Yoga Journal Florida Conference

Hollywood, Florida

DETAILS Yoga and meditation classes in a beach setting. Combine asana with indulgences like a soak in the infinity pool, a massage, or lazing on the beach. yjevents.com december

Dec. 19-25 WINTER SOLSTICE SADHANA CELEBRATION

Lake Wales, Florida DETAILS Kundalini Yoga and meditation as taught by Yogi Bhajan. Tent, car, and cabin camping. 3ho.org

For a radically different approach to WEIGHT LOSS, start not with diet and exercise, but with connecting to yourself.

Gina Kornrumpf had struggled with her weight all her life. The results of her on-again, off-again dieting were discouraging, and only served to fuel her preoccupation with the numbers on her scale. She led an active life—traveling, bike riding, and exercising—but that didn't seem to help her shed the extra pounds or get her higher-than-normal blood pressure under control. By the time she topped 207 pounds in 2008, she realized she needed a new plan. "A friend of mine is passionate about yoga, and encouraged me to at least consider trying it," Kornrumpfsays. So she registered at the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health's Integrative Weight Loss program, by Linda Sparrowe photography by Chris Andre

Yoga helped Meghan Bowen, a vinyasa yoga teacher in Santa Monica, California (pictured modeling the following sequence), lose 20 pounds over the course of two years, something she says she was able to do once she learned to read her body's subtle cues about what it really needed. "I had been trying to tell my body what it needed, instead of letting my body tell me," she says. "Yoga taught me to tune in to my body and my sensory experience, and to start trusting the intelligence inside of me."

Once she stopped trying to lose weight, Bowen says, it was no longer a struggle. "The biggest shift was realizing that it had to be a moment-to-moment approach, rather than looking three months out and having a goal," she says. "Yoga teaches moving away from a desired outcome, and moving toward tuning in to what's going to serve my body—what's going to feed my body in a healthy way in this moment."

Ashley Turner Yoga

a residential immersion program that incorporates multiple aspects of healthy living in an integrative approach to weight management.

The program includes twice-daily yoga classes, pranayama instruction, nutritional counseling and cooking demonstrations, life coaching, sharing circles, and mindful-eating exercises, with yogic philosophy as a foundation for assimilating the information. Within 18 months of completing the weeklong workshop, Kornrumpf had lost 47 pounds. Her blood pressure dropped from 140/90 to a healthy 120/70, and her cholesterol settled within normal ranges. Today, she says, "I feel fit; I feel healthy, lighter, happier, and more open."

Yoga may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you're formulating a weight loss plan, but recent studies linking yoga with mindful eating and weight loss suggest that maybe it should be. The combined effects of the self-acceptance, increased body awareness, and inward reflection that are natural byproducts of a regular yoga practice can increase your ability to achieve and maintain a healthy weight, and can have a positive impact, whether you're significantly overweight, just wanting to lose a few pounds, or struggling with a body-image problem despite being at a healthy weight.

"Yoga may not be a glamorous, quick fix to weight loss, but it creates fundamental shifts that lead to lasting change," says Ashley Turner, a yoga teacher and psychotherapist in Los Angeles and New York and the creator of the Element DVD Yoga for Weight Loss. Turner says that yoga's emphasis on self-acceptance is the key to creating such transformation. Unlike traditional methods such as diets and exercise boot camps, yoga philosophy teaches get in the

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