self-esteem, increases mental focus, reduces stress, promotes flexibility and increases strength and balance.

Yoga and Weight Loss
Yoga can reintegrate your body, mind, and spirit in a way that helps you have greater control over your impulses, resulting in effective weight loss and weight management.

Some of the ways that yoga may support weight loss include the following:

  • It helps you to relax and meditate thereby enhancing your self-esteem. Improves your in self-image and self-acceptance
  • Improves your physical condition, including increased muscle mass and tone, improved circulation, digestion and metabolic functioning
  • It improves your blood circulation, which increases your energy level, helping you to reduce any lethargy.
  • Improves mood and outlook .
  • It lifts up spirits and eliminates negative feelings like depression or fatigue that often result in weight gain.
  • It builds up your will power to drop habits that are not serving you, including smoking and eating junk food
  • Improves hormonal balance and reduces stress.
  • Increases ability to focus on your objectives and to incorporate new positive changes. It helps you to eliminate the disturbing outside influences and focus on your inner power.
  • It builds up a stronger sense of one's self and one's strength, less likelihood of being swayed by outside influences
  • It builds up your will power for weight loss and gives your whole lifestyle a more solid foundation. Deep breathing improves concentration and strength, thereby building your willpower.
  • Doing yoga strengthens your muscles, which inevitably speeds up your metabolism. Yoga has a powerful stimulating and strengthening effect on the endocrine organs and thus can boost metabolism to burn more calories.
  • The improved flexibility that yoga inevitably gives you makes everything easier to do.
  • Yoga exercises stretch the spine and hamstrings (the backs of the legs), as well as the Achilles tendon. Ultimately, this improves your posture, making you stand taller and look leaner, even if you weigh the same amount. This makes you feel thinner, encouraging you to keep leading a healthy life.
  • The standing poses, especially the warrior and lunging poses are used to strengthen and tone the muscles, build endurance, warm the body and increase caloric output.

Yogic Diet
A yogic diet creates a holistic weight loss program and positive long-term change. A yogic diet is high in fiber, whole grains, legumes and vegetables; and low in fat, animal protein and processed foods.

Keeping to a diet based on yoga principles would help you us lose weight. The yoga diet is vegetarian -- free of meat, fish and eggs. Fried and spicy foods and all caffeinated beverages like coffee, tea, cocoa and cola are also prohibited.

Yoga is a process and should be approached as such. To practice yoga is to unite the body with the mind and the mind with the soul. Focus on slowly increasing your commitment to the yogic practices and enjoy the gradual changes that appear. Ideally practice yoga 6 times per week or alternate your yoga practice with other forms of movement taking one day off per week for rest. It is a combined journey into learning how to use the breath (pranayama) to move deeper and open the body, preparing for meditation and allowing time for deep relaxation (yoga nidra).

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