How Yoga Can Heal Your Body (and Life!)
© Kamalaya Koh Samui, Thailand
As an international yoga teacher and healer, I frequently get asked if practicing yoga can really help with losing weight and keeping it off for good.
But, what many of my yoga students don’t realize is that I used to be 60 pounds overweight.
When I share this little fact with them, they almost laugh with total surprise and disbelief!
In my book, Losing Weight is a Healing Journey: A Woman’s Guide to Losing Weight Naturally I share how yoga helped me to achieve my own dramatic weight loss transformation.
Here are 3 ways that yoga can help you to lose weight naturally…
1. Practicing yoga relaxes your body and mind.
Carrying excess weight is always an indicator that something is out of balance in your life.
Too much stress creates feelings of overwhelm, anxiety and even more stress, which in turn contributes to hormone imbalance, nutritional deficiencies and further weight gain.
Last year, when I was teaching a yoga retreat in Italy, Deborah, a participant from California told me she lost 10 pounds during the course of the week, without even trying!
I asked her what made the difference and she responded, “Well it’s the first time in a long time, that I have been able to switch off my mind and instead spend more time relaxing.” 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. Practicing yoga assists and supports detoxification.
Being overweight is a sign that your body is high in toxicity. Detoxifying your body, especially through yoga, 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 are not working optimally your body will tend to hold on to excess weight.
Yoga helps you tone up the inner organs and get them to work optimally again.
Practicing yoga is an excellent place to support your body to detoxify naturally. One of the first things that I remind my yoga students to do is breathe deeply. Breathing deeply is an important part of detoxification. I also encourage my yoga students to practice specific yoga poses that assist detoxification, such as yoga twists.
Further, self-massage is highly recognized in the East as a powerful tool for detoxifying the body.
3. Practicing 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 addictions, as I personally suffered from food addictions, emotional eating and binging for many years.
Often in the busy-ness of everyday life, we squash down our negative feelings with food or other addictive substances. Used in this way, food is used to numb or suppress feelings. Left unaddressed, these ‘pent-up’ feelings can become stuck in the body.
Practicing yoga is one tool that you can use to access, release and heal old, stuck emotions.
I remember having an amazing emotional release in one of my yoga classes. Coming just into Camel pose, I gently dropped my head back and 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 and relief!
Being on the yoga mat gives you the opportunity to notice your feelings. As you become conscious of your feelings, you are in a position to be able to address them. Not only does yoga help you to notice how you really feel about something, but it also helps you to connect with your personal power and develop the courage and confidence to express yourself.
Lose weight naturally and keep it off for good
Practicing yoga, and especially gentle forms of yoga, truly can help you to heal, as it aids relaxation, promotes detoxification and helps release addictions and stuck emotions.
After losing over 60 pounds naturally, I can personally approve of yoga as a path to lose weight naturally and keep it off for good!