Using Yoga For Weight Loss

Yoga can be put to good use for taking off excess pounds through the power of creating a state of mental and physical well-being. The basic tenets of Yoga promotes a healthy lifestyle and when combined with a calorie reduction can help to speed up your weight loss. It will increase your metabolism by increasing the calorie burning process.

All weight loss is based on using more calories than you take in. It will also allow you to increase your ability to concentrate and focus. Your thyroid regulates your metabolism and is responsible for the chemical processes that transform food into energy. Yoga uses a series of twisting poses that will help to stimulate the work flow of the internal organs.

This will cause your metabolism to increase and burn more calories which will eventually cause you to have a lower body weight. Another side effect is that it will help to improve your circulation and increase your energy level.

Various Asanas Help:

The various back bends combined with the forward bends will help to stimulate the metabolism. The poses that affect the neck region can be helpful in stimulating the thyroid if the weight problem is caused by a hormonal imbalance.

Poses that will help the most for this include the camel, rabbit, plow, bridge and head stand. Going quickly between the various poses can help to accelerate the weight loss.

Beware though that those seriously overweight may find some of these poses extremely difficult and should start slowly with the easier poses and add others as they become more confident in the easier ones.

You can use standing poses to increase muscle strengthening such as the warrior. These will help to create higher endurance and increase your calorie usage. This year millions of people will embark upon a diet and fail to lose weight.

The usual response to this failure by the people marketing the diet is to blame the individual for the failure. This leaves the person feeling defeated and guilty because of their lack of “will-power”

Blaming the individual also preserves the illusion that diets are an effective way to lose weight. I think it is time to move the discussion beyond this “blaming” level and explore the real reasons diets fail.

I will use an example to explain my position.

When most people are presented with something like a chocolate (candy) bar it is not long before they feel a desire to eat the thing.

Most will simply blame the chocolate for causing the desire. They will then try to battle the craving with “will-power”.

Usually they lose this battle and sooner or later give in and eat the chocolate bar. This “giving-in” often marks the end of the diet.

Giving In:

Now lets look at why this “giving-in” occurred. We know that the cognitive process that caused the craving to eat the chocolate bar went something like this.

Sensory input was received through the appropriate receptors mainly eyes in this case. The mind formed some type of neural or sensory representation of the object that will be defined as a chocolate bar. We can regard this process as inescapable.

If the sensory receptors are in working order, the mind must form a representation or neural image of the object. When a neural image has been formed we have been taught to assign meanings, from memory, to these images as they occur in the mind.

The assignment of meaning is followed by an emotional response appropriate to the meaning assigned.

The Bridge In the case of the chocolate bar the meaning assigned included memories of pleasant experiences associated with eating chocolate bars, hence the craving to eat this chocolate bar So really it was not the presence of the object that will be defined as a chocolate bar that caused the craving, but the cognitive process outlined.

Specifically it was the assignment of meaning that caused the craving. This assignment of meaning has become totally automatic in most people, the chocolate bar gets the blame for the craving when in fact it only had the power to cause the mind to form a meaningless image.

A Powerful Image:

For most, the meaning and image have become “fused”, with the meaning now seen as an inherent part of the neural image itself rather than something assigned from within the mind.

This of course gives the stimulus the power to be the cause of the response. Just thinking about or reflecting upon a chocolate bar has the same effect.

A neural image is formed from that reflection and when it has been formed the cognitive process of automatically assigning meaning to it is exactly the same as with images caused by the external stimuli. We feel like an eating the chocolate bar.

What Does All This Mean?

This all means of course that every time we are presented with a chocolate bar or some other desirable food, the mind automatically performs the cognitive process outlined and creates a desire to eat the delicacy.

The continual emotional responses build up and eventually wear us down. This is the reason we “give-in” and the diet goes out the window.

My point is then, the only way to reduce our food intake and still feel comfortable is to modify this process of automatically assigning meaning to the images that come into our heads.

This way we can reduce the desire to eat unnecessarily and thereby modify our eating behavior so that we lose weight and keep it off. Diets do not supply these techniques and in fact they fail the individual not the other way round as their providers would have you believe.

If changing our behavior was easy as making a decision to go on a diet, most of us would have changed many things about ourselves long ago. The truth is we need techniques that will help us to bring that change about or we are doomed to failure.

One of the essential things about yoga, together with the positive attitude, is the diet. It is highly recommended performing your yoga session after about 2 hours from a main meal.

Many specialists agree that what we eat is reflected both in our appearance, and in our health state. In other words, it is important to mind the things we consume, in order to prevent illnesses and discomforts.

What Is Healthy Food?

