One way a lot of people got to know me is through an Amazon series I did called 30 Day Yoga for Weight Loss.
I'm going to be fully transparent... I purposefully designed it to be a bait and switch.
The production company that contracted my work was adamant that 'weight loss' be in the title of what I offered despite my protests - because - algorithms. Finally, I decided to give them what they wanted, but on my terms.
An uplifting program that provided yoga, fitness, and encouragement.
I've never had a desire to help people lose weight, but I did (and still do) have a huge passion for helping people discover tools that support their health - physically, emotionally, and spiritually - in whatever form that comes.
For some people that means they want to lose weight. Others that means gaining a new way of thinking about movement and meditation.
What I really think it means for all people who were attracted to that program is that they want to FEEL GOOD about themselves and feel healthy.
10 . Make it Doable!
The 30 day program is appealing because the time frame (30 days) and the daily commitment (typically 30-45 minutes) is actually doable. Manageable goals are key to long term success.
Be it the ABC Goals (Achievable, Believable, Committed) or SMART Goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-bound) a basis of reasonable and realistic goal-setting is necessary to see anything come to fruition.
9. Movement is Medicine for the Mind
Some of my favorite results that viewers have shared have nothing to do with the scale. My DMs are filled with stories that have nothing to do with waistlines and everything to do with no longer wasting their lives!
Rekindled sexual relationships as a result of boosted self-esteem (This is a VERY common experience I hear about), energy to play with kids, newfound confidence to go for a promotion, some people have become yoga teachers and fitness instructors because they were so excited to share what they learned!
8. Movement is Medicine for the Body
One of the coolest parts of doing uncomfortable workouts is that it makes your body MORE comfortable for the rest of the day. A little bit of suffering on the mat negates a whole lot of suffering off the mat.
Yep, it's counter intuitive to purposefully make yourself a little miserable for a little while.
But, it works.
7. 40 Minutes = Exercise Magic Zone!
More is not always more.
Exercise is stress on the body.
Stress is not bad or good. Stress is stress, and when we exercise the body responds to the stress.
When it comes to exercise when we go too hard for too long (and without adequate training) the body can overreact to the stress.
Yes athletes can endure two-a-days for a finite period of time, and everyday athletes training for marathons and triathlons have to complete their long runs in preparation for a race.
But on average no one (even athletes) can sustain 90 minutes of hardcore work every day forever. Our body will respond with elevated stress chemicals, and without adequate rest at some point we will get injured.
The occasional grueling workout is perfectly fine - but it can't be daily.
So beating the chemical crash means being smart with time. Working hard but not walking over the edge is key. There's a sweet spot and it is different for everyone. What I have found is that somewhere between 35 - 60 minutes works for most of us.
6. Steady State Cardio (i.e. Low Impact Workouts) are Underrated!
I've said it before and I'll say it again - steady state cardio is here to stay. The benefits of steady state cardio are so often overshadowed by the next fanciest thing. But before you through out your daily walk, or yoga sessions for heavy lifting at the gym, CrossFit, or HIIT training remember that you can have variety. One doesn't have to exist without the other.
Steady state cardio is great because it burns calories often without increasing stress hormones, and it is low impact enough that it can be done every day or almost every day. This means you're getting physical benefits, its sustainable, AND you are also maintaining a more relaxed state of mind. Sometimes you might even achieve that beautiful 'flow state' where the body is going and the mind feels both free and focused.
5. Enjoying Your Workout Means You'll Do it More
The 30 day program is fun. I incorporated yin and meditation days, upbeat cardio days, and most days it was a feel-good flow. If you don't loathe the idea of hitting your mat, you're more likely to actually do the work.
This one may seem like common sense but I know so many people that yo-yo with a bunch of exercise modalities that they really hate simply because they feel desperate to burn calories. A month goes by, they fall off the proverbial exercise wagon, and then feel worse than when they started. Ditch that drama, mama. Do what you enjoy.
4. Commitment Compounds
If you stick with something long enough it becomes a habit. Once it is a habit you'll simply continue because it has become part of your routine. This is the key to changing your mind, and your body. You have got to stick it out long enough to get to the habit stage. Once you're in that zone the rest compounds. More good habits will be created, and it will be easier to maintain the ones you've already begun.
3. Muscle = Metabolism
Body weight training COUNTS has muscle building. Yes, it does.
Could you lift heavy? Sure. I do and I love it.
But a lot of people don't love it, and they still want to maintain muscle.
Muscle is inherently inefficient. It requires a lot of calories to maintain, and so if you're not using it your body will start to get rid of it.
Vinyasa yoga offers a lot of opportunity, via bodyweight training, to challenge your muscles. When your muscles are challenged your body will maintain that muscle mass. When your body composition includes a higher ratio of muscle it then optimizes the use of fuel (food) in your body.
More muscle = increased need for fuel.
So if you don't feel like pumping iron, at least get flowing on your mat. Your muscles will appreciate it. Just be sure that is is CHALLENGING vinyasa yoga and remember that challenge is subjective. Challenging for YOU is all that matters.
2. Yoga is Adaptable for All Stages of Life
A lot of people were attracted to my 30 Day program because it was adaptable.
Does that mean every person could do every move? No.
What it means is that when working with minimal equipment and primarily with bodyweight moves the move itself can be changed to adapt to each person's ability, range of motion and relative strength. Props can help in that process, and curiosity is encouraged!
Adapting a practice in a way that feels personal will boost confidence and effectiveness which almost guarantees that you will reach for it once again when you're ready for movement.
As I always say, "There's no shame in your modification game!"
1. You'll Feel ENERGIZED Not Exhausted
And finally perhaps the biggest reason people found success from this program is that it left them energized. Rather than feeling depleted because they burned too many calories in a session (YES this is a thing) or exhausted because they tipped the scale from overload to overdone - people who completed the program left their sessions feeling like they had more energy to tackle the day.
This is important for several reasons. First, and perhaps most basic, if you overdo it on your workouts you might then overeat to compensate for the feeling of being exhausted. Second, if your workouts are continually exhausting you'll constantly feel depleted which can interrupt your sleep, eating, and work habits long term.
Vinyasa Yoga rarely leaves us feeling total beat up. Instead we (should) feel like we had a well-rounded body-mind experience that supported our physical need for exercise, and our mental need for focus.
Finally, I think we just feel better when our spirit is served too. Be it my program or someone else's move in a way that serves your spirit. I want you to love the way you move because you move in your body. And your body is the only place you have to live.
Be well my friends!
Body. Mind. Spirit.
Hi there! You found me. My name is Julia Marie Lopez. For 22 years I have studied meditation and mindful movement as my primary tools for healing. For the past 13 years I have worked as an instructor, a wellness business owner, the Founder of Practice Everywhere, and now I am embarking on a new adventure to expand how we define our Personal and Public Practices.
Since I offer you my experience and perspective, share my writing about life, love and wellness, and offer a bit of unsolicited advice, I think you should also know that I do include affiliate links and promotions in some of blogs. If you make an action (such as sign ups, memberships, or purchases) I might earn a commission. I promise to use this income to support my love of coffee, dogs, yoga, and my family (in no particular order).💜