Paige Earl | HealthGreatness
Yoga offers a plethora of benefits, one of which can be weight loss. But here’s the thing, it’s not a gimmick. You won’t lose 10 pounds in two weeks by starting a yoga practice. It also doesn’t mean everyone looking to lose weight should run out and buy yoga mats and memberships to their local studios. It goes much deeper than that. Yoga is the union of the mind and body. Simply put, the more you practice yoga the more in tune you become with your body. As a direct result of the strengthening of the mind-body connection you will naturally gravitate toward healthier choices overall. Your lifestyle will shift which can, and often does, result in weight loss. The changes in your body can run the gamut from subtle to great but I promise a change will occur.
Yoga has the uncanny ability to create an awareness in our bodies like few other activities. The moving meditation in a vinyasa class clears the mind, allowing us to experience being in our bodies. Which, let’s be in honest, in our busy lives is a connection that is often forgotten. Because of this, yoga bridges the gap of our mind and bodies. Once this connection occurs, taking care of our bodies is really hard to ignore; it becomes second nature.
In the first year that I did yoga regularly, I found that I could tell when I full easier or when I was dehydrated and not actually hungry. This empowered me to make informed decisions about what my body needed most; in this case, less more and more water. Ultimately, I was more receptive to the signals my body was giving my brain. Without ever consciously trying to lose weight, I noticed that I began to gravitate toward more whole foods, upping my intake of veggies and fruits because they left me feeling better than processed and packaged foods. Moreover, the signals at which my belly sent were easier received by my brain causing me to eat more consciously. My body performed better when I provided better fuel and my attention to detail increased. It was a win-win situation. I lost a few pounds a result of my practice but not because I actively chose to diet and exercise. I was making lifestyle changes.
So, does yoga really help you to lose weight? Inherently yes, just not in the way one would expect; losing weight is merely a side effect of tuning into your body’s needs and honoring them. You eat when you’re hungry. You hydrate when you’re thirsty. You rest when you’re tired.