Yoga, Health and Weight Loss Articles by Naomi Judith
How Gentle Yoga Can Help You Lose Weight
Years ago, while living in New York City, I was looking for a place to go for a much-needed vacation. A friend told me about a Yoga Ashram on Paradise island in the Bahamas. On a whim, I went.
It was called the Sivanada Yoga Vedanta Center, and I hoped no one would ask me to pronounce it! For four days, we ate healthy foods, practiced yoga, and experienced deep relaxation—an integral part of the practice of yoga.
After those few short days, I felt like a new person! I found deep calm and inner peace within myself that I could tap into whenever I felt the need. Yoga was definitely what I needed for my own mental health. I determined to make it a part of my life.
As I continued my studies in the Yoga Centers, I learned that yoga was developed thousands of years ago by monks to facilitate and insure harmony in the body and mind. No wonder it felt so good! The focus and concentration on spinal flexibility and on breathing help create a calm nervous system.
One thrilling benefit was my loss of weight with the regular regimen of yoga. After having tried every diet and weight loss program available to womankind—all to no avail—I found that including yoga made the successful difference.
Weight loss is not a mathematical formula. X calories does not equal X weight loss or gain. Many people put themselves on a strict diet of carrot sticks and cottage cheese without appreciable results. Modern medicine indicates a yo-yo syndrome of dieting for weight loss and gaining weight back may cause overall weight gain. To successfully regulate body fat, one must have healthy immune, endocrine and nervous systems.
Through correct breathing, the brain and other cells receive proper oxygenation, aiding the nervous system. The brain and nervous system communicate better, allowing better body communication overall. This improves the endocrine system, which produces the body’s hormones. When hormones are balanced, stress is manageable.
Managing stress is key to managing your diet. Most eating problems are a result of emotional or physiological imbalance, not hunger. Achieving the proper balance in your body brings harmony and control. This helps you make the right decisions about how and what you eat.
For optimum effectiveness, you need regular, sustained yoga—as little as 15 minutes a day, and preferably at the same time each day. Establishing a rhythm and expectancy creates lasting benefits for your health and weight mastery. The completion of a yoga session includes a progressive relaxation in which all parts of the body are tightened and them released. Your body experiences the feeling of renewal and rejuvenation. From this state, a deep healing can begin, which is the basis for a refreshing day and long-lasting benefits to your entire system.