The reason I feel the need to address this is because I have been noticing a lot of ‘yoga shred’ type workouts advertised on Facebook and elsewhere and want to point out that while physical practice is a small part of yoga, it is by no means the only or most important part.
I’m not sure I even like the title of this blog at all actually, but this is on the lips of many potential students. In our culture we have a very distorted view of beauty and acceptability. We are bombarded with skinny, perfect size 10 models and are constantly having adverts thrust in our faces on social media promoting products to ‘help’ us towards this impossible ideal. Shakes, coffee, teas, pills, eating plans, exercise plans, shreds – they are all out there.
Upwards of 95% of diets fail and people inevitably end up putting weight back on. I’ve been there, I have had 4 babies. I put on weight when I was pregnant and then I lost it again, and then I put it on again. The problem is not losing weight – plenty of people do it and lose a lot. The problem is keeping it off!
There are several forms of yoga that are very energetic and do burn calories, so I suppose in these classes you get a good ‘work out’ which can contribute to weight loss. Many of these classes are very spiritual and great fun (I personally take part in and enjoy these classes)
But physical exercise, flexibility and toning of the body are not the goal of yoga. The goal of yoga is to study yourself, accept yourself, observe yourself from the inside out and gain some peace and tranquillity within your mind and life as well beginning to consider how you act and behave towards others.
I believe, through regular yoga practice you can learn to love yourself. (This in turn leads us to make food choices which nourish our body and have nutritional value)
Try to accept yourself – ask yourself if it is really necessary to lose any weight if I am loved, lovable and perfect as I am? Be more in tune with your body – am I really hungry? When am I full? How does this particular food/drink affect my body on an energetic and digestive level?
So, to answer the title of the blog, that I like even less now I have finished it – yes, I think that some yoga can help you lose weight and maybe keep it off, but much more importantly yoga might help you to accept and love yourself just as you are thus removing the need to be on a constant diet or exercise program. You are perfect as you are.