When it comes to weight loss, we all want a quick fix. That’s the instinct that causes so many people to try fad diets or overexert themselves on their first trip to the gym in many moons. My dad (bless his heart) periodically loses a bunch of weight by eating only one meal a day. He gains it all back as soon as resumes eating normally, of course, but I can’t fault him for the desire to want to see changes as quickly as possible. Part of me would love to blast the jelly belly I developed after giving birth last year.
But there is another way. You don’t have to radically restrict your food intake or work out every day until you’re red-faced and spent. You can achieve sustainable weight loss by making small but powerful changes. The three yoga poses below from the Mayo Clinic Wellness Solutions for Weight Loss DVD can help you re-establish a relationship with your body. They won’t make you sweat or cause your heart rate to spike. But, practiced regularly (at least three times a week) over time, they will …
- Reduce stress, which is linked with abdominal fat — plus, a good decompressing yoga sequence can head off any “I had a rotten day” food frenzies.
- Build strength, which helps raise your baseline metabolism and promotes confidence.
- Promote body awareness, which can help you realize when you are truly hungry and stop eating when you’re full.
- Help create space in your body, which enables your organs to function more efficiently.
Unsteady or out of shape? You can do all three of these yoga poses with supportive props to help with balance and stability — or just a little reassurance when you’re first getting started.
1. Seated Backbend
|Opens your chest, deepens your breathing, reduces stress, and create lots of space for your digestive organs. Use a chair to help support your back and core muscles, especially if you’re balance-challenged, have back trouble, haven’t focused much on strengthening your core, or feel uncomfortable bending backward.||
2. Warrior II
|Builds strength in the legs, core, and arms; puts you in touch with your own inner strength; and promotes focus. Use a chair for a little help with balance, or as a safety net until you develop more strength and core stability.||
3. Bridge Pose
|Improves strength along the entire back of your body as it creates space in the front of the body. Gently massages the thyroid gland, located at the base of your throat, promoting healthy function of this hormone factory which is greatly responsible for metabolism and energy. If your core strength is limited or you have any other concerns about doing this move comfortably and safely, use a yoga block to decrease the distance you have to lift the torso.||
Are you shaking your head no, thinking it’s too good to be true? Or are you shaking your head yes, because you’ve experienced a similar effect in your own life? Post a comment below … I’d love to hear your reactions.