Here are four ways a yoga practice can support you in your weight-loss journey:
- Improved mindfulness. “Yoga can help teach you how to sit with uncomfortable feelings. And that can help if you’re an emotional eater or a stress eater,” Cassetty said. “It can also be helpful with mindful eating, and taking that mindfulness practice off the mat and into an eating occasion.” For example, when you’re reaching for a snack, taking a moment to be mindful can help you consider whether you are truly hungry or whether you simply feel like eating something. “It puts you in a position of choice and control,” Cassetty said. Mindfulness can also help you learn to cue into your sensations of hunger and fullness.
- Better sleep. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health reported that more than 55% of people who practice yoga say their sleep improved. Changes in your body when you don’t sleep well can make you more likely to overeat and struggle to control your appetite. “Lack of sleep sets the stage for overeating that is hard to control,” Cassetty said. “It also makes carb-rich foods and sweet foods more rewarding than normal, so your brain really wants those foods.”
- Better mood and less stress. Yoga can help you improve your mood, and when you feel happier, you’re more likely to make healthier lifestyle choices throughout your day. Yoga also helps control levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol can influence what you crave, so controlling it can help manage your cravings.
- Better mobility and balance and less chronic pain. When it’s hard to move or balance or when you’re in pain, you’re more likely to be sedentary. Yoga can help you move more easily and add more physical activity to your day.
How can I get started with yoga?
If you’re new to yoga, you might feel a little intimidated. Maybe you think you aren’t flexible enough, or you might find terminology like downward dog, savasana and cobbler’s pose unfamiliar. Let me help you to begin your fitness journey.
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