Millions of Americans are working extremely hard to lose the weight they’ve gained in middle age. Thankfully, there is an enjoyable way to prevent needing to join in this crazy rush to lose those extra pounds.
According to a study published by Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, people of middle age who participate in a regular yoga practice are less likely to put on pounds in mid-life compared with those who do not practice yoga at all. Alan Kristal, co-author of the study could not fully explain how practicing yoga helped people avoid weight gain because, “Except for very strenuous yoga practices, you don’t really burn enough energy to make any difference in terms of weight.”
In contrast to the highly sought after mega-calorie burning, sweat inducing, weight management benefits of vigorous exercise, yoga offers indirect ways to help you avoid weight gain, and the following explains why.
The core of a person can be defined in many ways. In the physical sense, the core consists of the muscle groups between the hips and the ribs. In a psychological sense, the core makes up the deep inner-self some might call the soul. In an energetic sense, the core is what makes up the solar plexus, a place in our body that is home to bundles of nerves responsible for those curious gut feelings. Yogis often refer to the solar plexus as the third chakra, the spirited space in our body that governs our self-esteem and feelings of empowerment.
However you view your core, a regular yoga practice has a strong and powerful effect on it. Whether physical, psychological or energetic, your core will be particularly influenced, and the following is a look into why.
To meditate is to disengage from a seemingly ever-present mental chatterbox and reflect on just one pure thought. If you think this sounds easy, stop reading this article for a moment and witness your thoughts. Are they jumping from subject to subject? Are you thinking in fragmented thoughts? Do thoughts randomly pop into your head for no apparent reason? If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, the following information will be helpful to you.
Sit in a comfortable position, free from external distractions. Close your eyes and focus on one single thought, whether it is a word, image or repetitive sound.
Concentrate fully to keep your focus on this one thought without interruption. If you make it even just 30 seconds without any other thoughts entering your mind, you are doing remarkably well.
What to Expect
If at first you don’t succeed, simply try again. Meditation requires a tremendous amount of effort and repetition to master but yields great benefits, so be patient. It is not uncommon to want to just ditch the practice all together, as it can be extremely difficult to focus and concentrate. When your thoughts go willy-nilly, take a break and then try again later.
A mantra is a repeated word or group of words believed to have the ability to create a change due to the power of their specific vibrational qualities. The use of mantras originated in Vedic philosophy, which is a predecessor of Hinduism, to enhance the spiritual experience. A classic example is the mantra Om, which is used to invoke a connection with the body, the mind, and the soul, to the universe.
Today in America, mantras are used for just about anything and can be made up of just about any words. While you can practice reciting mantras traditionally with Sanskrit or Hindu words such as Om, any word or group of words will work as long as you fully believe in the power of change they instill.
To gain a boost in your self-esteem, mood or attitude, choose all or one of the following mantras. Be sure to pick a mantra that you resonate with, as this will make it a lot easier to trust in a positive outcome. If none of these mantras are of interest to you, make one up! Repeat your mantra silently in your mind or out loud several times a day and take note of the changes that occur.
As school districts continue to tighten their budget, certain classes become extinct to make way for a more fiscally efficient approach to education. If the days of playing kickball, bombardment and whiffle ball in PE classes are long gone, what is taking their place to fulfill the physical activity requirements of growing children?
In 2001, The Accelerated School in Los Angeles, California piloted a program called YogaEd, designed by Tara Guber, in an effort to bring yoga into the classroom. The objective of this strictly secular curriculum was to teach proper posture and body awareness, techniques for relaxation and stress management, and self esteem building through compassionate problem resolution. The program’s goals were to instill life long habits for healthy living, enhance physical, social, emotional and mental health, and strengthen academic performance.
In 2003 a study was conducted to determine the results of the program, and the findings were in full support of not only its continuation at the Accelerated School, but also in the advancement of sharing the curriculum with more than 150 other schools.
