HOW I FOUND YOGA AND WHY IT IS STILL MY FRIEND!

I have always been conscious of yoga but I never tried it until I was at a point where I was much more overweight and stressed than I had ever been. You see, I was going through a very traumatic period of my life until one day, I decided, for some reason to jump on a scale. WHAT I SAW UTTERLY CONFUSED ME! Tiny me, who did not gain much of a pound since I was 12 years old, was now 30 pounds more than my previous weight THIRTTTTYY!!!! Not a coincidence that my thirtieth birthday was around the corner – what a LOVELY reminder that the metabolism that once allowed me to eat ANYTHING was now ready to punish me for my outlandish eating habits for the past year.

Yes, I had spent about 3 years being gluten-free and vegan and what that meant was my body flowed with an ease that slipped in and out of jeans without having to trip on myself trying to drag them off. Yes. Being gluten-free, vegan and may I add ALKALINE – made sure that my weight was always under control. My butt could not full out my pants and my skirt could spin all around me, much to my mother’s dismay which she openly reflected on DAILY!

In my defense, I was going through a difficult time and the only thing I ever knew could cure me was FOOD! What else would I turn to? I had everything I didn’t eat in years – BBQ Ribs, a whole 12 slice pizza, regular indulgences with tubs of Haagen-Dazs Caramel Biscuit and Cream ice cream, a dozen donuts and all the things no one would ever dream that a 105 pound woman could eat in one sitting.

Nevertheless, here I was on the eve of my 30th birthday, having already ordered the dresses for my all-white birthday party, and realizing, to my horror, that I could not fit into ANY of them! What a quandary! Luckily, I had recently met a personal trainer, and seeing that I do not find gyms very appealing, I decided to give it a go. Early mornings 3 – 5 days a week, from 5am, here I was jumping up and down, running sprints like a clown, and trying like hell to lose these unwanted pounds! I sweat hard! I worked hard! I stressed hard! I gave it my all and gleefully hopped on my scale after 2 weeks to see FOUR POUNDS gone… FOURRR!!!! My trainer said that these things take time, and don’t worry at 4 weeks you’ll see more results, keep at it! After 4 weeks, I excitedly got prepared to be weighed…ZERO POUNDS GONE…..A BIG FAT ZERO!!! At that point, I was deflated, no amount of encouragement could return my initial enthusiasm to get on the right track. Luckily, I was about to go on vacation and gladly used it as an excuse to stop training. Sadly, I never returned to it!

Fortunately, my Facebook wanderings led me to 21 DAY YOGA BODY! It was just about 21 days before my birthday at that point, and I figured I can give it a try! I pulled out my exercise mat, paid a $10 donation to the DailyOM programme and I was IIINNSSIDEE!!! This my friends, was the BEST $10 I have spent in my LIFEEE!!! The sessions included a transformation journal secgment which helped me dissect the root causes to the symptoms I was experiencing, then a yoga session with videos for beginners, intermediate and advanced, with a duration of 10 minutes and additional videos that can provide up to an hour of yoga practice per day if you so desired. This was followed with a recommended food section – recipes, foods to try that will help with the weight management and increasing overall health and wellness, and a final thought for the practice. It was pure heaven! I felt happy, relaxed, less stressed, and in the comfort of my bedroom, doing stretching, twists and turns, I had the MOST POSITIVE and EFFECTIVE results I have ever had in exercise. Every day I would go on the scale and see pounds gone…MIRACULOUSLY!  I was in bliss!!! I couldn’t believe it, no big drama, no doing squats up and down stairs, no dragging big ropes till I got blisters on my hands, no flipping tires, NOTHING! Just smooth yoga flows that used my core strength and body weight and all the added benefits! This, my friends, is the epitome of ambrosia.

What I learnt following this experience is when our bodies are stressed, we produce hormones; cortisol and adrenaline, which promotes weight gain to protect our body from harm. In the beginnings of time, when mankind felt stressed, it would be from things like having to run for your life from a dinosaur or a tribe trying to destroy your village. In cases like that, man would need to store fat for energy in the days he was hiding out just in case he could not find food. Now, we are stressed by things in our every day life, and that same hormonal response still occurs. Hence, when we approach exercise from a place of stress and needing to lose weight and grunting because it hurts so bad – we are actually sending signals to our brain that we are in stress and we need a protective layer aka FAT! This actually sabotages all our exercise efforts!

I encourage you to find an exercise activity that YOU TRULY ENJOY in order to get the best results, not one that you feel you must do to get results.

Yoga, remains my favorite exercise! I look forward to it every morning! I find a new YouTube video and I am ready to flow! I even attended a Yoga Retreat recently which reinforced my love for it and its healing benefits! That love for exercise has transformed my body more than any hyped up program ever could!

Other exercises I’ve been enjoying recently are long walks, jogs and hip hop dance!

So do yourself a favor, and find the exercise of your dreams!

Want more exciting tips for your overall health and well-being? Come join me on Instagram @nolana.lynch

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