1 in every 3 Americans is currently experiencing medical problems directly related to their excessive weight, and according to recent studies on conventional forms of exercise, walking, running, spinning, and other supposedly effective forms of weight reduction have little-to-no chance of being the remedy.
It’s becoming abundantly clear that the only long-term solution is dietary. The problem began with the quality and quantity of the food that we eat, and it will most certainly end there as well.
But the issue isn’t as simple as informing the ignorant on how to read a label, or how to restrict their carbohydrate intake, I believe that what we are facing is better understood when it’s considered to be an addictive behavior.
There are a number of similarities in the behavior of people addicted to food and those addicted to other substances. Obese individuals often eat more than they intend, make multiple attempts to control their overeating but fail, and continue to overeat although they know their weight may contribute to serious health problems.
However unlike other addictive substances, food is necessary for survival. It takes great awareness to differentiate between what your body actually needs and the unnecessary consumption of empty calories.
Yoga is fundamentally a discipline of awareness, and it is my belief that it may prove to be among the most potent means of breaking the cycle of food addiction and empowering future generations to thrive.
As your yoga practice takes root in your life, it begins to reveal the ways in which food can potentially have a negative impact on your experience of movement. Once you have a consistent, dedicated daily practice you will become intimately aware of the immediate impacts your lifestyle choices have on your energy, inflammation, and ability to move with the grace and ease required to excel at this rigorous discipline.
This awareness offers new reasons to prioritize healthy eating that are both positive and goal-oriented. Rather than minding your diet out of fear for the negative consequences of being overweight, you begin to eat consciously in order to experience yourself at your very best.
My practice is important to me. I look forward to my practice each and every morning I step to the mat. But I really love the practices when I move easily to the deepest expression of my body’s full potential. That only happens when I eat right. And for that reason I make different decisions when it comes to my diet than I might otherwise. It’s as simple as that.
Yoga was once considered to be a poor means of reducing weight due to its assumed inefficiency at burning calories. Now that research has concluded that all calorie-burning movement modalities are ultimately doomed to fail, the enhanced awareness offered exclusively by yoga might actually make it the ideal method for weight loss after all.