Do you have a goal to lose weight this year?
I encourage you to include yoga in your wellness routine!
Here are some ideas for how to utilize yoga and healthy habits if you’re looking to shed a few pounds.
Practice three to five times a week, with the goal of taking classes at a studio at least three times per week. The other two classes can be using a DVD at home. I know personally I’m pushed to work harder when I’m surrounded by other yogis, and under the direction of an empowering teacher!
Choose heated classes, and practice a vigorous style of yoga. I suggest trying vinyasa, Bikram, Ashtanga, or anything with ‘power’ or ‘power flow’ in the description. If you do go to hot classes, be sure to hydrate before and after class! Also try to incorporate at least one restorative (calming) practice like a yin class into your weekly routine, as a way to balance out the heat. Keep in mind that the harder classes will yield the most results in terms of burning calories in order to lose weight, and the restorative class will help you release toxins, calm your mind, and become aware of your body.
Photo via A Cup of Jo.
Improve your diet with a few simple, easy changes. I recommend these: Eat more greens. Drink water or tea in place of sugary drinks. Trade unhealthy snack foods for fresh fruit, nuts, or an avocado with salt and pepper sprinkled on top. (Note: here are more healthy snack ideas from Joanna at A Cup of Jo.) If changing your diet feels overwhelming, think in terms of what you can add that’s healthy, rather than what you have to eliminate. Start by adding a few glasses of water throughout the day, and more veggies at each meal. As you gain some momentum in making healthy choices, you’ll feel empowered and be able to tackle more challenging changes.
Start a 10-minute meditation habit. Mindfulness will help you notice what’s causing you stress, and discover how to release tension. For more information about the benefits of mindfulness, read here. If sitting still sounds overwhelming or uncomfortable, start by doing legs up the wall pose for a few minutes, either when you first wake up or before bedtime. Let your whole body relax, and close your eyes. Notice your breath. There’s nothing you need to do or change, so if thoughts come up, simply acknowledge them and then let them go. Continue to place your attention on your breath.
Sleep seven to eight hours a night. If you’re having trouble sleeping, try yoga nidra, a meditation for full-body relaxation.
Track your success, and focus on the positive! Try a mantra like, "Practice makes perfect." Thank yourself for being dedicated to your health.
What habits are you incorporating into your weight-loss plan? I’d love to hear!
PS As always, if you have any questions or would like support, please feel free to email me at aliveinthefire at gmail dot com. Namaste, lovely yogis!
This post was inspired by an article on Yoga Journal about yoga for weight loss.