I love the answer Tara Stiles of Strala Yoga gave to this question on her blog and encourage you all to spend a few minutes reading it. Have a wonderful Easter …
“I’ve been called many things. Some sound nice at first, like real or curvy. Some not so nice, like fat or obese.The thing is, I don’t want any of these terms in my life. I’m a person, not a term. I’m heavier than I want to be, and it doesn’t feel good.
I try to run from it sometimes. I say it’s genetic, and that I’m just that way. But I don’t like what I am.
I don’t eat right all the time, and sometimes pretty far from right. I know I should do better, and I’m not sure why I keep screwing up. I’ve tried the gym, I’ve tried the diets, nothing works. Can you help? Can yoga help”?
“If you hate or hide from how you are now, it’s hard to be healthy.
You might count calories. You might go to the gym. You might punish yourself. You might reward yourself after the punishing.
To break this cycle, it’s important to feel. You, how you are, now. Not punishing, pushing, or struggling; just easy, calm, connected you.
We all want to feel good. To feel good, begin by feeling, and then follow how you feel. When you take good care of yourself, it feels good. You’ll find yourself wanting to do it more and more. It becomes your favorite addiction. You are your own reward.
Yoga can help here, the secret is in how you approach you. Unfortunately there are still “health” magazines that talk about blasting calories and cutting muffin top. It’s violent. It keeps you in this cycle of attacking you, and all the things you think you did wrong yesterday.
The thing about attacks is, you have to recover from them. And since you just practiced attacking yourself, it’s a little hard to become suddenly a great caregiver.
It’s in how you practice. Yoga can be practice pushing and struggling into poses. It can be practice pushing into other people’s rules, and other people’s bodies. Or, it can be practice for you feeling you.
Yoga doesn’t help people lose weight because it burns calories. The same is true for the gym, running, and exercise in general. There are many great health benefits to exercise. But when it comes to weight-loss, calorie-burning on its own doesn’t get it done. The big factor here is stress. It’s hard to be healthy when we keep practicing struggle and strain in our lives. We need ease. We need to feel, breathe deep, and get calm.
Yoga helps people lose weight because it creates an avalanche of healthy acts. You feel, you feel something you like, you keep it going. You’re enough, you’re exactly what you need, and you can do it”.