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How to Lose Weight - A Mind-Body Approach

©Yoga People, LLC 2017

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Losing weight is a common concern in our society. More often than not, Westerners eat indiscriminately and do not like to exercise. In our consumer culture, almost everyone, at one point or another, uses food to fill the void in his or her heart. In particular, weight gain is a serious problem for people of kapha constitution, who are predisposed to being overweight and have difficulty losing it.

Excess body weight significantly increases the risk of serious illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer. It is imperative to find and maintain your natural weight for health and longevity. (If you suspect you have a serious health condition, such as water retention, please consult a health care professional.)

Here are a few basic suggestions on how to lose weight:

Start meditating. Being mindful will help you explore your lifestyle habits without being judgmental. The insight style of meditation, which is a form of mindfulness practice, helps uncover the true reason behind your weight problem: a habit of overeating, not enough exercise, inaccurate self-image, seeking love in food, etc. Ask yourself, why do you overeat? Why do you continue your unhealthy food habits? Why do you attempt to fill your inner emptiness with food? Why do you mistreat your precious and only body? Being mindful, practicing the insight style of meditation, and, in extreme cases, availing yourself of the services of a professional counselor are good ways to begin.

Change your diet. At least twice a week, substitute a healthy meal for your usual one. Buy a good cookbook. Go to a vegetarian cooking class. Eat organic foods. Throw away white sugar, white flour, margarine, and anything else that is easy to give up for such healthy and good-tasting alternatives as honey, whole grains, and olive oil. If you still desire junk food, make a point to buy a healthier variety at a natural foods store.

Start on the path of yoga. It will bring harmony to your mind and body. Yoga will develop and fill your inner world with positive thoughts and emotions. Find a good hatha yoga teacher. Go to his or her asana class regularly. Let him or her design a personal asana sequence for you, and practice it daily.

Start a daily walking routine: go for a half-hour walk four or five days a week. Walk briskly, so that you begin to sweat a little by the end of your walk.

Start looking for new friends who will support you when you begin developing new, healthy habits. Those who oppose your change towards a healthier lifestyle are not your friends.

Finally, persons who are overweight, and for that matter anyone with unhealthy habits of any kind, should recognize that their health is important not only to themselves but also to their loved ones and to society. When you take care of yourself, you are also taking care of those who are dependent on you, and you are a radiant example of good living to those whom you meet.

Reprinted with Permission
Abhidhyan Yoga Institute
All rights reserved