The real truth is, a regular yoga practice brings you into balance. It helps you be more sensitive to the messages your body is sending, and in the process, you figure out which foods and what kind of activities suit you best…and arriving at a healthy weight is only one part of that equation. Many practitioners also feel closer connection to God (the ultimate goal of yoga); they feel a sense of overarching peace, even in the midst of stress… Flexibility and muscle tone are just the icing on the cake.
One of the books on my summer reading list really delves into the topic of the yogic journey toward healthy weight, lasting peace, and inner beauty. enLIGHTened: How I Lost 40 Pounds with a Yoga Mat, Fresh Pineapples, and a Beagle-Pointer, by Jessica Berger Gross, is a real pleasure, and a quick read—perfect for perusing on a lazy morning or an afternoon by the pool.
The book is full of heart and humor, and in addition to the author’s story, it features yoga philosophy, diet and health tips, recipes, and instructions on how to perform some of the all-time most beneficial yoga poses.
Gross talks about going to classes as a self-conscious beginner, and recognizing, for the first time, a “sense of belonging in my body—a sense of lightness.” This feeling brought her back to class again and again, and eventually led her into a deep study of her life, her relationships, her habits, and finally, toward whole health and real joy.
Highly recommended. Oh—and go ahead and buy a pineapple when you pick up the book. You’re going to want one!