Who can relate to the following questions? Hands up!
- Are you always thinking about your weight and self-image?
- Lacking in self-esteem?
- Continually thinking about food and exercise, when days become defined as “good” and “bad” days?
- Rebel at weekends, only for Monday to bring feelings of guilt and self-loathing and a promise to be good this week?
- Tired of calculating calories in versus calories out?
The good news is you are definitely not alone! So how are yoga and nutrition connected?
Let’s talk about the mind and body connection. Food is the fuel our body needs to make it strong and healthy. Yoga is the union of both mind and body. Adopting a healthy and balanced approach to both will leave you feeling more energised, happy and living a longer, more fulfilling life.
If you can relate to any of the questions above, have a disordered approach to your diet, or are simply trying to shed the pounds too quickly, the first important step is to change your mind set!
The word diet immediately conjures up thoughts of deprivation and restrictions, whilst dramatic weight loss is unsustainable and usually results in additional weight gain. A better understanding of nutrition and how many calories your body needs is a good starting point.
It’s important to eat food from all the major food groups (carbs, proteins and good fats) as they all have their purpose within the body.
My advice to achieve a healthier approach to food is:
• Take baby steps. If you don’t have a healthy diet now, you can’t suddenly make a huge overhaul and cut out everything.
• Start with simple changes, as this way it’s more manageable.
• Switch processed meals/ready meals for home cooked meals.
• Reduce your sugar/salt intake.
• Switch white bread, pasta for brown/ wholemeal.
• Reduce alcohol consumption.
• Once you’ve incorporated some new habits, you can move on to the next stage of making healthier choices.
So how does yoga play an important part in this?
If you have an unhealthy relationship with your body, food can often be the coping mechanism. This, is a symptom of, but not the real issue. You need to look much deeper within yourself.
If you can make yourself happy from the inside, the changes on the outside will naturally start to happen. Yoga is a form of moving meditation, and can provide significant health benefits.
Movement and burning calories is great for both your cardiovascular health and posture, flexibility and strength. Yoga also practices calming and quietening the mind, relieving stress and developing inner strength. In harmony, this is a powerful combination. Introducing a short daily yoga practice, as little as just 10 minutes a day, can help to change how you think and feel about yourself, making for an easier and more relaxed approach to weight loss.
If you feel good within your body, you are less likely to want to fill it with unhealthy and fatty foods. You will soon begin to notice changes in other areas of your life too as you become more positive, alert and self-confident. Changing your mind or changing your body, need not be an ordeal. You can still enjoy good, quality food without feeling guilty, and benefit from a healthy exercise regime without spending punishing hours in the gym.
Combining Life Coaching, Fitness and Yoga is a truly powerful combination.
Article kindly written by Michelle at www.michelleashby.co.uk