Are you frustrated with searching for diet answers? Are there really any Yoga secrets for losing weight? How could low impact Hatha Yoga and a Sattvic diet really make a difference? Why has Yoga been successful in weight loss studies?
It should be understood that Yoga was never designed to be a weight loss system. When Yoga was first developed, approximately five thousand years ago, obesity was not the problem it is today.
On average, people did not live as long as we do. At the same time, people were much more physically active. We rely on machines, use computers, and sit much more than our ancestors did five thousand years ago.
So, where do we get this idea about Yoga and weight loss? The most common form of Yoga, outside of India, is Hatha and its many sub-styles. Hatha Yoga’s approach to physical exercise is usually low impact movement, holding postures, or Yogic breathing techniques (pranayama).
From the outside looking in, Hatha Yoga doesn’t seem to place much demand on the body – in comparison to running, cycling, or jumping rope. However, Yoga is not an exercise system. Yoga is a complete health maintenance system, which improves your mind, body, and emotional state.
Practitioners of Yoga tend to practice for decades without injuries. Much like anything else, it is possible to hurt yourself if you push too hard or force a pre-existing injury. Finding competent Yoga instruction is also important.
Yet, in comparison to any other physical activity, students of Yoga will practice for longevity. The reason is – Yoga becomes a lifestyle and it is fun to practice. It is not a dreaded chore to practice Yoga. In comparison, if you ask most people about standard forms of exercise, they will tell you they see exercise as torture.
This is the main reason why most people are physically inactive; they do not enjoy exercise or they find it boring. This is where Hatha Yoga has a big advantage over exercise systems. On top of that, there is a Yogic diet, which is also known as the Sattvic diet.
In a nutshell, the Sattvic diet is vegetarian and consists of natural or whole foods. Sometimes, people will find this eating boring, but let’s try a different strategy. The next time you go shopping – do not try to make a big change all at once.
Introduce a few natural or whole foods for weekly meals. Reduce take-out meals and lower the consumption of meat – especially processed meat. By making a few small changes at a time, you will improve your life and the lives of your family members.
Giving family members the choice of processed food, beside natural or whole foods, will open their minds to new tastes. Gradual change is a natural part of life, while drastic change is something we sometimes accept.
There is no need to make your dinner table a source of conflict. Natural food is just another choice. This is one reason why researchers, at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, in Seattle, saw positive dieting results from Yoga. A lifestyle you are comfortable with has less stress, anxiety, and frustration.
© Copyright 2008 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications
Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500, has written many books on the subject of Yoga. He is a co-owner and the Director of Yoga Teacher Training at: Aura Wellness Center, in Attleboro, MA. http://www.aurawellnesscenter.com He has been a certified Master Yoga Teacher since 1995. To receive Free Yoga videos, Podcasts, e-Books, reports, and articles about Yoga, please visit: http://www.yoga-teacher-training.org/member-offer.html
By: Paul Jerard