Ok, so for most of us when we think weight loss, Yoga is definitely not the first word that springs to mind! But this ancient art can have a profound effect on the pounds we carry. Let me tell you my story. I think I may have been on every diet known to man at some point in my life! The Atkins diet, Weight Watchers, Cabbage Soup Diet (yes, it was as disgusting as it sounds!), Juicing Diet – all of which had an effect on my weight, but only a temporary one.
I also turned to exercise albeit on and off to help shed the pounds. At my fittest after completing a half iron man I weighed 10st3lbs at a height of 5ft4”. To train for this event my exercise sessions involved 2 mile swims, 100km bike rides and 14 mile runs. You would imagine I’d have been the slimmest gal in Dundalk! The fact of the matter was my body was heavily stressed due to the extreme regime. I now weigh 9st with my only regular exercise being Yoga. And furthermore my weight has plateaued, before it was more like a swinging pendulum, mostly swinging to the overweight side!
Yoga helps our bodies find the right balance in both the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. The main purpose of the SNS is to activate the fight-or-flight mechanism of the body. The body cannot differentiate between stress caused by work/kids/over exercising and the stress caused by being chased by a bear. Which is why, it holds onto body fat in the event that we will need extra energy at some point. The parasympathetic nervous system is responsible for stimulation of “rest-and-digest” activities that occur when the body is at rest.
By doing certain yoga poses you are strengthening the liver which is responsible for disposing of bad fats. Other poses stimulate your thyroid gland which is responsible for your metabolism. Yoga tones the body and builds muscle. If you build strong muscles they will be eating your fat stores even when you are resting.
Yoga has changed my entire body shape and brought my weight to an optimal healthy level. For more information contact Shirlí on 087-3737 108 or www.shirliyoga.com