By Dorte Larsen
Are you finding it hard to resist extra helpings of dessert? Do you binge on chips and chocolate when you know you shouldn’t? Start adapting a yogic lifestyle and see: you just might find yourself resisting that gooey cookie.
There is more than one answer to this question, but one very important aspect is that yoga helps you establish a good connection between your body and your mind. There is much more to yoga than just the physical positions, which make you supple and strong. Yoga is also a road to becoming calm and centered in your mind. When your thoughts are still and you, feel connected to your Self and to your stomach it is a lot harder to overeat and stuff yourself with food and drink, which makes you dull and overweight.
Scientific experiments have shown that people who eat too much often do so because they no longer FEEL that they are overeating.
People who regularly practice yoga, meditation and do breathing exercises are more prone to stop eating at the first signal of feeling satisfied by the food they eat, because their connecting to the body is strong and they can use the impulses from their body better because their minds are clearer and not too disturbed by thoughts.
The peace and joy in the mind and the connection to the body not only affects how much we eat, it also has an influence on WHAT we eat and therefore what we buy at the food market. It is seen that when our minds are satisfied and happy, we tend to buy less amounts of the foods that give us satisfaction and sweetness (representing love) – such as candy, soft drinks, cake and chocolate. When we connect to our Self, we buy more of the foods that are beneficial – more vegetables, more grain and lentils – and less of all the stuff that lack nutritional value. Amazing isn’t it?
Thoughts of weight loss slide into the background as the body gradually finds its natural balance through heightened body consciousness and peace of mind, traits we acquire as we practice yoga regularly. With regular practice of yoga, we respect our body much more and move towards attaining our cherished shape with peace of mind. Weight loss without feverishness or restlessness? Come on, is that possible?
The good news: Everyone can practice yoga – be they overweight or slim. Don’t postpone it. Come and try it – and do it sooner rather than later!
(Dorte Larsen is a former college teacher in literature and language. Now a free-and-easy Sri Sri Yoga teacher, she has set her mind and heart on giving yoga a fun, informal and accessible touch in words and action.)