Is Kundalini Yoga Enough for Total Fitness?

Q: Dear Ana and Ravi,

I can't thank you enough for all the time and effort you put into your emails, dvds, archives, etc. I am sure I speak for many of us who feel maybe a bit alone in our thinking; I know my family thinks I am crazy sometimes with "all this yoga!" But when someone asks if I am drinking from the fountain of youth, I can't help but smile inside because, yea, it's the yoga, baby!

So my question is this: I am Vinyasa yoga instructor who believes that her secret weapon is the bits of Kundalini yoga she infiltrates into her class and her own personal practice. I am also a workout junkie. I can exercise for hours: walking, elliptical, weight/interval training.... My problem is commitment. I am afraid if I walked away, even for 40 days, and commited strictly to a yoga practice, that my body would fall apart. I know, it's nutty, but I have been working out for so long that I am unsure what path will lead me to my greatest end result. I've been struggling with those last ten pounds that, to me, keeps me from being the best I can be.

Can you please make an inspiration that will take me to my greatest place? I believe it's out there for me, I work awfully hard, but something is standing between me and my success. Thank you endlessly for your guidance and support. Sat Nam, with love.

A: Congratulations on being motivated towards a new breakthrough! I (Ana) used to work out a lot harder then I do now. I was running and cycling and elliptical, etc, and, no matter what I did, I was always a few pounds over my ideal weight. Then I added a regular Kundalini Yoga practice and did almost exclusively Kundalini as well as some alignment classes and the extra weight fell away quickly and I had more energy than ever before.

If you enjoy cross training there is nothing wrong with continuing to do just that, and to also continue to use Kundalini Yoga as your "secret weapon," in order to get the things covered that other forms of exercise don't. Instead of committing to 40 days of just yoga. Why not, for now, have a few days a week just yoga.

We have designed our Kundalini Yoga DVD's with those people in mind, who want to do KY exclusively so we promise you won't "fall apart!" In many of our DVD workouts we have extended exercises which supply a cardio element. We also have added weight bearing and lower body work to many of our workouts, so that people can get everything covered in their Kundalini Yoga sessions. Try our Warrior Workout, Kundalini Yoga Flow Bootcamp, & Kundalini Yoga Body Electric,... etc. These include weight bearing work and a cardio element so you will still be getting a great workout as well as important work on other vital elements of the weight loss equation.

We are multi-dimensional beings and weight loss is a multi dimensional proposition. Challenging ourselves physically is just one piece of the pie. For success you need to find a working balance between all the pieces: These include work on the endocrine system and emotions. And of course regeneration. The beauty of KY is that it magnifies the energy you expend. That is why our energy stays high when KY is our regular practice. On other days go ahead and work out hard on the elliptical and lift weights. You might consider one rest day a week as well (except maybe a meditation) . When it comes to working out, less is often more! On rest days we gain strength and benefits from our workouts. So, you will most likely experience more strength and tone gains, and lose weight more readily, if you give your body adequate lay offs between bursts of more intense activity.

It may seem counter intuitive for weight loss, but we recommend a 40 day meditation. Please see the So Darshan Chakra Kriya under "S" in the A-Z Health Archive on raviana.com. As you shed emotional debris from the past, it translates as physical weight loss.

Last but certainly not least, consider how your diet fits into the equation. We personally believe that non- Kundalini Yoga exercise mainly works best for cardiovascular health, toning, strength, and endurance and not for weight loss.

Now that the weather is getting warmer. Why not add more fresh raw organic, low calorie and water rich foods to your diet. A protein smoothie in the morning a large salad at night with lots of good stuff like super foods thrown in. This will help cleanse your system and help you move those stubborn pounds out!

We wish you joy, health, and abundant blessings!