No diet will remove all the fat from your body because the brain is entirely fat. Without a brain, you might look good, but all you could do is run for public office.
GEORGE BERNARD SHAW
One of the most common questions that people ask me about yoga is if they can lose weight doing it. The truth is that I’m never sure how to respond. On the one hand, doing yoga is really inspiring—–you feel so good that you don’t want to ruin it with food that doesn’t provide energy and nutrition! It’s amazing, but you will find that you automatically start making “better” food choices when you have a regular yoga practice. And, yes, yoga is a physical activity that requires movement, breathing and calories are probably spent. I actually gained some weight when I first started doing yoga. I wasn’t sure about it, but my wise and trusted yoga instructor saw me wondering at myself in the studio mirror and said, “Your hair looks beautiful long like that Sharon and, you know, you’ve gained some weight and it’s nice on you. It happens to everyone. You start doing yoga and you come into balance. If you need to lose weight, then it is released. If you need to gain some, then it is increased.” The man knew how to say things like this and walk away–quick. You know, before you could figure out if you just received a compliment or not.
Those were my Diet Coke days—I was writing and translating Classical Chinese and staying up all hours. Sleeping in my clothes. My favorite food group was aspartame. What happened was that, doing yoga, I got hungry for food solids and found myself eating more regularly and exploring different types of foods and seeing how they made me feel in my practice. Also, I was exhausted, so I’d sleep rather than consume another litre of my midnight elixir. I never finished that degree, but I’m still doing yoga.
Every now and again, you’ll see a diet soda can in the garbage at Yoga Matrika. I’ll admit, it’s mine. Everyone needs a vice!
Stay lean and mean Matrikas!
Written by Sharon Rudyk
Owner and Director, Yoga Matrika
Located in Pittsburgh, PA