Let go of your excess baggage!
Practical mystic and yoga guru Yogacharini Maitreyi shows you the yogic way to weight loss.
Many come to yoga for weight loss or stress relief. In yoga, we are looking not just at weight loss but cultivating a conscious body. A conscious body is one where the unconscious behavioural patterns and traumas have been released. This fear-based b ehaviour causes more imbalance and disharmony in the long run, including weight gain. The yogic system has a tool kit for this purpose. The more you consciously apply these tools, the more conscious your body will become.Hence, weight loss in the real yogic context will give you much more than just weight loss. It will help you lose your unwanted emotional and mental baggage as well.So, if you are many or a few kilos overweight, don’t loose heart. Know that a systematic and step-by-step approach will help you reach your goal.Keep the following pointers in mind even if you are not overweight and still want to create a conscious, light body.
Have lots of liquids. Most of us are so dehydrated that we mistake the thirst response for the hunger response and over-eat instead of just drinking more liquids. Avoid colas and sugar-laden drinks. Buttermilk, tender coconut water, wheatgrass juice or any fruit juice without added sugar is best.
Choose foods rich in Prana
Have foods rich in Prana or life force energy like fresh fruits and vegetables. Chew well and enjoy your meal. Chewing the food and eating in an unhurried environment helps assimilate the nutrients and fulfils the body.
Alkalise your body and detox
Unfortunately, city water and air is acidic because of the pollution. Look for a good water purifying and alkalising system and avoid non-organic products as pesticides and fertilizers are highly acidic. Spend time in green spaces. Spend time with positive people and those who are willing to let go of their acidic emotions.There are many simple Methods to detox. Drinking lemon water and honey in the morning is good. Find a good detox programme that does not advocate extremes. I find that many students who have extreme personalities are drawn to extreme methods so it will be good self-awareness to practise moderation.Substitute with healthy and organic choicesSubstitute foods. Eat dates or raisins when you start craving sweets. Have whole wheat flour instead of maida. Eat hand-pounded rice instead of white rice. Use jaggery or brown sugar instead of white. Eat foods that are organic and rich in fibre. Drink herb teas instead of coffee or tea. Get drunk on unsweetened juices and life instead of alcohol. Caffeine and alcohol are one of the major causes for weight gain.Caffeine overworks and wears down the adrenals. It increases the stress hormone cortisol and thus prompts sweet cravings.
Apart from the pranayama practice in the yoga class, be aware of your breathing right through the day. Breathe deeply expanding your lungs and energising yourself. Use tools available in the yogic tool kit that focus on expanding all three lobes of the lungs. Be present to your breath and present to the present. Be aware of your emotions. Be aware of emotional states and release using the cleansing breath. Use various sounds to release stress. Sounds communicate directly to the sub-conscious mind. If you have to close yourself in a room and scream, please do, without scaring your neighbours. Scream just for the fun of it and let out the steam. There are some structured sound practices in the yogic system. However, till you find a good teacher you can do this simple female cobra breath. Breathe in through the nose and breathe out through the teeth with a hissing sound. Do nine rounds.This is extremely good for releasing pent up irritation and stress.By doing this you will eat less as you will not be eating to suppress emotions or use food for comfort. Start feeling your emotions and release them. Don’t identify with them and get into a blame game. Don’t suppress them as they will create unhealthy cravings or fantasies. Don’t be like a ticking time bomb and release it on others.
Be accountable to yourself for the shifts you are going to make in your life. Make a commitment and stick with it. Don’t keep procrastinating and putting it off. Start enjoying the effort, the results will soon show. Do things now. Learn the difference between being impulsive and doing what needs to be done.If you don’t feel you are accountable to yourself, find someone else you can feel accountable to. This person, because of their concern for you, will make you accountable to better yourself. This could be a gentle yet firm friend, a trainer, a guru or your dietician. Report to the person on a regular basis about your progress.
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Defocus and refocus
Defocus from things that have been taking away your energy. Let them just be if you can’t take a decision and get back to it later. Focus on those things that keep you motivated. Finish those little pending things that need to be done.
Enlist loving support
Inform everyone to keep away sweet or calorie rich foods from you. Tell your maid, your spouse and friends to offer you a fruit salad or something light instead of any oily items or desert. Tell them you want to have people help you rather than tempt you. Tell them they are actually being unkind by spoiling you. Clear your home of all the unhealthy stuff and stack them with healthy substitutes. Ask friends to remind you to do your physical and breath-related practices whenever you whine constantly.
Give enough time to yourself
Cultivate the habit of spending time alone and don’t feel guilty about it. You cannot be everything to everybody. So if you are feeling overwhelmed by the demands others make on you, step back and slow down. This will actually make you more productive.
Power of intention and visualisation
Hold the intention that you are your ideal body weight. Hold the intention that you are a body of light and you pulsate with light. This will automatically allow for all the excess and unwanted physical or emotional heaviness to fall away.
Love yourself however you are
Love yourself as you are and where you are, knowing you can make improvements and shifts. Most of us are conditioned to look up to those who are beautiful or knowledgeable or in a position of power or have money. Know that you are worthy however you are. Know that you need to respect yourself even if you do not match up to society’s standards of success. Know that you are loved. Most of our saints who were the embodiments of love, peace and well being did not own a Mercedes.
Create a body of Light
Spirituality can be embodied in day-to-day life. Unfortunately nowadays, people either attribute it only to the scriptures or to self-help or pedestallised gurus. Real spirituality is about consciously grounding in the simple things of life. It is about enjoying nature and being grateful to mother earth for her love and support. This day-to-day spirituality comes by treating our bodies as a temple of the divine.
Tap into Effortless Effort
Don’t stress yourself about all the things that need to be done. Know it will be done and follow through. Do what is in your power and accept and let go of the rest. Know that if you are consistent and relaxed the excess baggage will fall away.
Submitted by Maitreyi
Yogacharini Maitreyi is a practical mystic who teaches yoga and creates conscious community around the world.