Yoga and Walking: When Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Everyone is always trying to do everything right now. They want instant everything: mashed potatoes, microwave popcorn, buns of steel. Nobody wants to take the time to savor anything—it is always rush, rush, rush! They do want slow, gradual and permanent weight loss, they want to be thin and they want it now. And, they want that weight loss to come with no real effort on their part, without giving up sweets and fatty foods and without ever breaking a sweat. What they want is a miracle. What they need is a good dose of reality.

Weight loss is one of those really funny things, the conundrum that you can never solve, the Catch-22 that makes you want to give up completely. Here is the typical weight loss scenario: Deciding to lose weight, our dieter, a usually sane and rational woman, stops eating completely. She sees a little bit of progress from her valiant but utterly doomed efforts and decides to ramp it up a bit with exercise. Does our dieter choose a sane and rational routine to continue her weight loss efforts?

No! Our dieter slogs her way through miles and miles of dead runs, with burning muscles and bewildered brain in tow, wondering how to best stop this madness. The dieter has now gone several days without eating and she is pounding the pavement, pushing herself to the very brink of her endurance. She will be thin any day now, right?

Actually, the answer would be no, she will not be thin any day now. In fact, her brain will regain control of the body and will force her to eat something, more than likely a lot of something. Her body has already shut down the metabolic process, so anything that she eats now will be instantly stored. She thought that starving herself would make her thin. She thought that working herself nearly to death would make her thin even faster. All that she did was shut down her metabolism so her next effort at weight loss will be even harder. It is a common mistake that dieters make.

Yoga and walking are easier on a body, especially one that has been neglected for a very long time. Both of them have their own benefits, but if you couple them together and add in a sensible, reasonable and permanent change to better eating habits, you will have finally found the winning combination.

Yoga for Better Body Awareness

For many people, the word yoga may imply the limber, seemingly boneless lads and lasses who can twist their head and upper torso around to take a peek at what is going on behind them and smile peacefully while doing so. That is one aspect of yoga, but not the only part of it. Beginner’s yoga is calm and gentle and adaptable. Whether you do it at home with a DVD, book, video, or in a class, one of the key principles you will learn is listening to your body. Your body is trying to tell you something most of the day. Choosing not to listen to it is where you might be getting into trouble. During your first few yoga practice sessions, you will learn to listen to your body. You will hear it telling you to stop because you are feeling pain. That simply means you cannot go that far with the pose quite yet. Relax. You will get there sooner or later, or you will not—no problem. Or, you will feel the sudden rush of energy when you master a pose and your body thanking you for allowing it this new sensation of movement. Body-mind connection is a very important aspect of yoga in general and is even more helpful to the dieter. Allowing your body to give you the messages and actually heeding them can help you learn to tell when your body is hungry and when it has had enough. You will not need to count calories because your body will stop you when it is full.

Walking as Exercise

Slow and steady walking is something that almost everybody can do, is far easier on the body than running, and does not cost a cent. You can do it as a group activity, inviting the family or the whole neighborhood out for a stroll after your evening meal or you can do it alone, as a way of establishing a peaceful connection with yourself and allowing yourself to process the good and bad of the day. An evening stroll is beneficial because it kick-starts the metabolism, especially after the final meal of the day. It can be very relaxing and may help you sleep better and gets you away from the leftovers if you are at all tempted.

Adding yoga and walking together will make the body-mind connection even stronger and will give you a healthy start and end to your day. Start the day with yoga and a healthy breakfast and then end it with a walk and a relaxing bath and your efforts will pay off, not only with weight loss but a healthier body, a clearer mind, and a more serene spirit.

Article written by Larry Richards of Ultimate Fitness Gear, your best source for the Shaun T Insanity Workout DVD on the web.

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