When Prevention magazine called me for an interview, I was super excited for the opportunity to reach such a wide audience with my work. Then, they explained it would be an article on “Yoga For Weight Loss.”
Ugh. I paused and immediately imagined the magazine rack at the supermarket checkout line fighting for attention. Headlines that promise quick fixes are preying on our national sense of inadequacy–if only we could be different we would be happy.
Yoga has given me a fit, strong and flexible body, but as a yoga practitioner and teacher my focus has long been on how the practice helps us cultivate more self-acceptance, compassion, presence, mindfulness, happiness, and overall wellness. And while I personally know yoga as an amazing holistic approach to weight loss and weight maintenance, I was hopping for the chance to share the bigger, heavier, more enduring changes a yoga practice can bring.
Thankfully, as my conversation with Prevention continued, it was clear that we were on the same page! And, that this was a great opportunity to discuss how finding more peace in our mind leads to more peace in our body, leads to a ‘lightening up’ in our whole being.
Prevention writer Hillari Dowdle had already pulled together a mountain of the latest scientific research illustrating how more gentle, mindful forms of yoga are helping us lose body fat and pounds, and keep it off. We then discussed how our yoga practice on the mat can change the way we feel and behave off the mat, and how a mindful practice can help us make more nourishing decisions all day.
What is now most exciting for me is the opportunity to share with people that we don’t have to beat ourselves up to encourage change–especially to this huge audience that may more often believe harder is better. As a lifelong athlete I’ve often favored intensity over less sensation. I spent years pushing myself around in everything from exercise to my work life, from keeping my closets organized to getting my list of things to-dos done. I have found in my own journey that the more gentle, mindful, and caring I am with myself – the lighter, happier and healthier I am in all aspects of my life. I am not talking about laying around all day–I practice every day. And I still get a long list of things done. But, my practice is slow and mindful and filled with time to savor and experience. This brings more compassion, spaciousness and awareness to everything I do.
Now with the June Issue of Prevention on the newsstand and our article in print, I am thrilled to be part of the team that is bringing this healing wisdom to the masses. Perhaps it will help more of us discover that path to health and happiness, while demands discipline and commitment, may be more gentle and easier than we think.
Pick up a copy this month or read the article Surprising Ways Gentle Yoga Can Help You Lose Serious Weight.