It’s a new year, and for many of us, this means setting fresh resolutions. Some of us will be reflecting on how successful our previous resolutions have been, and even evaluating the motivations underlying our past intentions. I know that since I began practicing yoga, I have naturally begun to question one particular goal that I once held steadfastly.
The resolve to lose weight.
Over the years, my yoga students have often reported that they lost weight. Occurring too frequently to be coincidence, these students have spurred me to thinking about the weight loss – posture connection. Here are some possible mechanisms:
- After restoring their primal posture by practicing yoga on a regular base, a lot of students are out of pain, feel better, and indulge in the natural human impulse to move and go back to an active life.
- Students learn to use their muscles and spare their joints. This ramps up their metabolisms.
- Students learn to recruit larger muscles for challenging tasks rather than stressing smaller muscles. This increases muscle mass, raising the basal metabolic rate and encouraging fat loss.
- With the emphasis on using deeper abdominal muscles to protect the spinal discs and nerves, students develop stronger abs. I suspect that this may help with eliciting an appropriate feeling of fullness with meals. Also, the sleek feeling that goes with the inner corset may induce a healthy spiral in approving one’s appearance.
- There are myriad ways to get moving practice yoga, learn the samba, start weight training, or join a hiking group or try horseback riding.
- The next time you're driving on a bumpy road, taking a jog, or jumping over a puddle, engage your inner corset (if you miss the episode on that check it out). These muscles, which are the abdominal muscles closest to your spine, protect your spinal discs and nerves from damage while making you sleeker and taller.
- Instead of damaging crunches, try the plank pose: assume a push-up position and hold for 30-60 seconds.
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