Traditional Yoga on health, obesity, diet and losing weight
We all have health issues these days, many people are not happy with their bodies or stature. Are the ideals we aspire to too high, or is it just hard to be healthy in this day and age?
According to Yoga, everything is about balance. What that balance is can vary from person to person. Every person is different, is born with a different constitution and therefore has a different stature. You don’t have to look like a model or an idol. That does not change the fact that you need to live a healthy life. Not just for a healthy weight, but for the overall proper functioning of your body. The responsibility of caring for your body lies with yourself. This means that it is important to delve into everything that affects your health and do your best to live in a healthy way.
Yoga is holistic, meaning that all aspects of your life have an impact on who you are and also on how healthy you are. If you want to apply Yoga in your life, do so in all aspects of your life. Yoga offers the knowledge and techniques to make this a reality.
What does your body consume and therefore what nutrients does your body need? What do you need to eat to meet all the requirements? Do the products you buy come from a good source and has the process they have undergone not been harmful? Has it been exposed to pesticides, preservatives, flavour enhancers, or chemicals from packaging materials?
What effect does your work have on you? How do you balance the unhealthy effects of your work on your body and mind? What time do you get up and go to bed? What is the last thing you do before bed and do you sleep enough hours and deeply enough? At what times do you eat? Do you eat purely to nourish your body or do you do it to satisfy a desire? How often do you get outside and how much do you exercise? Are you keeping your body fit? Are you using all your muscles? How do you deal with stress and painfull bodyparts? How freely can you move? Do you have healthy posture? What do you do for relaxation? Do you have discipline in this?
Who are all influencing your life? What effect do they have on you? Are you encouraged by others or do you let others lower your standards? What unresolved conflicts do you carry with you?
Are you happy with who you are? How is your outlook on life? Are your thoughts positive or are you influenced by the media and society? What are your thoughts towards other people? What effect do your thoughts have on your actions? Read more about this in 5 do’s and dont’s on being happy and healthy
Indian Classic Yoga offers activities to help you find the answers to these questions. For instance, you can attend a retreat to learn what herbs and Ayurveda can do to eat healthier. Yoga, Ayurveda and working with Herbs. Or you can learn about which Yoga Asanas are just right for you. Discover which Yoga Asana suits you. You can learn to be more in control of how relationships affect you. Yoga and dealing with relationships. Also you can work on your mindset with meditation techniques. Pranayama and Meditation and Yoga and Walking Meditation.
What you should not do to lose weight
There are an awful lot of methods for losing weight. You do need to be incredibly careful with these. Apart from being mentally demanding, it is a drain on your body.
- Do not mix two or more different methods, follow your dietician’s advice if applicable.
- Don’t do hefty diets where you consume one-sided food for a long time. You may lose weight, but your body will also consume the nutrients present and create a shortage, which can be harmful to your organs in the short or long term.
- Don’t go on a long fast. The toxins released into your blood may be too much for your liver to process.
- Don’t physically exhaust yourself with sports. Exercise is good, but if you lose weight in a short period of time due to over-exertion, you will regain weight just as easily when you stop exercising.
Being healthy for the rest of your life
Yoga and Ayurveda look at the cause of all health complaints. Every person is different and lives differently. Being overweight can have several causes. In most cases, it stems from your diet and lifestyle. What we eat and what we do is in our habits. By taking a critical look at your habits and transforming yourself in them, you can tackle your problem from the root. With a healthy lifestyle, you will lose weight slowly. By losing, say, 1 kilo a month, you are not doing damage to your body, you are not depleting nutrients, you are letting your liver gradually break down toxins. Furthermore, you’re not just working on your excess weight, but making sure your body becomes healthier as a whole. A healthy lifestyle is easy to maintain after a long time, besides, you won’t gain a lot of weight again in a short time.
What is a healthy lifestyle?
- Get up early, cleanse your body, do yoga exercises and prepare for the day in a relaxed way;
- Take time to prepare a good breakfast and eat it mindfully;
- Do your daily activities to the best of your ability. Do one thing at a time, don’t get distracted by what may come into your head. Every time you start doing something new or go to a different place, take a few seconds or minutes to clear your head. Make sure your body stays in relaxed;
- Make a conscious choice for your lunch, preferably eat it 4 hours after breakfast;
- Don’t take afternoon naps, but stay active;
Drink 4 litres a day. Mainly water, but herbal tea is also fine;
Do not take snacks in between meals, start drinking extra water if you feel the desire for a snack;
- Make sure you get outside every day, even if only briefly;
- Have your dinner early and make this a light meal. 5pm or 6pm is excellent;
- Don’t eat anything after dinner. At least 12 hours between dinner and breakfast gives your body a chance to regenerate;
- Don’t expose yourself to screens or bright lights for the last hour, but do something like meditation;
- Go to bed on time. Also read 5 effects of a night on the couch you didn’t know.
Want to learn more about a healthy lifestyle or experience it yourself? Twice a year a Yoga Teacher Training Course: Yoga as a way of life is organised at Centre Lothlorien in France. Here you will learn all the fundamental components of Yoga and although it prepares you to start as a teacher, the aim of the teacher training course is to help you grow and improve your life through Yoga. The course will be organised in 2023 from 15 April to 14 May and from 30 September to 29 October.
Nutrients are essential for our bodies to function. Since our bodies are busy day and night and cells are constantly dying, our bodies need a wide variety and amount of nutrients. Since every individual is different, the exact proportions of what is needed are also different for everyone. Eating enough and eating right is vital. However, what we often fail to take into account is that digesting food also takes energy and thus requires additional nutrients. This is why Yoga teachings talk about Sattvik food. A nutritious but easily digestible diet. Get your energy from the right carbohydrates, proteins and fats. If you are a vegetarian, make sure you find the right sources. Want to know more? Read the article on healthy diet and fats.
Make sure you supplement this base with lots of vegetables in particular, but also eat a little (dried) fruit, herbs and spices, nuts and seeds daily.
Sattvik food has a mild flavour, is always lightly cooked, on low heat, with as much fresh produce as possible and basically nothing that comes out of a package. Eat varied and go with the season and region.
Never eat more than a half-full stomach. Eat mindfully, preferably with your hands, take your time and make sure you chew everything thoroughly. This way, you will always feel light and energised.
In our training courses, we go into this in more detail. Did you know you can also take a 2-year course in the Netherlands? Read more here.
Best yoga Asana for weight loss
Losing weight requires exercise. This causes a change in metabolism, with the aim of burning the fats present in the body. There are many different Asanas that can help you do this. The right Asana partly depends on where most fat is stored. However, it is important to alternate the exercises and not overload your body. Listen to your body and build everything up slowly. Suitable Asanas for weight loss are:
- Surya Namaskar
Want to get started right away? Watch Pinky’s video on Youtube on ‘Yoga for burning belly fat’