Sometimes, the greatest way to make the weight loss monster feel small is by changing your mental state. This article explores the benefits of yoga, different philosophies, and choosing the best style for you.
Often, patients concerned about their silhouette tell us, “I just don’t feel well in my body.” But instead of getting an answer like, okay, great, we’ll simply do a gastric balloon procedure, put you on a nutrition plan—or suggest a longer-term procedure—they hear something unexpected:
“You’re not broken; you’re just out of balance.”
See, Formation isn’t just about reshaping the body; we want to give you inner harmony—yin and yang, light and shadow, the contours of life. And one of the best ways to reach that harmony is with yoga.
We know, we know. We’ve all heard of yoga at this point. But have you ever stopped to consider what a powerful tool it can be?
Welcome, dear seeker, to the ancient art of yoga—a luminous thread that weaves together the individual and the universal, the finite and the infinite. If you choose to become a full-time yogi or implement one of our body contouring techniques, nutrition plans, and life coaching, you will become a whole new you.
But is yoga more than just downward dogs and warrior poses? Is it more than just unraveling a mat and watching the sunset? Is it more than just a buzzword and a trend?
Yes, it is, so keep on reading.
Yoga means ‘union’ in Sanskrit. It is a system of practices that aims to harmonize the individual with the universal, or the self with the Supreme. Yoga originated in India thousands of years ago and has evolved into various forms and schools. Some of the most common types of yoga in the West are Hatha yoga, which focuses on physical postures and breathing techniques; Vinyasa yoga, which links movement with breath in a dynamic flow; and Bikram yoga, performed in a heated room.
However, yoga is wider than these styles in terms of the physical aspect of the practice. Yoga also includes meditation, chanting, mantra, prayer, breath work, ritual, and even selfless action. These practices are designed to calm the mind, purify the body, and awaken the spirit
On an artistic level, imagine a grand tapestry where your mind, body, and spirit are threads. Each thread has its own vibe, but they all crave harmony. You can use yoga to weave these threads, like a loom, into a seamless fabric.
When your mind races and spirals as the self-consciousness monster and the stress monster chomp at your happiness—and your body feels the weight of life—that’s when we recommend adding yoga philosophies to your mental toolbox.
Let’s take it a step further. We all know stress equals weight gain, and weight gain equals more stress, which runs on repeat until you break the cycle. Whether it be work, bills, or social media—stress often triggers the primal fight or flight response in our brain, releasing cortisol—a hormone associated with heightened alertness and readiness for action.
This natural reaction is crucial in certain situations, preparing us for challenges that demand quick responses. But living in this perpetual state of high alertness disrupts your body from carrying out vital functions.
Beyond the immediate response, the prolonged elevation of cortisol levels has implications for our body composition, directly influencing weight gain. Cortisol encourages the storage of fat, particularly visceral fat, around the abdominal area as a response to the perceived threat.
On the flip side lies the rest and digest response, the body’s natural state of recovery and rejuvenation. This state allows for optimal digestion, nutrient absorption, and restoration of energy reserves. But, in the face of chronic stress, the rest and digest response takes a back seat, leaving us vulnerable to a range of health issues, including disturbances in metabolism and weight management.
So, understanding this intricate dance between stress and the body’s physiological responses is vital in navigating the path to holistic well-being.
With each inhale, we draw in calm, and with each exhale, we release the grip of stress. Yoga’s rhythmic and intentional breathing patterns (pranayama) send a message to the nervous system—it’s time to unwind, to restore balance.
Through its holistic approach, yoga becomes a beacon of hope in the battle against chronic stress. The physical postures, mindfulness, and meditation create a harmonious symphony that rewires our response to stress. As cortisol levels decrease, the body finds respite, and the mind regains clarity.
So, whether you’re seeking a reprieve from the chaos or a tool to beat the fight-or-flight effect, yoga stands ready as a transformative ally.
You’re asking yourself, “Get to the point already. What kind of yoga will help me?” Well, we’ll tell ya.
A general category encompassing most yoga styles. It’s usually gentle and slow-paced, making it great for beginners or those who prefer a relaxed practice.
Precise and alignment-focused, Iyengar utilizes props like blocks and straps. Also, it is perfect for learning yoga fundamentals and working on every part of the body.
A dynamic and flowing style that links breath with movement. Often practiced with music, it’s ideal for burning calories and engaging every muscle.
A vigorous and athletic variation of Vinyasa. Best for improving strength and flexibility through a challenging workout.
Fast-paced and challenging, Ashtanga follows a set sequence of poses. It’s known for weight loss, high-impact cardio, and building stamina.
Practiced in a heated and humid room, often a variation of Bikram or Vinyasa. It is best for detoxifying the body and increasing flexibility.
Consists of 26 poses and two breathing exercises performed in a heated and humid room, known for weight loss and building endurance.
A quiet and meditative style focusing on lengthening connective tissues. It is ideal for preparing the body and mind for meditation while improving flexibility.
A relaxing and passive style using props like bolsters and blankets. Best for stress relief and injury rehabilitation.
Playful and adventurous, it uses a hammock or silk fabric. It is beneficial for improving balance, core strength, and spinal decompression.
Practiced on a paddleboard on water, often a variation of Hatha or Vinyasa. Great for improving stability, coordination, and enjoying nature.
Practiced on a chair or using a chair as a prop. This one’s for seniors, individuals with limited mobility, or office workers.
Tailored for pregnant women, easing pregnancy aches, pains, swelling, and strengthening pelvic muscles.
A spiritual and mystical style combining breath, movement, chanting, and meditation. Known for experiencing a yoga high and increasing awareness.
And if you’re already in the market to make a lifestyle change, it’s worth noting that yoga can heal other ailments, too. Do these sound like you?
Regardless of the yoga philosophy and practice you decide to take, mindfulness is the key to finding balance. Namaste.
“True yoga is not about the shape of your body, but the shape of your life. Yoga is not to be performed; yoga is to be lived. Yoga doesn’t care about what you have been; yoga cares about the person you are becoming.” — Aadil Palkhivala