Dear Yogi Marlon,
I am 5’ 2” and 125 lbs., which
I think is normal size for a 19 year old girl, but I have one problem area:
my upper legs and thighs. I exercise and I am always on a diet. Do I need
special yoga or exercise? Please help. Summer’s on its way!
Undoubtedly, each of us are our healthiest when our body fat is low, but that can appear very differently from one individual body type and bone structure to another. From an ayurvedic standpoint, if you are of kapha dosha, which is generally big-boned, it may not be in your genetic make-up to ever have truly thin thighs. That’s more the composition of those of thinner-boned, vata dosha. Sorry!
If you find yourself always on a diet, there is a fundamental problem. Follow these tips:
Don’t think of being on a diet. Instead resolve to permanently change your eating habits as a part of maintaining your health.
- Calorie intake slowly, and as you do, think of food as fuel, making sure everything you eat or drink is loaded with nutrients. It is so important to eat ultra-fresh, delicious food that satisfies to you.
- Think of your caloric intake as a bank account. To loose weight, you have to be running a deficit. Take in less, exercise more.
- Get in the habit of reading labels and abandon processed, chemical-laden foods altogether. Many “diet foods” are loaded with high fructose, corn syrup and hydrogenated oils, and artificial sweeteners.
- Reduce starchy carbohydrates like potatoes, grains and beans. Even though they are carbohydrates, lots of veggies are recommended. It is better to ingest the high carbohydrates of fresh squeezed carrot juice than a one-calorie diet soda. The payoff is an enormous dose of beta-carotene as opposed to the liver stress of aspartame.
- Reduce but do not eliminate fat. Including little unsaturated fat such as olive oil or avocado every day, is vital.
- As for the specialized yoga and exercise helping your trouble spots, sure it will. Generally, a well- rounded practice is best, but you may focus a portion of it on standing, lateral yoga postures such as warrior and awkward chair.
- Long holds encourage muscle bulk, so instead do these thigh-focused postures dynamically. With continually flowing movement, glide into position on exhale and return to standing on each inhale. Uphill hikes will focus on thighs, too.
All this is not to say that you will attain the shape you idealize, but if you so desire it, it is well within the yogic model to focus your energy on what you want. Strong mental focus and deliberate, appropriate action are indeed yogic ideals. It is equally important though, to truly accept and be happy with the bodies we have each incarnated. In other words, love who you are, and make the very best of your human potential by eating nutritiously and exercising sensibly as a part of a healthy lifestyle.
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