By Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500, YACEP
Confessions of a Yoga teacher revolve around being honest even when it’s not good for business. The following are questions that Yoga teachers still need to answer despite overwhelming evidence that Yoga is the mother of all health maintenance systems. Mainstream thought is finally catching up with the progress Yogic methodology is making, but it has taken 5,000 years for us to get this far.
Q: Seriously, How Can Yoga Make You Lose Weight?
A: Finally, some of the Yoga and weight loss studies have come in, and even, a little bit of Yogic practice is much better than none, for weight control, but there are a number of reasons why. Yoga is a lifestyle change that includes a safe diet, exercise, adjusting posture, breathing, and a whole lot more. Most of the practitioners I know consume more water, eat more moderately, and take more care of their bodies, in comparison to the many who don’t want to leave the couch.
Q: Aren’t you supposed to jump up and down for at least a half-hour per day to exercise enough to lose weight?
A: Maybe the masses have been “brainwashed” into thinking that you have to feel the pain, suffer, starve, and have a near-death experience, to lose weight. Depending upon your size, the average person, in a moderate Hatha yoga class, is burning in the neighborhood of 200 calories per hour.
There are Vinyasa classes that will burn more calories, with much more flowing and active movement. Just remember, Do not push your body beyond its natural limits. Your safety is a top priority in any Yoga class.
There are classes where you can feel the torture, pain, heat, and suffering. This is great for those who need to pay for their sins. Getting back to the confessions of a Yoga teacher, many instructors can’t torture their students. A compassionate teacher isn’t able to play the role of a sadist.
This may be considered penance for years of consuming excessive pizza, burgers, fries, and buffets. Some Yoga instructors do not answer questions during class, and some students worship them for it.
If you feel you must suffer, you may even find a Yoga teacher who missed his or her calling as an interrogator. However, the physical aspect of Yogic methodology is more about working smart rather than hard, and we should avoid abusive relationships.
If you search hard enough, you will find a class for every niche. More moderate classes look easy on the outside of the class, but I have seen many people find them to be a challenge inside the class. The real benefit of a steady practice is training for longevity. Long-term practice will yield optimum health benefits in mind, body, and spirit.
Couldn’t you Invent a Yoga Pill?
This has been the ultimate dream of couch potatoes, but every time a weight loss pill comes out, there is a downside. Just look at the health problems that resulted from fen-phen and ephedra. This should wake people up, but someone will always put their life at risk, no matter how many warning labels are printed. Yogic practices have no adverse side effects.
In summary, the benefits of Yoga training have always existed through steady and safe practice. Seek out a safe teacher and go from there. Never push yourself to the point of strain. Moderation is essential, so it is wise to avoid extremes.
© Copyright – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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