The newest research has demonstrated beyond the shadow of a doubt that active relaxation triggers better blood flow to your organs, improving digestion and immune function, and thus, weight loss!
Stillness of the mind is one of the core values of yoga. When the mind is still thoughts are clearer, emotions are balanced, and living in the moment is possible. As an English teacher, my favorite themes to cover were transcendentalism and carpe diem. A great yogi once said that if one can live in the present then one can experience true happiness. (Maybe my winding career path is starting to make sense?)
I read this book that has really spoken to me. It is called, "The Yoga Body Diet." What really caught my attention was that the book addressed the mind, body, and spirit as a whole and preached that combining a stress-free diet along with stress relieving exercise that elongates the muscles, oxygenates the body, and calms the mind is one of the most effective paths to weight-loss. Imagine a fitness theory that treats the body as a whole! Hey, that's what I do!
The book has you figure out your Dosha, which is pretty much your character profile. You may have characteristics of other doshas, but one is dominant. There is Vata, Kapha, and Pitta (I'm a Pitta). Special diet recommendations and yogs poses are provided that are meant to help you achieve maximum health and mental clarity for your dosha type.
The book also offers tips to stimulate digestion and detoxification such as sipping hot water throughout the day to cleanse, mindful eating to bring mental peace, and breathing techniques such as alternate nostril breathing to calm the nerves. The book also provides a website, so you can figure out your dosha right now! (Just in case you're as excited as I am:)
So the main message is this- Don't Stress, Give yourself time to chill, and choose a fitness program that adresses not only a scale and calorie counting. Choose a fitness routine that's well-rounded for the mind, body, and spirit.