Stress, weight loss, yoga, health, happiness…what is the connection?
I am going through a difficult period in life with health problems in the family, living away from my home country, with my family of 2 kids & husband and a newly establishing business and lots of responsibilities on different parts. Something many of you might have experienced maybe more difficult times and almost all families go through this stage once our beloved ones get older.
I found that taking care of myself, with healthy nutrition habits and doing some yoga everyday, is giving me the energy to cope with these days, much better then before, where I used to not eat enough (or just eat the wrong things like lots of carbs and caffeine-acid) and not care of my body at all, thinking, it is not the right time now! In fact, it is just the right time!
The mind and body have very large limits when it comes to absorbing the stress and dealing with problems. We take in so many bad news and negative energy around us, even if we live in one of the best parts of the world with a wonderful family and surrounded by great friends. Finding good news is becoming more and more difficult.
And it is proven that even if you do not have a big crisis in life to make a huge stress, having small amount of stress, everyday, that is a chronic version, your body still pumps the hormones that makes it alert and it stops some functions like digestion and immune system. That is followed by disturbed sleep pattern, increased cravings for sugar, weight gain, weak nerves and tolerance to life and more!
So what can we do to deal with stress?
Fortunately, there are ways to get over them and come back to a calmer and happier mood with stronger body and mind that helps you to deal with the new ones (yes, they will come again!).
The mind, body and soul are all connected and once you start healing one or two, the others will get better as well.
Breathe in energy- breath out tension!
This is a big topic, that can not be covered in one post! So I will try to stimulate some thoughts for you, through some yoga basics.
Last Friday I had the chance to attend a yoga class with Bryan Kest, the founder of Power Yoga and a teacher for over 30years of experience. He reminded me many basics of yoga that enlightens the mind and encourages that there is hope to deal with any problem in life!
Here are some notes from the workshop
that I hope will help you to ease yourself with life and get a healthier body, mind and soul connection leading to more happiness and eventually a slimmer body (if that is your goal):
At the beginning, yoga was not meant to be for the body but more for the mind, quieting and harnessing it. For our bodies, exercise is like maintenance, taking good care of yourself, stimulating muscles, sending fresh blood to all corners of your body and taking out the toxins.
I loved this: “In order to be healing, you need to be feeling!” And to feel your body, you need to quiet the mind and feel the sensation – the language of your body that speaks to you! Like when you feel pain, the body actually tells you to stop!
When the mind is quiet and you harness your thoughts, you can start steering yourself instead of being steered by others.
Yoga is about awareness, enlightenment, a kind of waking up, seeing what “you think” without judging and then taking the responsibility of your decisions
If you feed anything it will grow, if you starve it will die! That is simple!
So if you feed your negative side-thoughts with more and more anger, fear, hate, revenge… then you feed them even more. On the other side if you feed your mind with positive thoughts, compassion, love, gentleness, acceptance, calmness, then your mind will be fed and grow there. Which side would you like to be? Where is your mind dwelling?
Yoga helps you to be aware of where your mind is, and if you are on the dark side, it helps you to come back to a better place!
It helps you to become aware of these thoughts and ask yourself these 4 questions, “is it doing good to you, or your family, or your community-society or universe?” if not just get rid of it!!
Did you know that 88% of the things you think everyday is the same as yesterday and the day before?? So we mostly repeat our thoughts and if we are angry and stressed, imagine what happens! Other studies also show that a great percentage of diseases are psychological -you make the connection!
Today, due to busy lives and multiple responsibilities, especially for women, caring for yourself, being gentle and paying attention has never become so difficult!
The harder you are on anything, the faster you finish it! Same is through with your body and mind.
That is also why over and over again research shows that walking and gentle forms of exercise like yoga or pilates is a great way to keep you body healthy.
To repeat one important point, the main purpose of exercise is stimulating an area and then sending fresh blood, increasing the circulation and sending the toxins away. That is why there are so many different yoga poses, somehow creative ways to reach different and all parts of the body for this great purpose; fresh blood in, toxins out!
Last but not least, gratitude is the opposite of stress! Literally, body gives the opposite reaction to feelings of gratitude compared to stress.
So, spending sometime everyday, especially before going to bed, praying or writing or just thinking, what are you grateful for in your life, will release stress.
And when you can decrease the stress in the body, it will function properly, releasing the right hormones and letting digestion and immune system doing its work, starting to detox, regeneration and fat burning.
Sometimes you make almost everything right in your life with nutrition and exercise
(at least better then before!) and you still get stuck with weight loss. If you are there, take time to analyze and find out if you are de-charging enough, releasing stress, spending some time for yourself and doing “nothing” but just enjoying to calming down the mind. For this you can try different breathing methods, like Dr.Andrew Weil’s , or start journaling or just enjoy a long-relaxing bath with Epsom salt! And always take fresh air, go out and take a walk, it is that simple!
Yoga is another good option where as you stimulate the muscles, increasing in take of oxygen and getting rid of toxins, in a gentle way, with the help of breathing and concentration you calm and quiet your mind, making a “meditation in action” as they say.
You can read more about how to and why as we relax more we can get healthier and slimmer in my previous post here.
Please let me know your thoughts and your own experience about this connection between body, mind ad soul and send me a message if you have any questions on this topic.
Wishing you lots of energy and patience to have a healthier life.
Ending with my favourite pose, Child’s Pose, which lets me down in relaxing and connecting with my body!