Can yoga really help me maintain a healthy weight? Yes, it can, according to a new study conducted at the University of Washington in Seattle.
But it’s not because of the kilojoules you burn. It’s because regular yoga practice encourages mindful eating, a non-judgmental awareness of the physiological sensations and psychological motivations that are associated with eating. In other words, practicing yoga can help you eat only when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full. This, in turn, can help prevent weight gain as well as indigestion and heartburn.
Yoga cultivates mindfulness, in part by requiring people to hold a physically challenging pose with a calm, accepting mind and a focus on the breath.
"This ability to be calm and observant during physical discomfort teaches people how to maintain calm in other challenging situations, such as not eating more even when the food tastes good and not eating when you’re not actually hungry," says study co-author Alan R Kristal, professor of epidemiology at the University of Washington School of Public Health.
So if you’re trying to shed kilos or maintain a healthy weight, consider yoga. Says Kristal: “Adding yoga to a weight loss programme may make it more effective.”
Written by Stacey Colino for Living Right Living Well
- (Health24, February 2011)