After I completed my undergraduate degree, I spent a year long residency at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts. I lived and studied the yogic lifestyle- took two yoga classes daily, practiced daily meditation and journaling, participated in group sharings, learned about the ancient yogic scriptures, and enjoyed other enriching practices. When I came back to Washington, D.C., I continued to practice yoga and eventually my body started to change form. I remember getting the same question from a number of people ‘Did you loose weight by doing yoga?’ I was always stumped when I would hear this question- I wanted to quickly reply ‘this is not what yoga is about!’ But (thanks to my yoga practice) I would take a breath and reply in a calm tone that yoga did change my eating habits because I learned how to tune in to my body.
Can we tune in for a few minutes each day? Tuning in is the practice of noticing the sensations in the body, the thoughts floating through the mind, and the feelings in the heart. Of course we can’t be tuned in all day long. Just as our digestive system needs a balanced diet. Our brain needs a balanced practice as well. Sometimes we need to tune out or have downtime. Sometimes, we just need sleep, playtime, or time connecting with others. One thing for sure, we can benefit from occasionally tuning into our bodies and just listening before we mindlessly act. So I guess the answer to the question is ‘perhaps you can loose weight by doing yoga- most importantly, you can gain insights into why you eat and that can be a huge change for the better.’