Sunday, February 26, 2012

Yoga for Weight Loss

Oh so many times I will have a student come into class and their main objective is to lose weight and their first question is: How many calories will I burn in this class? A tough question to start off with and possibly disapointing when the answer is revealed. Americans are great marketers and for an individual who is trying to lose weight and relatively new to exercise, fitness and nutrition they are looking for a big number like the advertsied 600-1900 calories in Zumba, spin, step aerobics etc. So when my answer is 150-600 depending on the intensity, duration and style of Yoga it becomes less worth it to them.
What Yoga does offer that is an exceptional tool in weight loss is self awareness, presence of mind and body, and mindfulness. A great part of Yoga is learning to cultivate a breath that fills and sustains our being mind, body and spirit this is step 1. Step 2 is a quiet - mind once we transform our breath we can begin to quiet our mind and bring greater focus to our physical, mental and spiritual being without all the everyday thoughts and outside world interferring. Step 3 allows us to realize the detailing of our body and get in touch with all our inner workings. When we combine these 3 elements Yoga becomes a powerful tool for weight loss - or whatever your goal is: stress relief, gratitude and contentment, balance, flexibilty, strength both physically and mentally/emotionally.
Finding a Yoga class that offers more than just physical movement but incorporates community, breathwork and mindfulness is a great first step to any health seeking journey. Don't be shy to get to know your teacher and fellow students. Yogis are a pretty great population of people and we love to support and encourage one another. That is an invaluable key to any journey.
All the best,