Levels of Change

There are many ways to approach weight loss. From one point of view it is a simple mathematical equation—less food = less weight. Eat a bit less than you need to sustain your weight and the pounds will come off. This is, of course, true. We know it because we have dieted and then seen the results. Most likely, though, the pounds didn’t stay off. We went back to our old way of being and ended up back where we started.

Another way to see our condition is to look down one layer below our physical to our energetic system. A simple way to conceptualize this is to see the energetic system as the part of you that makes you feel aware and energized in your body. When this system is in shape, one is able to bring attention to any part of the body and feel its “aliveness.” A sense of feeling, instead of a sense of dead weight. If this is difficult, then it is possible that your energetic system needs a bit of work.

Why bother? Because when this system is running properly, the body feels better—when the body feels better, the mind feels calmer. When the mind is calmer, it doesn’t send confusing weight-gaining signals to the body. Basically, a well-functioning energetic system immediately creates harmony in the physical body. Once this harmony is achieved, the actions needed to make weight loss happen become obvious and easeful. Working at this level makes the discipline of losing weight less stressful. In other words, once you set the stage by tuning your energetic body, the weight loss becomes just a final integration—an aligning of the physical with the energetic.

Do how do we tune the energetic? The regular practice of asana in a way that leaves you relaxed and energized is a great path. Combining breath and movement in any way will do the job as long as it has the result of lowering your stress levels and increasing your ability to enjoy and be aware of the here and now.

Try this simple version of mountain pose. Stand feet hip width apart and bring your arms up alongside your ears as you inhale. On the exhalation, arms back down to your sides. Make sure that you are moving with your breath so that the breath is longer than your movement. Do 12 breaths of these twice a day and see if you are more sensitive and aware of your body when you are done.

As always, email me with questions or comments.

May we all realize we are nourished and cared for.

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