Yoga and Meditation for Weightloss
Yoga and Meditation
for Weight Loss
By Contributing Writer: Jenn Pedde
(Healingtalks) Recently a report by The Trust for American Health confirmed that obesity in the United States is at epidemic levels. 38 states have obesity rates over 25 percent. In 15 years, seven states have actually doubled their rate of obesity, and related to this, ten states their rate of diabetes. Americans are thus considering innovative ways to achieve weight loss (beyond dieting or simply watching calories and hitting the gym). Among those alternatives are ways of aligning your physical fitness and inner well being.
Increasingly, yoga is being wholesale adopted by Americans. In gyms, at parks and at home, more and more people across the Untied States have begun to practice the ancient Indian exercise. Through a system of different postures and controlled breathing, yoga is meant to promote heath and relaxation. Through this achieved relaxation, practitioners are able to better “get in touch” or be conscious of and understand their bodies, allowing them to make more informed, on target decisions regarding their health, diet and lifestyle. Additionally, yoga practitioners looking to for weight loss may try “power yoga” with an emphasis on more vigorous postures and a quicker pace. This provides a greater workout than traditional yoga.
Although sometimes put down as “new age nonsense” by skeptics, ancient yoga has shown success in helping practitioners lose weight. This is confirmed by a 2005 survey of over 15,500 participants where those who practiced yoga lost 5 pounds on average, while those who did not gained as much as 14 pounds.
Meditation is the art of creating self-inducing states of consciousness. This shift in our inner mentality is achieved through a variety of means, including deep contemplation, concentrated breathing, prolonged silence and chanting. In this way, individuals attain states of relaxation, heightened awareness or the means to reinforce any dedication to inner aims.
Meditation may also involve periods of silence, stillness or gentle moving. But this seems the opposite of very vigorous physical exercise meant to burn calories. Meditation is usually only thought of in connection with things like coping with stress, depression and anxiety. However, the clarity of mind that comes with meditations can also help us identify exactly which physical problems need addressing – as well as to gather the will, knowledge and means to overcome our challenges – including increasing overweight and obesity.
For our modern times
Stemming from ancient traditions, yoga and meditations may be reapplied to our modern times to help overcome the obesity epidemic. How? By promoting deep relaxation and clearer inner consciousness, yoga and meditations can assist us in making both clearer and stronger inner commitments to weight loss and steadfast nutrition choices.
- Study of Yoga and Weightloss Framson et al. Development and Validation of the Mindful Eating Questionnaire. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 2009; 109 (8): 1439 DOI: 10.1016/j.jada.2009.05.006
Jenn Pedde is the community manager of the University of Southern California’s online MSW programs, which helps prepare students to advance their career in social work. She’s an avid traveler, and enjoys photography.
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