Seven steps to be YogaLean

1. Believe you can transform your body

Have trust, faith, hope, and most importantly, believe. You must believe you can change your body for your body to change. The mind has amazing control over the physical body. If you believe something can happen and take action, results will happen.

2. Clear the clutter

I believe there is a direct correlation between maintaining an orderly household and maintaining your ideal weight. If you are getting ready to embark on a weight loss program or feel stuck, I suggest the following action plan to clear the clutter and take back your energy. Many times we become hostage to our own possessions. But all matter takes up space and energy. If we have too much stuff around, it can deplete our energy. If things are in disarray, we may be spending excess time trying to locate items or even move them out of the way. If Saucha (Cleanliness) is our goal, it needs to translate to our physical space as well as our body. Space. We all need it and want it on some level. We need space in our schedules to exercise, practice yoga, prepare healthy food, and meditate. Yoga gives us both physical and mental space. Your environment may be in need of this space.

3. Create your ideal plan multifaceted, holistic multi prong plan

If you look at the wheel of a bicycle, it has many spokes. If one of the spokes is broken, bent, or malfunctioning, the wheel is compromised and can collapse. Your YogaLean program is the same way. It should involve nutrition, exercise, yoga, meditation, as well as positive affirmations and mindset. It can also involve support groups, journaling, and community service.

4. Get comfortable being uncomfortable -learn to love movement

Let’s face it, dieting is uncomfortable, exercise can be uncomfortable and so can yoga. In fact, in yoga we put ourselves in very uncomfortable positions just so we learn non-reaction, how to stay present for life’s challenges. As Eckhart Tolle says, “When faced with a difficult situation you can leave it, accept it, or transform it.” Sometimes in life leaving is just not an option – nor is accepting it – so we must learn to transform the situation. Accepting an overweight unhealthy body is just not an option, and since we cannot leave our bodies, we can learn through YogaLean to transform.

5. Be committed & opento doing whatever it takes to shift

Remember a time when you really wanted something and were willing to do whatever it took to get it? Transfer that energy and attitude to your health and well being.

6. Get a support system

There are going to be people around you who either support you or people who sabotage you. Learn to differentiate between the supporters and the “sabotagers.” Support groups can come in many forms – a workout buddy, neighbors, co-workers, and yoga friends. When we start to get healthy we begin to see things differently. We may notice a friend who drinks too much or is negative just as we may learn to appreciate a friend who is into fitness and wants to meet you for hikes instead of cocktails and appetizers. Support can also come in the form of an online group, therapist, or coach. Surround yourself with people who want the same things you do – a healthy body and mind.

7. Forgive yourself

We are human. We make mistakes. We fall, we get up, and often times we fall again. Life is not a linear path, but more akin to the roads in India. The first time I traveled to India, I was amazed at the road from Delhi to Rishikesh (where we host our YogaFit retreats). It’s filled with cows, trucks that often break down, rickshaws, motorcyclists – many times crowded with four people – and bicyclists. Sometimes it takes up to 10 hours for a journey that should only take four hours. This is just like life – it’s bumpy and messy. Instead of getting on a treadmill where you beat yourself up for failing, forgive yourself and acknowledge the good work you are doing towards your goals. One slip does not mean you should give up. If you get off the road and have a detour, remember that with grace, focus, and forgiveness, you can get back on the road to health.

Beth Shaw