Will Yoga Help Me Lose Weight?

Will Yoga Help me Lose Weight

This question comes up a lot in a yoga Facebook group I belong to.  I also had someone ask me recent what kind of yoga they should do to lose weight - so I'm gonna answer this today, I think....I'm gonna try. 

We live in a society where we want to lose weight quick and easy with as little effort as possible so we try diet pills, wrapping our stomachs in seaweed or plastic wrap, and drink some weird liquid that will supposedly help burn off fat. Yeah I've tried all of that stuff - except the seaweed and plastic wrap.  Because the truth is, I was lazy and didn't want to give up the food I love.  This was before I started yoga. 

Yoga is more than just stretches and holding poses, there are several different types of yoga practices where some are more sweat-inducing than others.   While there are actually Eight Limbs to Yoga, I am only talking about the Asana (postures) limb of yoga.  When I talk about "Yoga", I'm only referring to the movement and poses.  Ok! Moving on!

The way to weight loss is increasing that heart rate and you can do that with Power Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga or any style that is heavy with Vinyasa Flow (lots of movement, less pose holding) but I'm not sure if it raises your heart rate enough to see a significant amount of weight loss. You'll definitely burn some calories, gain flexibility, strengthen muscle but it also can relieve stress and calm your mind.  I watch enough of the TLC show "My 600 lb Life" to know that a lot of weight loss struggle has to do with your mental abilities and gauging what your body craves.  So yoga helps the mind, which will help you through your weight loss journey.

Everybody is different, and weight loss is different for everyone.  Some people can do it with just yoga and a plant-based diet alone. I am not switching to a plant-based diet and I'm not gonna "give up" foods that I still love - #notsorry. Even though I currently practice Baptiste Power Yoga and sweat off buckets after every class, I know that I need more cardio than this yoga practice can provide so that's where the spin and boxing come in.   I always hated cardio and never wanted to do it until I found something that is fun and keeps my brain engaged.  

Can yoga help you lose weight? Yes! It is still movement and beats sitting on the couch for an hour, how much you lose and how soon? That all depends on the amount of work you put into your physical practice. But if you go deeper into your yoga practice, it can help you shift your eating habits and change the way you think about food.  Your mind becomes more in tuned with your body and what it needs. Eventually, you may crave less junk food and more water, fruits and veggies.  This continues to happen with me where I lose the urge to eat certain foods, it just happens organically. 

I'm not here to say that yoga is an easy way to lose weight. Like with anything else, if you want to get real results that will last, you have to PUT IN THE WORK and stick with it for the long haul.  You will start to feel the difference along the way and feel more confident about yourself. You might even become less concerned about losing weight and more about just feeling energized and healthy!

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I'm Doing Yoga Teacher Training

YTT

I recently made my deposit for the Yoga Teacher Training at the studio I go to for this Fall! Holy Crap!!!! Freaking out much?? Yes. Yes I am. 

This is such a big deal for me and something I've been going back and forth on for ages.  When I started practicing yoga back in 2003, I fell in love with it right away and knew I wanted to do more than just take a class once or twice a week.  Then I learned that there were Yoga Teacher Training programs available and thought about it....a lot.  Thought about it TOO much. So much, that doubts were getting to me: 

You're too fat, no one will listen to you.

You're not that flexible, how can you teach something you can't do?

You're not that strong.

You can't do (insert advanced pretzel pose here).

You're wasting your money.

And then I lost my job and I stopped going to my old yoga studio in the city and eventually stopped practicing altogether.  Years passed and I didn't practice.  I started up my yoga practice again last year and I've been IN IT!  Doing the damn thing 3-4 times a week and after finishing the 40 Days To Personal Revolution Challenge, it got me thinking. I wanted to go further and deeper in my yoga practice and the studio's own Yoga Teacher Training program came up.  Right away I thought "Nah....no money, my practice is better but it's not as strong, I'm still not where I should be physically..." and FUUUUCKKKK I'm doing it again!!!!

Then mortality smacked me in the face when I lost a loved one suddenly in March and it completely silenced those negative thoughts.  Life is short.  Don't delay.  Stop holding yourself back.  Do the things you dream of doing!!! It will all somehow work itself out.  So I'm going for it and I'm pursuing what I should have done 10+ years ago.  Back then was not the time and I wasn't ready for it mentally and emotionally.   I'm ready now.

Where life will take me after I complete my training? Who knows, but I can't close myself to opportunities and living my best life anymore.  Even if I don't end up teaching anywhere, that's okay.  I just love talking about yoga and how much it has helped me that I want to share those benefits as much and as accurately as possible, even if it's just to my friends and family.  I really want to know what I'm talking about.

So this Fall, from September to December, I'm going to be immersed with Yoga Teacher Training and I'm so excited, and so nervous, but SO EXCITED!! 

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