How Yoga Can Create a Sustainable Path to Wellness and Weight Loss
May 8, 2023
What do you see when you look in the mirror? Are you happy with the person smiling back at you, or does your inner critic take over? Although yoga is not about focusing on weight loss and your outward appearance, establishing a regular practice can truly work wonders for your overall wellness and self-esteem and can even help you find your natural body weight.
How Yoga Supports Overall Wellness
Yoga is a holistic practice that supports your physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Unlocking these benefits relies on establishing a regular yoga practice and on putting mindfulness at the heart of your practice and beyond.
Creating the best version of yourself also requires self-love and forgiveness for perceived transgressions. Think of your yoga practice as less of a regime and more of a work in progress that you can develop every single day.
Forging a path toward a sustainable sense of wellness is not about putting in your best effort for a week. It’s about finding the elements of the practice that best sustain you and using them consistently. Putting in a manageable effort every day or a few times a week will yield better results than a Herculean effort once a month.
Practicing Mindfulness for Wellness and Weight Loss
Being mindful lies at the heart of any yoga practice. Every asana and every breathing practice teaches us to follow our breath and keep our minds focused on the here and now. Don’t worry, nobody is perfectly mindful, even seasoned practitioners find that their thoughts wander. But as you practice regularly, it becomes easier to bring your thoughts back to your breath. You’ll also notice that you catch your mind sooner when it tries to ‘escape.’
Developing a regular mindfulness practice is a powerful tool to help you improve overall wellness. Studies have shown that mindfulness can help reduce stress, lower your blood pressure, and improve the quality of your sleep. In short, approaching every day a little more mindfully than the previous day will increase your overall sense of well-being.
When it comes to weight loss, applying the principles of mindfulness to your food choices and year eating habits can deliver outstanding results. Just to be clear, we believe embracing a healthy, balanced lifestyle is hugely beneficial. On the other hand, strict calorie counting is rarely sustainable and doesn’t create a sense of wellness either.
So, how do you apply mindfulness principles to your eating habits? Try to become more aware of your food choices and opt for naturally grown, whole foods over highly processed options. When you are eating, be mindful of your food and avoid multitasking. Chew your food slowly to improve digestion. Focusing on your food helps you feel fuller sooner, and it stops you from continuing to eat after you’re full. Don’t forget to drink water and keep an eye on the amount of coffee and tea you consume. Lastly, try to resist junk food and processed sugar as much as possible.
Can Yoga Stimulate Weight Loss?
Yoga is a gateway to a healthier overall lifestyle. Done regularly, even a gentle yoga practice strengthens your core muscles and leaves you more toned. Combined with more mindful eating habits, practicing yoga regularly could improve your metabolism, too.
Some of the more physical yoga classes will definitely make you work up a sweat. They can feel like a traditional workout at times and will help you burn calories. But remember, increasing your overall sense of wellness is not about counting calories. It’s about building habits you can maintain and trying to honor those new habits a little more every day.
A Word on Sleep
Practicing yoga can help you sleep better. Researchers have proven that regular yoga practitioners find it easier to fall asleep and sleep more deeply than others. Adults should aim for 7-8 hours every night.
Good quality sleep and following regular sleep patterns have also been linked to weight loss. If you’re struggling to fall asleep, try making time for yoga nidra guided meditation before you go to sleep. Yoga nidra allows your body and your mind to slow down and prepares you for a night of restful sleep.
Where Do I Start?
Getting started with a yoga practice that supports wellness and weight loss may feel overwhelming. There is plenty of advice available, but which parts are most important for you? Feel free to reach out to our team of Uptown Yoga instructors for personalized advice. Contact us now! We’re always happy to help you find ways to achieve your yoga, mindfulness, and wellness goals. After all, who doesn’t love to smile back at themselves when they look in the mirror?