By Jill Lawson from Jill Lawson Yoga
Many of us believe the power of thought can greatly affect the course of a day, if not our feelings and attitudes that shape the opinions we have of ourselves. As quoted by Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Sow a thought and you reap an action; sow an action and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and you reap a destiny,” thoughts can promote positive or negative experiences for us.
The following daily affirmations work to cement positive thoughts in our subconscious mind, allowing us to practice healthier habits and lead us to more fulfilling and much happier moments. They are helpful when we are having a bad day, but equally as effective when we are feeling good already. The more we can put a positive thought toward something, the closer we are to actually bringing that thought into our reality.
Raven-Symone is no stranger to the spotlight. She started acting at a very young age as a child star on The Cosby Show. As she grew up, she also landed her own TV show titled That’s So Raven which was a huge success.
The curvaceous Raven-Symone has always encouraged others to be comfortable in their own skin, no matter what their size. That is a motto that she has lived and continues to live daily. Now Raven-Symone is not only comfortable in her skin, she’s also comfortable in her clothes.
The star has recently dropped 70 pounds from her frame. “It’s great to put on clothes and not wear a girdle,” she says. She started focusing on her health after deciding to take some time off from the spotlight in 2007.
To drop the weight, Raven-Symone started exercising and making big changes to her eating habits. She worked out at least four times per week, including time on the elliptical machine during her sessions. For her diet, she traded in cupcakes and other unhealthy foods for oatmeal and apple slices for breakfast along with salmon and steamed asparagus for dinner.
Rosie Battista is a Healthy Body “Builder”, Trainer & Food Maven, committed to helping women entrepreneurs build healthy sexy bodies without starving or spending hours in the gym. She believes that when you feel healthy and sexy in your body, you present your best stuff to the world.Read more from Rosie at CookingNakedafter40.com.
Just profound “ity”. No, it’s not a typo, and yes, I made this word up.
My daughter and I were having a conversation about women and weight loss. Quite an intense conversation which unleashed a profound comment from my girl. She said, “look how easily we go from grateful to greedy“. She was talking specifically about weight loss and our reaction to what happens on the scale. We get annoyed when it doesn’t move down fast enough for our expectations. We’re happy the first week of a diet when the weight comes off quickly. Then after that, it’s all downhill with trashy thoughts that fill our heads.
How many times have you stepped on the scale and complained in disappointment that you ONLY lost one or two pounds? How often do the little thoughts in your head shout out, “I can’t believe I only lost a pound and I was perfect!”?
Common self-help suggestions seem to not be standing up to research. Two years ago, I wrote about the Dangers of Positive Thinking. When you try to convince yourself of positive statements, it can actually damage self-esteem. Now research is suggesting that visualizing yourself achieving your goals may make it more difficult to actually obtain those goals.
Visualizing yourself happy, successful, and in great shape is supposed to convince you that it can be true and inspire you to make it happen. However, visualizing yourself happy, successful, and in great shape seems to be so rewarding that we are no longer motivated to work for it. Visualizing it may be enough for us.
The study at Science Direct included four different experiments. What the researchers found was that positive visualizations were “de-energizing”, leading to the relaxation that comes after a goal has been achieved. In one of the experiments, “a positive fantasy about the coming week led participants to feel less energised, and when surveyed a week later, they’d achieved fewer of their week’s goals, than had control participants who’d originally been asked to day-dream freely about the coming week.”
Skechers Shape Ups shoes for kids has caused quite the controversy since their release, including a petition at change.org to have the line discontinued. Parents and professionals are disturbed that toning shoes are being made for and marketed to elementary school students.
The commercial aimed at young girls seems to be especially concerning to parents. The commercial in question does not specifically say anything about toning, but it does say that these shoes offer “everything a girl could want, looking good, having fun,” with “extra height and bounce,” which, of course, is too good to be true. Parents are concerned that the thin cartoon characters and emphasis on appearance is encouraging unhealthy attitude towards body image in young girls. Parents are also concerned that the commercial contains a shot of boys dressed as junk food following the singer; it certainly is a confusing image. I would be interested to hear what you think this is communicating to young girls?