Natural Weight Loss: the Mind-Body Approach

By Dr. Sari Patel, MD
July 22, 2015

We caught up with Dr. Sari Patel, MD, who shares her thoughts and medical perspective on the need for a holistic approach to natural weight loss. Her advice: an approach that is personalized and addresses all aspects of one’s being, body and mind.

 

Holistic Approach to Weight-Loss

I’m excited about this beautiful blend of Ayurveda, yoga and spirituality. I should also say that in putting this program together, this program is based on body, mind and spirit, so we are taking care of all aspects of the being. We’re not leaving any aspect unattended to, whether body, mind or spirit. All the tools, techniques, processes, diet and special supplements that we have are geared towards taking care of the whole being – it’s a holistic approach, incorporating both Eastern and Western, the best of the modern and Ayurveda.

Based on my medical background, I can say of the humongous number of weight-loss programs out there, most are based on two things, a special diet (there are thousands based on special diet) and vigorous exercise.

 

The Ayurvedic approach to me is  a very unique approach to weight loss. Most of the traditional, modern weight-loss programs have not utilized the body’s very self-healing ability to work with weight loss or gain or management. So for me, the fact that Ayurveda does nurture this capacity of the body is a very unique approach that is quite distinct from what we traditionally do with medical science.

So taking care of the mind is extremely important. It’s about managing the mind and managing the weight.

Attending to the Mind

Also, a holistic weight-loss program takes care of the mind. As many people know, any new habit or enterprise requires commitment. And commitment will only come from internal motivation. So this is why the design of the program is not just a ten day program where you lose 200 lbs and go home, but it’s empowering individuals to take up commitments to reach their goals. So taking care of the mind is extremely important. It’s about managing the mind and managing the weight. So the breathing practices, yoga, massage therapy, meditation and bringing out that creative energy in people, all of this is going to be part of the upcoming program.

Another key aspect of Ayurveda is that a program is very personalized. Different people have different constitutions, or prakruti. Based on a consultation, a very individualized program is made for each person, which includes what kind of yoga postures and diet they would benefit from, and more importantly,  what kind of Ayurveda supplements they would benefit from. To me, we don’t do weight loss like that in the modern medical system. Also, the attention to oil and ghee application, both internally and externally, combined with the use of herbs and supplements is a big differentiator.

 

All Aspects of One’s Being

And of course, while taking care of the body, taking care of the mind — a lot of rest and relaxation, opportunities for creativity. So that’s what I’m excited about, taking care of all aspects of one’s being. And I have not come across any other program like that, really, in my last 25 years of medical practice.

There are many more things that are happening at an emotional, mental, spiritual level, so I think weight loss is just one of the benefits that people will get out of this type of program. In Ayurvedic terms they would say that all the imbalances are coming into harmony and balance. It is like reconnecting yourself with your being. It is much bigger than just weight loss.

 

Dr. Sari will be one of the leaders of Living Light: Ayurveda Weight-Loss Program, launching this September.

 

Interested in learning more about programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here.

 

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TAGS: Ayurveda , health , healthy lifestyle

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