March 2016 archive

Yoga For Weight Loss. Why Does It Work?

When most people think of losing weight they think of hitting the gym. Sweating a lot and watching how many calories are burning on their favorite (or least favorite machine). When they think of yoga they imagine slow movement – a glorious warrior 2 pose and inner peace. So why would yoga work well for weight loss? If you look at how many calories burn from yoga, it’s downright unimpressive.

For years we here at Peaceful Weight Loss we have been teaching slow, simple yoga practices to help with the weight loss process. It is an integral part of our overall weight loss plan. In fact, it is so much more important than hitting the gym that we favor it above all other forms of movement. Here’s why.

It Gets Stress Out Of The Body
Yoga practice done properly changes our nervous system response. This leaves us less stressed. Stress hormones are a key problem in weight reduction. Put simply – stress hormones = weight retention. Yoga is a great way to work with this.

Yoga Changes Our Mental State
Much overeating and binge eating can be attributed to anxiety, depression, or even big mental highs. Yoga practice helps us maintain a strong grounded mental state that translates into less emotional eating.

Yoga Is Empowering
Yoga teaches us to practice in a way that expands our body’s possibilities while deeply accepting its’ limitations. Unlike exercise where it’s constantly asking us to do more, yoga is about contentment. This creates a deep peace within us. Peace is true power. Change begins with this acceptance.

This is not to say that their aren’t great reasons to hit the gym, but when considering a long term movement plan to drop or keep weight off—yoga is an excellent choice.

Click here to learn more and register for Transformation. Our 9 month course in Peaceful Weight Loss will guide you through—step by step.

May we all find contentment today,
Brandt

Grow Your Prana, Shrink Your Weight.

When Brandt and I first met, we had a conversation about prana (life force, chi) and how it related to our individual weight loss success stories. I had been into expanding my prana via pranayama, asana, bij chanting, and chakra visualization. We discussed the importance of building prana as a first step towards sustainable weight loss. We had collectively lost over 150 pounds.

Yogis for thousands of years have been studying how to build their prana body. Or not lose prana/energy. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, an ancient yogic text, talks about prana. It offers us the idea that when our pranic body is balanced, our breath is natural and relaxes. Pranic balance enables us to “see” or feel the deeper aspects of ourselves and allows us to focus on them. So why is this important and how does it relate to weight loss? Furthermore, how do we practice to get these results?

In Peaceful Weight Loss terms, our “prana building” practice should leave us

  • focusing on something other than food and body frustrations (more of the time)
  • feeling relaxed and peaceful (more of the time)
  • remembering that there is something bigger than our body battle (more of the time)

Most of the time a daily, 20 minute (or more) practice that leaves us feeling calm and energized does the trick. Note, the calm and energized. We don’t have to push, in fact, we don’t want to deplete ourselves at all. This is not an exercise program. We are not forcing our bodies to work hard. We are putting our effort towards breathing and moving most days. (For guidance, check our online practices or join our 9 month course, Transformation)

As a result, the rest digest and heal part of the nervous system is being toned and activated every time we take a deep breath. This builds our energy, prana. There is now the possibility of feeling better (more of the time). It is from this place that we can make food and lifestyle changes that allow us to lose weight. (Note the paradigm shift away from “burning calories” aka losing energy…)

Brandt had this experience. I’ve had this experience. And we’ve seen so many people change and take pounds off through practicing pranayama and calm and energizing asana. As we gather our energy we breath more deeply and compulsions to overeat shrink. Some say that they feel more satisfied and content. Others speak to the clarity they gain and the side effects of this. Time and time again, energy goes up and the number on the scale goes down. It takes time, but sustainability is what we’re looking for, right?

So find a calm and energizing practice to build your prana and reap the rewards of a life with less stress and less weight.

Om Namah Shivaya,
Anna

Eating For Optimal Health And Weight

Eating for for optimal health is in many ways the same as eating for optimal weight. The way our bodies regulate our weight is really complex. A dance of hormones, gut bacteria, nutrient absorption, etc all happen every time we eat. And while the science of all this is still developing, one thing is clear. Whole natural foods are always superior than processed foods.

Our bodies of course can break down and use processed foods—we do it all the time. But these foods simply don’t work as well in our body. The end result is poorer health and more unneeded fat storage. There is no great way to get around this. There is, however, a great freedom within this. It can make it so much easier to choose what to eat! Whole foods, yes. Not whole foods (highly processed), no. Simple, right? In some ways.

We eat primarily fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, fish, eggs, and meat. Of course, there are many variations within this. If we start here as a baseline, our food life can be easier. And our bodies will reward us with better health.

May we all find wholeness today,
Brandt