Yoga & Weight Loss

I’m surprised I haven’t done this post until now.  4-ish years ago I was 40 lbs heavier, self-conscious, and pretty much felt frumpy in every area of my life.  Not a triple-digit inspirational before-and-after-photo-worthy weight loss by any means, but my slow journey taught me about myself and showed me the gumption I had in me.

During my weight loss journey I only did yoga once every week or two (running had become my forte).  But having eventually gotten to a comfortable physical place, and having since dove into yoga whole-heartedly, I have some jumbled but I hope thoughtful ideas on the yoga-based weight loss. For me, being out of shape and a little overweight meant I was addicted to something, or not dealing with something,  just didn’t think I was worth it, or suffered from the must-be-nice-to-be-her-she-makes-it-look-so-easy syndrome.  Nothing was going to happen to change that unless I decided to- for nobody else but me.  Commit and do.  I re-educated myself on food and nutrition, gathered totally new recipes.  Then I had to re-educate my stomach for what a healthy amount of daily food amounted to (I think I had theretofore broken my “I’m full” switch) and what foods left me feeling better for longer.  Coupling this with fitness feats (like completing a race) and keeping track of slow progress, each week was a little victory that build my confidence more and more.  At a healthy-ish size and lifestyle, I just feel good.  Sure, I can always improve the quality of the foods I eat, and accomplish bigger fitness feats, but I feel pretty darn great. 

Yoga-principled weight loss is about becoming more authentically you, about uncovering this confident and courageous you inside.  It’s been there all along, but is hidden sometimes or we forget it’s there all together (see this other post).  Weight loss is about shedding not just physical excess but emotional and mental excess, about letting go of things that unnecessarily weigh you down and grabbing life by the horns.  Weight loss is about no longer being addicted to food or inactivity, not being held back by anything, unattachment and nonidentification.  Weight loss is about exploring your inside, digging deep to love yourself and be proud of yourself.  Yoga-principled weight loss is about becoming you.

Here’s the Prana philosophy straight from our website http://pranafitness.org:

Prana is the Sanskrit word for “vital life.” It is the notion of a vital, life-sustaining force of living beings. Prana is an energy believed to flow in our bodies through a network of subtle channels into every cell. To improve our vivacity, we can remove things that interrupt or block that flow of prana: self-imposed limitations on what we are capable of, walls of self-criticism that we let defeat us, and unhealthy bodies that we allow to rule all aspects of our lives….We can learn to challenge the excuses and obstacles we create to become the happiest versions of ourselves: fit, confident, and overflowing with contagious energy….We don’t seek to fit molds; we seek to learn to love ourselves and take pride in our unique beauty and strengths. Reveal the healthiest you …utilizing how your amazing body was designed.

And when you hit your healthy body size and healthy body image, continuously cultivating the love and health of that body is the journey the rest of our lifetime.   Learning more and more about yourself physically and emotionally, flying free of the fetters of self-doubt. 

Yoga-based weight loss is not about becoming someone else, but about becoming more authentically you.  Not about 5-minute anything, but being ok with a slow, long journey that’s like nobody else’s.  No force, no pressure, no self-berating.  Having the physically challenging moments balanced out with the quiet and reflective meditative moments.  Encourage the blossoming of what’s itching to grow out of your heart!

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