How Yoga Achieve a Healthy Body

The complexity and tedious nature of life, which has magnified over the past few years has pushed humans to devise several techniques and equipment towards maintaining a healthy body. However, the concept of Yoga, an ancient discipline, has proved to be the most beneficial method for helping us achieve this goal.

What is Yoga?

The conventional definition of Yoga defines it as attaining specific body postures and breath control methods for physical and more importantly mental relaxation. However, the broad discipline of Yoga cannot be confined within these bounds. The word Yoga derives its origin from the Sanskrit word “Yuj”, which means to unite. In its very elementary form, Yoga is the process of uniting one’s soul with the body. Yoga is thus a way of life that helps in attaining spiritual reality in a materialistic world. However, Yoga should not be confused with the general meaning of the word “spirituality”, constructed using certain norms of religion. The practise of Yoga provides spirituality in a broader sense, gaining control over one’s mind and actions and attaining a healthy body to increase the quality of life. Yoga can thus be defined as the process which helps man reach the optimum state of mental, physical and spiritual well-being.

The journey from a beginner to a Yogi can be broadly categorised into three procedures:

Refining oneself: Yoga is not merely a collection of physical exercises. For the purpose of eternal bliss, yoga primarily demands refining our thought process and strengthening our morals. Acceptance of one’s body and considering everyone else as equals is the first step. Next comes giving up the concept of falsehood and being true to oneself.

Physical growth: Through various asana (postures) and pranayama (breathing exercises), Yoga deals with strengthening the body. A healthy mind always resides in a healthy body. The various exercises of yoga aim towards a flexible yet strong body. The slow breathing exercises help an individual to increase concentration, which is the basic requirement for the next step.

Spiritual growth: The ultimate goal of Yoga is to be free of worldly affairs and to not be affected by them. Through intense meditation, complete control over ones’ senses can be achieved. This process is followed by Samadhi: the final stage of Yoga. Consciousness is heightened and the person sees the body and soul as not independent entities but as a single unit.

Compiling all the facts, Yoga is the process of enriching oneself, physically as well as mentally. It identifies the betterment of the society as equally as is it lays emphasis on improving one’s own self. Meditation, the most important aspect of Yoga focuses on improving concentration. Concentration is the essence of Yoga. A concentrated mind can always focus well and see things distinctly. Thus it can also nurturing our mind. In the easiest form, Yoga is the path for complete physical and mental bliss and identifying our own self. It is the art of being content with what we have, yet not be affected by its loss.

Diet Guidelines for Low Carbohydrate

Low carbohydrate diets have proven to be quite effective for fat loss. However, there is more to designing an optimal plan than just cutting out bread and sweets. To achieve successful long-term results, dieters should be consuming the right kind of carbohydrates in the right amounts. Below are some guidelines to help you create a low carbohydrate diet strategy that will get you the results you desire.

An Important Distinction

There is a substantial difference between low-carb dieting and no-carb or “very low carbohydrate” dieting (VLCD). The basic low carb approach is much easier to follow and provides better, more sustainable results, so that is what will be discussed here. It involves reducing intake by cutting out most starches and sugars, but does allow fruit, fibrous vegetables, nuts and some grains to be consumed. Adjusting to this way of eating is challenging, but it is much more practical than cutting out carbs altogether as some of the more extreme plans recommend.

People often assume that the no-carb approach produces faster weight loss, but this conclusion is not supported by data or anecdotal accounts. As long as intake is low enough to control insulin release and the other diet parameters are in their respective ranges, fat loss will be achieved.

Practical Recommendations

So how many carbohydrates should be consumed for optimal weight loss? This is a rather subjective question, but the general ranges are as follows.

  • Smaller Females (<100lbs to 120lbs ideal body weight): 50 to70 grams per day
  • Larger Females (125lbs to 160lbs ideal body weight): 70 to 90 grams per day
  • Smaller Males (125lbs to 160lbs ideal body weight): 100-120 grams per day
  • Medium-Sized Males (165lbs to 190lbs ideal body weight): 120-150 grams per day
  • Larger Males (>200lbs ideal body weight): 150-175 grams per day

These are ideal ranges to start with, but some individuals may find that intake must be lower for optimal results. A bit of trial and error is sometimes required to find your personal “sweet spot.” Overall calories should be approximately 20 percent below maintenance intake.

Fiber Allowance

Dietary fiber does not get counted in the above listed totals, as it is not processed like other carbohydrates. Simply subtract the dietary fiber from the listed total to get the adjusted amount. For foods without labels, an online calories counting website such as Calorie King can be used to determine carb content.

“Carbing Up”

Studies show that 90 percent compliance to a low carbohydrate diet plan produces the same result as 100 percent compliance, so including a “cheat meal” once per week will not hinder your results. Some studies even suggest that eating a high carbohydrate meal on occasion will prevent the weight loss plateaus that occur when the body goes into starvation mode. Use this meal to eat the starchy or sugary foods you have been craving during the week, but do not go overboard and have a full blown carb frenzy. Limit yourself to one meal per week (not one day), and limit the meal time to two hours. Thus will prevent you from cancelling out all of the hard work you have done on previous days.