In my 4th and final installment of my blogs on how yoga can help you manage your weight, I want to focus on the power of the mind and how specific yoga techniques can change our mindset to one of positivity.
Dru Yoga has some great techniques for giving us the energy and the strength of mind we need to achieve our goals. Look no further than the wonderful archer pose, particularly when used as part of the “Awakening the Heart” energy block release sequence (see photo). As you move into this pose, think about your goal, see it, feel it, affirm it to yourself (remember focus on it in the present tense), draw your arrow back as you give it some strength, opening your heart, so you fill your being with it. Then let your arrow fly. Have faith that it will reach your target sure and true.
I’ve already mentioned Fish, Camel and the Warrior poses in an earlier blog in this series, and how they can help you build willpower and stick to your goals.
In Dru Yoga we like to work with visualisation and affirmation. Use these fantastic tools to keep you on track. Pretty much all coaching, regardless of discipline (including sports coaching) use affirmation and visualisation to achieve goals. Scientists have proven that when we visualise an action it creates the same neural responses as if we were actually doing it. Try it! Visualise yourself making healthy food choices or getting into your favourite tight jeans, set the scene for your mind and body. Affirmations are wonderful tools, Buddha said “All that we are is a result of what we have thought”, a great reminder that our thoughts really do shape our lives, so try to make them helpful and positive.
When working with an affirmation or a visualisation here are a couple of things to keep in mind:
Always see your goal in the present, if you think about it happening in the future that’s where it always stay, in the future and out of reach.
Visualise it as fully as you can, use all your senses to really feel it and bring it into your being.
Focus on what you want more of, rather than what you want less of. The universe always says “Yes”! For example, if you spend a lot of your time thinking about debt, you will get more debt, turn it round to focusing on abundance.
Be kind to yourself. If you constantly berate yourself your body is not going to respond favourably, use empowering language, nurture, love and approve yourself and watch yourself flourish.
The last point I make brings me to self empowerment tools. If I’m feeling good about myself I am much more inclined to look after myself, by choosing nourishing foods and my will power is stronger. Dru Yoga has a stunning array of heart opening postures and sequences to boost our self esteem including classics such as chair of the heart, cow face, warriors and twists, as well as all our energy block release sequences and flows such as “The seat of compassion”.
Here’s a wonderful practice to increase self respect, taken from Dru’s “Dance between joy & pain” (we sell copies of this, £14.99, if you want to know more)
Dru book : The dance between joy & pain
Rub hands together until they are warm.
Hands in front of your heart, a little distance apart, focus on the space between the hands, and begin to draw them apart and bring them back together again in a wavelike movement. Working with your breath if you can.
Slowly widen the wavelike movements until you can no longer feel the sensations between your hands.
Hold this wide position for a moment. Then place your right palm onto your heart & the left palm onto the right hand. Be still, let the peace fill your heart.
Affirm to yourself “I am worthy of the best. I have a lot to offer”.
We should also mention meditation and mindfulness. A huge topic, that I do not have the space to even begin to do justice to here, but an invaluable tool for helping you take control of your mind, body and senses. Bring mindfulness into your ever day life by thinking before you eat – are you really hungry or is it boredom, thirst or stress making you reach for the crisps? Is what you are about eating really the best option? Only you can answer these questions, but do ask them and try to answer honestly.
Finally, I just want to leave you with something to mull over …. a recognised way of celebrating in the west is to “treat” ourselves to cakes and chocolate, gorge on a blow out meal, or perhaps revel in alcohol. Is it really a treat to poison our bodies, tax our livers, overwhelm our pancreas and digestive system? A good friend asked me this recently, I’ve had a hard time justifying my chocolate treats since!
Take care, until next time. Ix