Yogi Berra, one of baseball’s greatest legend, said that baseball is 90% mental and the other half is physical. Although his math was certainly off, he was on to something.
What we think about determines how we perform. Just look at the people that practice very physically demanding exercises like yoga or CrossFit. They are able to stick with their regimen and lose weight. While some people struggle with one sit-up and then give up.
In a recent book The Science of Yoga, New York Times science writer William J. Broad found that yoga exercises lower metabolism, the rate of converting nutrients into energy. And ordinarily this finding would mean that people who practice yoga might start to gain weight. However, he found that yoga actually helps people to lose weight.
The reason for this is that when people practice yoga and meditation, they get better control over their mind, and are then able to make better decisions in their life. We all know that if we eat high calorie foods and don’t do enough exercise then we are going to put on the pounds. When the delicious looking cream pie is placed before us it is hard to resist. We usually cave in to the temptation and dig in.
That is in fact the great dilemma of life. Oftentimes we know what to do but we don’t do what we know. Our senses are like horses pulling a chariot in an uncontrolled way. Our mind is the driver but if it cannot control the horses thus we run into difficulties. Yogis of ancient times in fact used this analogy to explain the human condition. They said that the way to control the horses is to make the reins strong, and the reins are the mind.
People today seem to immerse in negativity. If we are asked how we describe ourselves and our bodies, often what comes out of our mouths are the “flaws” that we perceive. This affects how our brain works. And this is also the reason why we are not quite confident to tackle challenges.
If someone will practice a simple meditation method, like trying to think of one uplifting word or thought, then this can help slowly improve our views and our mental acuity. How does it help? It helps by strengthening the mental muscle. If you try to concentrate on one thought, then after a few seconds you will probably drift to something else. However, when you become aware that your mind has drifted, then you will have to bring it back to the thought you were focusing upon. If you do this often enough, you end up strengthening your capacity to stay with one thought. Your mind becomes stronger. When your mind becomes stronger in the meditation lesson, you can then carry this into your daily life. The doctor told you that a certain food is not good for you. You know this intellectually, but when the pie comes in front of you the horses of your senses start pulling you forward to take a piece. If your mind is strong, you will be able to stop the horses, and direct them to something else.
This is how meditation, which is a part of overall yoga practice, can play a great role in weight reduction and also in gaining the self-control needed in overcoming addiction and destructive habits.
So, if you already know what you should do, but still dont have the willpower to put your knowledge into action, then try some mediation and other mind strengthening exercises, and use them to help you to carry out your best intentions.
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