Are you searching for healthy, sustainable ways to lose weight naturally? Would you like to learn ways to relax your body and feel-good from within?
If you answered yes to either of those questions, then I'm thrilled that you are reading this article. I'd like to take some time share with you my own successful weight loss story, and show you how yoga can be part of your own healing journey. Like so many other women out there, I spent a long time trying to gain control of my body and lose weight. Already carrying extra pounds by my late teens, the diets, pills and potions touted by the weight-loss industry weren't helping. I hit rock bottom in my early 20s, when I found myself rushed home from studying abroad. My health was in critical condition.
My doctor recommended that I be prescribed medication for life, but something deep within me screamed “NO!”. I knew that medication was not that answer. To get healthy and lose weight, first I needed to work on healing my body, emotions and mind. By removing the focus from weight-loss and concentrating on recuperating my physical, emotional and mental well-being, amazing things started to happen. My body healed, my feelings about myself and the world changed, and weight started dropping off. I was able to lose 60 pounds, and keep that weight off for good.
My experience of having a complete health breakdown and my subsequent recovery has shaped who I am and what I do today. I now dedicate myself to sharing my message with other women around the world and helping them to achieve all they dream of. Among the lifestyle changes I made on my healing journey (which you can read more about in my book Losing Weight is a Healing Journey) I started to practice yoga. What attracted me to yoga was the gentle and holistic approach to health. Yoga means unity – and practising it helps to unite our bodies and minds.
I found that yoga helped me to relax, release stress and start to feel comfortable within my own skin. Unlike a gym routine, the movements (asanas) did not cause pain or make me feel inadequate. Making a yoga practice part of your day is a truly wonderful way to relax and move forward on your healing journey.
I am now an international yoga teacher running retreats and sharing my own signature yoga style, called Healing Hatha Yoga. Today, I'd like to share some of my favourite yoga poses with you. These asanas are perfect for beginners and are very helpful for anyone who finds it had to relax.
YOGA POSE #1: CHILD'S POSE
This is one of my favourite poses for deep relaxation and healing. Kneel on the mat with your bottom resting on your heels, leaning forward so that your chest is supported by your legs and rest your forehead on the mat. Your arms can rest by your sides, palms facing up. Rest here and breathe deeply.
YOGA POSE #2: CAT AND COW POSE
Cat and cow pose is a flowing movement which gently stretches the spine, heart and hips. This asana is performed on hands and knees, alternately flexing and rounding the spine. As you flow through the movement, notice the exquisite sensation of energy circulating around your body. Feel the areas that are tight and tense, and breathe into them, releasing the stress stored inside your body.
YOGA POSE #3: FORWARD FOLD
Forward fold is a movement which symbolises release and surrender. In this movement, we can let go of the past and pain, accepting the present moment as it is. This asana is a seated posture, leaning forward from the hips and reaching towards the toes.
YOGA POSE #4: MOUNTAIN POSE
Mountain pose is a standing asana. The feet are placed hip-distance apart, and we stand tall. Feel a sense of being grounded and attuned with your body. As you stand, set an intention for your new body and life.
These beautiful, powerful yet gentle movements have helped to transform my life, and I know that yoga can do the same for you. I hope that my story has inspired you to give yoga a try so that you can experience its benefits in your own life.