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Hatha Yoga Myth - Losing Weight

Paul M. Jerard Jr.
Jan 23, 2008
Those, in search of the latest weight loss secrets, have started to look deeper into a 5,000 year old science of life (Yoga) for solutions to obesity. Does Yoga really have solutions for those in search of a remedy to lose weight, or is this all just a bunch of "hype?"

Firstly, Hatha Yoga was not designed for an inactive culture. Thousands of years ago, most people worked very hard to survive. Physical labor was a regular part of daily existence. People gathered, hunted, and cultivated, for survival. The possibility of starving to death was very real, and still is, in some parts of the world.

However, the average amount of daily physical activity, which people participate in, has drastically changed over the past 20 years. Many jobs now require computer skills, instead of physical labor. It is normal for children, and adults, to be less physically active in the evening and weekends, as many activities revolve around a home PC or television.

All of this has led to worldwide obesity in developed countries. The formula is simple: More abundant food, and less active humans, creates a larger person. Can Hatha Yoga evolve fast enough to help humankind's present weight control needs?

Yoga is a man-made creation and has continued to evolve to meet the needs of people, regardless of the time period. There are many forms of Yoga, and all of them have evolved over the centuries to meet the needs of people. The Hatha Yoga Pradipika, is a classical text, which was written by Swami Svatmarama. Within its pages, Swami Svatmarama discusses dietary suggestions.

The foundation of the Yogic diet (Sattvic diet) is moderation. Yet, every New Year starts with a parade of fad of diets. By the middle of the year, the voice of reason comes back to moderation and the Yogic diet quietly takes its place of honor, even if someone changes the name.

So, what does the Yogic diet consist of? The Yogic diet, mentioned by Swami Svatmarama, contains a balanced combination of whole grain breads, vegetables, fruit, nuts, whole grains, legumes, and dairy products. Please bear in mind that allergies can eliminate, or change, the consumption of these foods. There are also low-fat choices for dairy products, which were not available in Swami Svatmarama's time.

Whenever, a Yoga teacher is interviewed about the effects of Yoga, discussion of the Yogic diet is generally ignored. The media wants to know about physical feats of strength. Hence, Yoga has developed labels. For example: Vinyasa Yoga has also become known as Power Yoga. This is not a bad thing, but maybe this repackaging of names would help people to realize the voice of reason, in dieting, has been around for a long time. Maybe we should call the Sattvic diet, "The Secret Yoga Diet." We know it is not a secret, but changing the label will help millions of people to eat correctly, while living a healthy, happy, and longer life.

Copyright 2008 - Paul Jerard / Aura Publications
About the Author
Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500, is a co-owner and the director of Yoga teacher training at: Aura Wellness Center in, Attleboro, MA. He is an author of many books on the subject of Yoga and has been a certified Master Yoga teacher since 1995.

http://www.yoga-teacher-training.org
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