We have all seen advertisements or online photos of very thin, and very flexible women in beautiful and challenging yoga postures. This is a constant message to the subconscious mind that yoga will make one look like this model or if weight loss is on the mind, then the message would be that yoga can help weight loss.
I hope we all know – at least on a conscious level that yoga cannot change our particular and individual body constitution, nature or basic structure. Where we store fat, where the lean muscles are positioned, the size, shape and position of the bony structures are pretty much set for us as we get to be adults. For those who come to yoga from a dance or gymnastics background – continue to show us your amazing and inspiring pictures. They are beautiful.
It would be better for our mental and emotional health if we all gave up the expectation that a yoga practice is good for weight loss. It might be, but to expect it is asking for mental and emotional suffering.
Yoga practice helps us feel better right now and in the following days. When we feel better, we do better. Mindfulness and knowing the sensations of the body help us make better food, sleep, and movement choices. All of these factors help us maintain healthy weight.
I applaud and am encouraged by the increase in images of real bodies with all kinds of normal curves and bulges illustrating their yoga practice.