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Slimming Down With Yoga
Take It Easy at First

For people who are very overweight or who haven't exercised in a long time, Yoga is a great way to start becoming active. It is probably best in this case to begin with a gentle Yoga class - easing into any new activity is crucial (and it's also important that you get your doctor's approval, especially if you are very heavy). One benefit of gentle Yoga classes is that they're more likely to have students with less than perfect bodies. And gentle Yoga is the most flexible style when it comes to modifications. It is possible to practice Yoga lying on a bed, or in a chair, if that is the most that your body will allow. You must learn to listen to your body, and follow its lead. Here is valuable lesson number one that Yoga teaches you: respect your body.

(Article continued below.)

All too often, heavy people are at odds with their bodies (and those of you who are overweight would be surprised to know how many slender people have issues with their bodies, too). It's an uneasy relationship - when your body does not look the way you wish it would, it's easy to dislike it, treat it badly and get upset with it... and yourself. This attitude breeds more self-hatred, stress, and causes you to take even worse care of yourself. That is one of the many, very complex issues that makes it so hard to lose weight. You must learn to respect your body, to take care of it. No matter where you call home, you live inside your body. Would you rather stagnate in a rotting, run-down old shack, or would you prefer to paint it, replace the windows, decorate it nicely and make it into a pleasant home? With your house, you probably work on outward appearances first; with your body it will be more effective if you begin from the inside and work towards the outward appearance. While a gentle Yoga class won't make an immediate difference in what you look like, it will do several things: it will make you feel better, it will build up your confidence, and it will prepare you to take your activity level a little bit higher. Best of all Yoga of any sort is an act of self-nurturing. You are saying, "I respect my body (and myself) enough to do something positive for it."

Next page >> Building a Yoga Body >> Page 1, 2, 3, 4

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