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Yoga and Losing Weight

Hatha Yoga instructors must learn to adapt their teaching styles to accommodate students with a variety of health conditions. Obesity is a common, but serious, health risk factor, which has to be addressed by teachers, in a compassionate way.

Any student who walks through the door of your studio is taking a pro-active stance toward his or her health. Compassion and mutual respect are the foundation of the student / teacher relationship. Therefore, adapt and modify to meet any student's needs.

If you are a student, begin your yoga practice with a knowledgeable yoga instructor, who is familiar with your goals. Learn the proper ways to breathe and do the yoga postures. Proper yoga breathing, or pranayama, decreases stress and increases the efficiency of all bodily systems.

Circulation is improved by the breathing, and by the series of poses and stretches, performed during a Hatha yoga class. Improved circulation increases energy levels, dispelling fatigue and allowing you to be more active. After practicing yoga for awhile, you will want to take the stairs!

Yoga improves one's idea of self-worth, and that is the beginning of any path to improved health or appearance. Instructors create a soothing and comfortable, yet challenging environment, to encourage all participants to grow.

The focused meditation, awareness, and visualization, allow you to seek out a healthier mental place for yourself. This also helps you to remember your own significance. No one can really make a beneficial life change without believing they are worth it.

Certain poses stimulate the glands that help the body burn fat. The thyroid gland becomes stimulated when you perform the classic shoulder stand. Other poses that focus on the abdomen, stimulate digestion and the excretion of hormones in the pancreas.

Yoga poses also help you appear slimmer, by improving posture. When you feel better, you'll look better. The muscles in the abdomen, hips, and buttocks, are stretched and strengthened, providing a tighter, firmer core.

For students who are in shape, and in search of higher impact or more calorie-burning types of yoga, try Vinyasa yoga (a faster-paced yoga, which is sometimes practiced in a heated room.) Ashtanga yoga is another fast-paced yoga, which follows the same movements in every class.

Another option is a hybrid form of cardiovascular yoga, an adapted type of cardiovascular exercise involving yoga principles.

Copyright 2008 - Paul Jerard / Aura Publications

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