I know, you are totally excited! April is here, NIGERIA officially IS A DEMOCRACY and today we are wrapping up the topic of weight reduction.

In the first part of this series we took a closer look at our sleeping habits and realized that lack of quality sleep can affect one’s figure. Longer and better sleep may actually help you drop some pounds.

The second part dealt with the significance of stress on our bodies. Since over-training can cause more stress for the system, one can eventually gain fat. And once we manage to decrease stress in our lives, we can actually begin to lose weight. If you missed the article, read it here.

So, if this is the case, why do we tend to think that in order to drop some kilos we need to run longer, faster and harder? Who caused us to believe that exercise cures it all?

#3: Do you know the simple truth?
The good news is that if you simply want to lose weight, you clearly don’t have to work-out. You actually need to focus less on working-out and more on eating correctly. Meaning: eat right, and lose weight. It is as simple as that.

Truly, weight-loss is not about the quantity but the quality of foods. And processed foods, by the way, are a No-No!

Have you ever asked yourself why you want to become even slimmer than you are today? What, apart from physiological reasons, drives you? Is it perhaps this new outfit you want to fit in after Lent? If yes, what does this attire really stand for? Joy? Popularity? Respect?

In order for us to get rid of something old we need to dig a little bit deeper and understand how we obtained it. If we don’t understand the underlying principles of our food habits, it will be difficult for us to establish a healthier, long-lasting relationship with our bodies. Sometimes it is a shift in thinking that makes us unlearn old patterns.

I always knew that eating late was bad for me. And I constantly ignored the signs my body sent me. Every-time I ate later than 6.30pm, the next day would be ruined. My stomach would hurt until late afternoon and I basically had to fast all day for it to heal. The next day I would do it all over again. Isn’t that madness?

I started writing a food diary and asked myself why I did what I did. Chi, why do you do this to yourself?

Well, after a long day away from home I simply wanted to get home. I wanted to leave the day behind and unwind. Food in this regard helps tremendously and therefore it is not surprising that most social gatherings involve food. People want to feel welcome, and serving food and drinks is a wonderful means of welcoming friends and well-wishers. It makes you feel at home.

After I realized my habit I started to replace it. Instead of having a full meal, biscuits or ground-nuts, I put on some music and drank some herbal tea with (lots of) honey. When I woke up the next morning, I felt alright. And I realized: I have started to change a habit. The blend of sweet honey and warm tea in my mouth and some soothing music on my ears represented the sensation food created initially.

So, what do you think? Why do you eat what you eat when you eat? Understand more about yourself, change your habits and eventually lose weight. But more importantly, feel more comfortable in your own skin.

In the course of their practice several of my clients have lost weight, although the intention of weight-loss wasn’t their primary objective. It simply became a by-product of their regular practice. These women didn’t only become lighter, today they seem healthier, fitter, and more balanced. Funny enough, they seem happier.

One of my clients, who clearly doesn’t have a challenge with her figure, always kept a straight face. She didn’t frown, but she equally didn’t smile. I actually don’t know which one is better, but I always knew that she enjoyed her practice. But when we met for our fifth session, I didn’t recognise her at all. I checked the house number in order to verify that I got to the right place. She might have had a hair cut, but that wasn’t what startled me. When she opened the door for me to enter she wore a big smile on her face. SHE SMILED! Not just any smile oooo. A genuine and open smile. It was the type of smile you yourself have to respond to with a smile. And it changed her whole appearance. She kept on smiling throughout that session. I was a bit afraid that if I came next time the smile would be gone. But it was here to stay. And today, she is still smiling. Isn’t this the best reward one can get? A friend of mine asserted that it probably was a Chi-smile. And if God uses me to touch your heart, the mission of Chi’s Yoga is already accomplished. You are blessed. On that day the only two words that I wrote into her progress report were: SHE SMILED!

Often-times, we need to try softer, not harder and yoga can serve as a wonderful means of complimenting your efforts with a gentle and effective mind-body-workout.

Obviously, there are simple and effective rules to a healthy and balanced diet. Esta Morenikeji’s Food Timing Challenge e.g. encompasses the principles of a balanced, healthy diet. But one of the most important principles of a good diet is: Chew your drinks and drink your food! Digestion already starts in your mouth. Food is life! Enjoy what you put into your mouth, enjoy the very moment.

#4: So, what does this all have to do with yoga? Does yoga make me lose weight or not?
1) Yoga can increase one’s mindfulness and the way one relates to her or his body. We start to listen to our bodies and offer it the right food.

2) In addition to that yoga has the ability to foster an inward focus, making you more aware of how your body feels in all of your daily activities. That self-awareness can cause a shift in the way you think about how you treat your body in other ways, such as eating when you are hungry, rather than because it is your normal time to eat, and choosing to stop eating when you are satisfied, rather than over full. The practice of yoga and visualization resp. meditation may aid the development of mindfulness during mealtimes, aiding awareness of portions sizes, food preparation, and eating speed.

3) Yoga also offers psychological benefits. Weight gain often brings with it a great deal of harsh self-judgment. Through yoga, we can counteract this by creating a safe, positive environment to reconnect with our bodies and quiet the counterproductive messages that often arise in our minds. Re-engaging in physical activity through asana practice can also foster a renewed sense of control over our lives, a quality that sometimes diminishes as one’s weight refuses to budge!

4) And last but not least, life is so much more beautiful with a smile.

Once you practise yoga regularly, you perhaps will lose weight. But you will certainly feel a difference in the way you experience your body. The kg’s are not the challenge. Your mind is!

Chi’s Yoga makes you smile.

You are blessed. Happy Easter in advance!

Chi’s Yoga – Your yoga is yours only!™

CHI’S A-Z: Can Yoga Help Me Lose Weight? (Part 3)