We all know yoga is good for our body and our mind but we don’t often don’t realise how effective it is for balancing weight. I used to struggle to balance my weight – over the years I either seemed to be overweight or underweight. Since I started a regular yoga practice and lived by simple ayurvedic principles I rarely think about my weight and it tends to stay more or less the same – it has balanced.

So why is yoga so good for a balancing weight?

Eating Mindfully

Yoga helps us eat more mindfully. When we start a regular yoga practice we become more sensitive. We begin to notice which foods feel good for the body and the mind and which don’t. We start to notice which foods we can digest well and which ones we find more difficult. We begin to discriminate between eating for fuel and just eating for something to do or for emotional reasons. We slowly begin to honour our body by eating the right amount of food, the right types of food (with occasional treats of course – never get too rigid) at the right times.

Reduces Stress

Practicing Yoga is well known for reducing stress. Yoga lowers stress hormones in the body and increases insulin sensitivity which signals your body to burn food as fuel rather than store food as fat. When we are less stressed we also tend to choose foods which nourish us, eat more slowly and mindfully – this way we recognise when we are full and don’t tend to overeat.

The Breath

When we start to practice yoga and work with the breath, the benefits for the body and mind become clear fast! We start to feel more calm and more energised. With an increased focus on breathing we are bringing extra oxygen into the body – this extra oxygen helps in burning excess fat deposited in the body helping to balance weight.

Movement

There are many styles of yoga, ranging from those that deeply relax to those which are more dynamic. In India, for balancing weight, yoga teachers tend to prescribe daily sun salutations. You can start by learning the sequence in class and once it’s more familiar you can practise at home. Start with 2 or 3 and slowly build up. Dr Vasant Lad (famous Ayurvedic Doctor) once told me that you should build up towards doing one sun salutation for each year you have been on the planet every morning! Enjoy lovely Kulis.

Angela x

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