However, the question related to what does healthy food mean, remains a constant reason of inquiry for many people. According to reliable studies, a very diversified diet represents the ideal food for any human organism.

However, fruits and vegetables, containing fibers and vitamins should be a permanent component of your daily meals. Furthermore, everything that can be defined as natural food is recommended, when it comes to preserving your state of well-being.

Despite the fact that many people try to eat as little as possible, as they believe food can produce them harm.

You have to keep in mind that your body needs nutrients, in order to properly function. Nevertheless, do not exaggerate when eating, even if you are consuming healthy food, because it will not have the same beneficial effect on you.

Stop Eating When Full:

Try to stop eating once you are not hungry anymore, or, even better, stop before reaching the full saturation state.

By doing this, you will discover that the state of fatigue, which we sometimes experience after eating, is considerably diminished, while your energy level goes up substantially.

Another issue related to eating is how often should a healthy person eat? Should we have three meals a day?

Should we avoid having dinner, in order to prevent becoming overweight, because we do not move sufficiently during the night?

Or is it better not to have lunch, so that you do not have to deal, in the middle of the day, with the unpleasant sensation of fatigue, which we experience after serving a consistent meal?

Eat When Your Hungry:

Well, the right answer to all these questions would be to eat whenever you are hungry. As your body needs to be fed in order to function at the standards you desire. Nevertheless, pay attention to what and how much you are eating.

More than a simple energy source, food can be a way of purifying one’s body and soul, which is why, together with the variety of exercises, yoga trainers encourage the practitioners to keep a wise diet, based mainly on natural food.

This way, their body is protected from the danger of contracting toxins and it is prepared, at the same time, to find the synchronization with the soul and mind, which is actually one of the main goals of yoga practices.

In Closing:

Remember that a gradual approach is best with all Yoga practices. The long term effects on your weight loss regime will become evident and even more so the inner peace and general well feeling that Yoga will promote within you.

As a final remark, when carrying out constant yoga practices it is important, in order to reach your goals, to meditate both on what you are doing to your own body. As a direct consequence of the food you are eating, and to what level you respond to your soul’s and mind’s needs.

I would love to hear your thoughts about this post or this site in general. I will answer all the comments on my website personally so drop me a line below if you have any Yoga questions or comments.

I’m happy to help any way that I can.

copywrightNamaste Shane.

Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purpose only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietitian before starting any fitness program or making any changes to your diet

4 thoughts on “Using Yoga For Weight Loss”

  1. At my age, I feel like intense workout be too much for me. I just tried it recently and finished the 45 minute workout but didn’t like how my body reacted. The workout just didn’t feel right, I was tired and nauseous. I don’t know why no happy hormone was released. I’m not really looking forward to have a smaller body size. My aim is to be fit and active. The way you explained how yoga works for the body is what I like. Improving the circulatory system  and increasing the metabolism  more issues that I want to find solutions. Also, I am sometimes having difficulty in my digestion. The yoga poses you showed me could make improvements of my condition. 

    When it comes to cognitive reaction on desirable food, I think you have proven your point. Assigning different meaning to food can better assist you in choosing what is right for the body. I know this is going to be a difficult transition because denying yourself from what you got used to is hard. I will try doing your strategies and change my eating behavior and see what it will do to me. I am inspired to start my yoga journey – a peaceful way to keep fit, strong and healthy.

    Reply
    • Hello Missus, 

      Appreciate the time you have taken to read my post. 

      My only suggestion is to try and find a yoga class more suited to you. 

      Some yoga classes can be to hard on the body when first starting out. 

      Regards Shane.

      Reply
  2. I have never considered yoga as a form of exercise to help in losing weight. I like trying new things and this is something I really should try. I know my girlfriend has been telling me this for more than a year now. She says that it will also help in stretching out my hip flexors.

    There was a time that the temptation of a chocolate bar would have been really hard to resist. I grew up around candy. My father owned a vending machine company so there was always Hershey and Nestle chocolate bars available. Like you mention, the meaning I would place on wanting to eat that chocolate bar was it reminded me of my childhood.

    That desire for chocolate bars was lost once I got older and was 60 pounds overweight and my doctor drilled it into me that I needed to change my diet and eat healthier and start exercising. It didn’t matter which kind of exercise, as long as it produced a sweat. I have sometimes seen my girlfriend perspire after a yoga workout. Is this normal or only sometimes?

    Reply
    • Hello Robert, 

      Thank you for reading my post. 

      Appreciate the feedback. 

      I personally sweat doing yoga. 

      It can depend on what type of yoga you do, and weather conditions can have an impact as well. 

      Regards Shane.

      Reply

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