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Lose Weight, Tone Your Body, and Improve Health with Natural Yoga

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Gorgeous and toned models, actors, and athletes grace magazine covers with headlines promoting the latest miracle diet. But with all of the weight loss drugs, diet food and exercise plans, why is one in every six people in world overweight?

Resist Food Cravings and Lose Weight with Natural Yoga sites a Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center study that says yoga practitioners weigh 15 pounds less on average than people who don’t practice yoga. The study finds that yoga practitioners tend to eat more mindfully and resist cravings, eating only when physically hungry and stopping when full. Yoga increases awareness of the emotional and physical selves, which increases conscious food choices. Yoga also reduces stress, which can cause overeating.

Yoga for Body, Mind and Spiritual Health

The various forms of yoga include meditation, relaxation, breathing techniques, and physical postures. The physical postures of hatha yoga incorporate breathing techniques with movement, which yields both physical fitness and relaxation.

According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, meditation is a mind-body practice that instructs the practitioner “to become mindful of thoughts, feelings, and sensations and to observe them in a nonjudgmental way.” Considered to be physically relaxing as well as emotionally and psychologically soothing, meditation can affect how a person relates to his thoughts in emotions.

Food, Weight and Self-Esteem

The Yoga Journal says that in addition to toning and strengthening muscles, yoga can promote positive self image, which can reinforce a person’s journey of weight loss. According to yoga teacher, Dr. Baxter Bell, “Through yoga, we can counteract self judgment by creating a safe, positive environment to reconnect with our bodies and quiet the counterproductive messages that often arise in our minds. Engaging in physical activities through a yoga practice can also foster a renewed sense of control over our lives, the quality that sometimes diminishes as one’s weight refuses to budge.”

Yoga for Every Body

There are various styles of yoga which encourage weight loss. A Vinyasa-style class is where movement and breath work together to build heat and calorie burn. Ashtanga yoga is more intensely physical and athletic and would be a good follow up to the Vinyasa class once a person has been physically active for a while. Other yoga styles include Iyengar, Kundalini, and Bikram. Yoga in combination with aerobic exercise such as walking, running and swimming can lead to even greater weight loss.

Yoga a natural and effective practice to improve emotional and physical health. Practicing yoga will tone and exercise the body. In addition, the integration of body with mind and spirit in a yoga practice will help you eat more thoughtfully and consciously, only when you feel hungry. Yoga also decreases self- judgement and can improve self-esteem, which can assist you in your weight loss journey.