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How to lose weight with Yoga, Part 1: Niyama

Yoga is a process of balance and normalization, so any yoga would help you lose weight, but the following advice speeds up the process. That means, weight reduction is a side effect of yoga, but if you are underweight, yoga can help you gain weight too!

In ashtanga yoga, one of the paths of yoga is Niyama, which are rules of self-discipline. The first rule is cleanliness, internal and external, physical and emotional.

There are two easy ways to clean your internal organs with yogic processes which will aid in better digestion:

1. Drink water early in the morning upon waking.

The sphincter between the stomach and the small intestines is open during the night, and by drinking water the first thing in the morning—the first 10 minutes upon waking—you stimulate both the small and large intestines to let everything out.

2. Another easy method is plant fasting for 3 days.

Fasting gives your digestive system time to rest, because otherwise it works 24 hours a day nonstop. The complete process from eating to excreting takes between 16 to 18 hours. However, fasting is not possible for everyone, so please consult with your doctor before you fast.

The following plant fasting cleans your digestive system with fiber. With a mere fast, stuff stays in your large intestines because nothing enters the small intestines to alert it to excrete. By eating lots of fiber on your first day before fasting, you will be able to detox more.

Day 1: Eat as much raw fruits and raw vegetables as you want.

To lose weight, avoid mangoes, grapes and bananas here, because they have lots of sugar and thus calories.

Day 2: Drink only warm water with lemon slices or juice.

If you use lemon slices, make sure they are organic or else you’ll be drinking in pesticides. Do not add sugar or salt.

Day 3: In the early morning drink fresh fruit juice. For lunch, drink soup. And at night eat a light meal that is easy to digest—for example, no cheese.

As one of my teachers said: Tongue pleasure lasts 10-20 seconds. Stomach pleasure lasts 16-18 hours. For which are you eating?

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