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Does yoga help you lose weight?

August 14, 2010

When I tell people that I practice yoga regularly, one of the most common questions I am asked is “really?!?! How much weight have you lost?” And to be totally honest, I don’t know. I mean, have I lost weight while practicing yoga? Sure. But I also tend to make other healthy changes in my life when I am actively attending my yoga classes. So I don’t really feel comfortable telling people that doing yoga has helped me lost weight. I mean I’m sure that if I attended physically vigorous classes that last 90 minutes long in a room heated to 85 degrees seven days a week, I probably would lose some weight (water weight, if nothing else-which would not really be healthy!). But for me, this question was not one that I considered when deciding to practice yoga. I started practicing and continue to practice yoga for a number of reasons, but to lose weight has never been one of those reasons. To me, yoga is about connecting with myself. My real self. The one that gets buried under my daily life, my frustrations with traffic, my “work” me and whatever else is going on in my life. That very special and very unique part of me is what I really want to connect with and so I practice yoga. And yoga does exactly that for me.
The question of weight also brings up an unfortunate aspect of our society. The obsession that our society has with super-duper-unnaturally-skinny women and men are in seemingly every advertisement. And many women (men too, but I think women especially) will go through life trying diet after diet to lose those ten pounds. Or twenty pounds. Or five pounds. Self-esteem is a commodity in a society such as ours and it really drives me crazy. Some people will never be able to accept themselves for who they are. Even when they are perfect. We are all perfect just the way we are. For a long time, I have been afraid of showing my true self to the world due in part to fear. I have found myself thinking “what if they think I am a freak?” or even worse “I KNOW they will think I am weird if I admit X, Y, or X thing about myself.” And maybe that is true, but probably not. It has taken me a very long time to realize that I am perfect just the way I am. As we all are. This realization seems incredibly difficult for so many people to reach. So please know that you are beautiful and wonderful and perfect! Just the way you are. The way you are right now. Not after you lose those five pounds or fit into a smaller size. Right now.

For a healthy dose of self-esteem, please visit www.operationbeautiful.com as often as necessary!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. August 16, 2010 9:21 AM

    I so hear you on that question. When I practiced yoga, losing weight was never, ever on my radar screen. Well, maybe it was, but yoga wasn’t the way I was planning on going about that. I cannot even believe people asking this!

    I want to compliment you on your commitment and your following your passion in not only practicing yoga on a regular basis, but also to write about it. What a wonderful outlet.

    YOU GO JEN!!!

    xxx
    Marieke

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