As a yoga teacher, I frequently get asked if yoga can help someone to lose weight.
What many of my yoga students don’t realize is that this is a topic that’s particularly close to my heart—especially as I used to be about 60 pounds overweight.
When I share this with them, they almost laugh with total surprise and disbelief! So, today in this article, I want to share with you three ways that yoga helps you to start losing weight easily…
1. Yoga relaxes your body and mind.
Being overweight is an indicator that something is out of balance in your life. Excess stress is a big factor that contributes to weight gain.
Last year, when I was teaching a yoga retreat in Italy, Deborah—a participant from California—told me she lost almost 10 pounds over the week. I asked her what made the difference. She responded, “Well it’s the first time that I have been able to switch off and relax in a long time.” Deborah had been going through a stressful time and the yoga retreat allowed her the space she needed to relax and reconnect back to herself.
Yoga is an easy way to help you relax. When you practice yoga, you bring a deep sense of relaxation to your body and your mind. As you relax, you begin to ease the stress in your life, weight loss will begin to happen naturally.
2. Yoga assists detoxification.
Being overweight is a sign that your body is high in toxicity. Detoxifying your body can help you to lose weight for good.
When your body is toxic, it means that your detoxification organs (such as your liver and kidneys) may not be working effectively. When these organs aren’t working optimally your body will tend to hold on to excess weight.
Doing yoga is an excellent place to start detoxifying your body. Yoga tones up the inner organs and helps them to work optimally again. In my yoga classes, there are several ways that I help students to detoxify their bodies.
One of the first things that I remind my yoga students to do is breathe deeply. Breathing deeply is an important part of detoxification. The second thing that I encourage my yoga students to practice specific yoga poses that assist detoxification, such as yoga twists. In my yoga classes, we also spend time doing self massage on our bodies. Self-massage is highly recognized in the East as a powerful tool for detoxifying the body.
3. Yoga helps release stuck emotions.
What most weight loss experts won’t tell you is that being overweight almost always has an emotional component. I have an intimate understanding of emotional eating because I personally suffered from it for many years.
Often in the busy-ness of everyday life, we squash down our negative feelings with food or other addictions. Used in this way, food is used to numb or suppress feelings. Left unaddressed, these ‘pent-up’ feelings can become stuck in the body.
Yoga is one tool that you can use to access and release these stuck emotions. I remember having an amazing emotional release in one of my yoga classes. I was just coming into camel pose and, as I gently dropped my head back, I spontaneously burst into tears. I felt like a huge weight had lifted off my shoulders. I walked out of the yoga class with an incredible feeling of lightness.
Being on the yoga mat gives you the opportunity to notice your feelings. As you become conscious of your feelings, then you’re in a position to be able to address them. Not only does yoga help you to notice how you’re really feeling about something, it also helps you connect with your personal power so that you have the courage and confidence to express how you feel.
Expressing how you feel is the key to feeling good about yourself and is an important aspect of losing weight.
Yoga can help you to lose weight easily (and keep it off for good).
Yoga is a powerful healing tool as it aids relaxation, promotes detoxification and helps release stuck emotions.
After losing over 60 pounds naturally, I can personally recommend yoga as a path to losing weight naturally and keeping it off for good!
Editor: Lynn Hasselberger
Images: Author’s Own; Holly Sharpe
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