I’ve always embraced the way yoga asanas make my body feel—relaxed, invigorated, and vibrant. My yoga practice brings me joy and instills balance and harmony in my life. Because of my own positive experience, I’m motivated to share with others the safe and healthy solutions that yoga offers.
One of the biggest challenges people face in terms of health is how they can lose weight. If losing weight, or trying to maintain a healthy ideal weight, is something you struggle with, you’re not alone.
In our weight-obsessed society, one of the greatest benefits a yoga lifestyle brings us is the inner happiness and peace we really need in order to feel more comfortable in our own skin and less pressured by unhealthy and unrealistic physical ideals.
Here are 7 practical steps that I hope will support and encourage you.
1. Curb Emotional Eating
The tendency to comfort ourselves with food can be strong. When it becomes a habit, we end up feeling unhealthy and out of control. Breaking an emotional eating habit requires regular, deep relaxation. Deep relaxation allows the brain go into an entirely different, more positive mode.
Yoga asanas, tai chi, yoga breathing, chi kung, and meditation are all effective. Yoga Sound Meditation is particularly effective because it eases the fear, worry, and anxiety that drive us to overeat.
2. Out of Sight, Out of Mind
We’re bound to want to eat junky foods if they’re around. Relying on willpower alone is a losing battle. One of the best ways to eliminate temptation is simply to remove unhealthy, fattening foods from the fridge, cupboards, and kitchen and replace them with nourishing foods.
3. Control Cravings
By making positive changes to our diet, we can actually change cravings! It takes effort, but as we develop a taste for healthier foods, our cravings can be transformed. For instance, a craving for a soda can eventually turn into a craving for coconut water. A craving for chocolate cake can transform into a craving for a healthy smoothie.
Beware of triggers that are hard to resist. For example, if your coworker eats a donut every morning, which makes you crave a donut, be proactive. Bring your own snacks to work so that you can choose healthfully. Trail mix, hummus and raw veggies, sliced apples and cheese, or almond butter and whole grain crackers are a few good options.
4. Ignite Your Metabolic Fire With Exercise
When it comes to exercise, the most important thing is to try to be active every single day for 30 minutes to an hour. Find something you enjoy. These yoga asanas are excellent because they promote relaxation, good digestion, and elimination. Walking is also an easy and practical way to bring aerobic exercise into your routine. Swimming, biking, dance, tai chi, and jogging are other ways to bring movement into your day.
5. Eat a Yoga Diet
A yoga diet, based on whole grains, fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans and legumes, and a moderate amount of dairy, is a time-tested way to reach your ideal body weight and stay there. These foods naturally satiate hunger, balance your body, help eliminate toxins, boost the immune system, and increase longevity.
Your activity level, body type, the weather, and the availability of different foods will help you customize your diet. For example, in
summer you may feel best eating lots of salads and light foods, while in winter you may need hearty, warm, cooked foods with plenty of healthy fats, like olive oil, coconut oil, ghee (clarified butter), and nuts and seeds. By sticking to whole foods, you will naturally come to know which balance of nutrients is best for you.
6. Track Your Progress
As with any goal, breaking your weight loss into manageable steps makes it easier. Losing 1 – 2 pounds per week is considered ideal by most health experts—losing more than that is stressful on the body and can make you feel tired and grumpy.
Or instead of choosing a goal in terms of pounds, choose a goal in terms of healthy habits you are developing—such as regular exercise, gradual diet changes, relaxation and meditation, and so on. In either case, tracking your progress will help you move towards your ideal weight—permanently.
7. Have Fun and Celebrate
Remember, losing weight with a yoga lifestyle is about balance and rejuvenation. The goal is to feel better and be healthier—not just lose weight. Going to punishing extremes isn’t helpful. Have fun and celebrate each success. Don’t worry if you don’t lose all the weight you want right away—be patient and remember positive changes will support you for life.
Wishing You Well
About Wai Lana
Wai Lana is an internationally recognized, beautiful & charming yoga teacher. She is a mother of three, grandmother of six, song writer, author, and genuine advocate for helping people from all walks of life attain inner peace and well-being.
Her popular “Wai Lana Yoga” TV series has been broadcast daily to hundreds of millions of people around the world, on five continents including North and South America, Asia, Europe, Australia and the Middle East and is the longest running fitness show in the US.
Wai Lana has produced several yoga DVDs for people of all levels, published books, designed kids’ yoga products, recorded music albums, released a meditation kit, developed a complete line of yoga gear, and has her own line of all-natural snacks.
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