“Let’s shift from autopilot to conscious thinking, mindful eating.”
Yoga- brought to Mather Hospital Weight Management Program- Health Benefits Beyond The Mat
What is Mindfulness? In its most basic, simplest form, it can be defined as the ability to live in the present moment. So, what does that mean? It can mean, meditating twice a day, practicing Yoga, tai chi, journaling, sharing what you are grateful for, observing your surroundings, etc. Mindfulness is the act of being present while paying attention to passing thoughts and emotions without judgement. It’s really about not trying to change who you are, but becoming more fully present with your experiences. It does not have to be seated, it can be done at any moment, by being in the moment, such as focusing on the rhythm of the breath, the cooling as you inhale and the heat as you exhale from your nostrils. Cultivating mindfulness is an art, a skill developed through practice & repetition.
Basic benefits of how Yoga can help shift you from autopilot to conscious thinking, mindful eating…..
Better Body Image
- Focusing inward during Yoga helps you be more satisfied with your body and less critical of it
- Yoga can help lower blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar, all of which are good for your heart and blood vessels.
- Practicing Yoga a couple of times a week increases muscle strength and flexibility (Mind & Body), boosts endurance, relaxes your nervous system (balances hormones) and tunes up your heart, lungs and blood vessels.
- Being more aware of how your body feels carries over to mealtimes as you savor, enjoy each bite, sip and notice how food smells, tastes and feels in your mouth
- Mindfulness developed through Yoga can make you more sensitive to cues of hunger and fullness, which help you develop a more positive relationship with food
Meditation, Breath control, Movement (asana-poses)
- Increases focus, concentration
- Increases self-awareness, insight, and conscious thinking
- Decreases Impulsivity-helps us learn to slow down
- Decreases cortisol levels- stress hormone- which often make you crave sugary, fatty and salty foods
- Developing skills to ease cravings, urges, temptations to things that are unhealthy for us
- Decreases anxiety, depression etc
- Teachings of self-love, compassion, kindness towards oneself, others without judgment increases our wanting to care for ourselves and helps us make healthy choices/decisions
- Letting go of ‘restriction thinking’ to ‘abundance’
Michelle Doublet, LCSW, E-RYT, Reiki Certified, Reiki Master Trainee