When 47 year-old Arthur Boorman, a disabled Gulf War veteran, when told he’d never be able to walk on his own again, he lost hope. Feeling defeated upon hearing the news, he started gaining weight, eventually hitting the 300-pound mark. He was sad, camera-shy, walked with the aid of braces and was putting his health in jeopardy.
Today, Boorman is 140 pounds slimmer and no longer needs braces or a cane, a journey he documented on his YouTube video which went viral. If he’s not walking, he’s sprinting or striking hard-to-maintain yoga poses as a yoga teacher.
How a Disabled Man Learned to Walk Again & Lose 140 Pounds
When Boorman was at the height of his weight gain, an internet search led him to DDP Yoga (affiliate link). Developed by a former heavyweight champion, Diamond Dallas Page (DDP), this aerobic yoga is a serious workout that combines cardio, core-strengthening and breathing techniques to improve health. When Page initially saw the photos of Boorman he says he admits to feeling nervous. “With the knee braces, the back brace, the canes . . . his belly was out to here,” says Page. ” . . . I was thinking, ‘God, how I am going to help that guy?'”
Yet Boorman focused on DDP’s yoga technique, using his CDs from the comfort of his home. In 10 months he lost 140 pounds. His determination helped him because even when he stumbled, he forged on. “Just because I can’t do it today, doesn’t mean I’m not going to be able to do it someday,” Boorman says in the YouTube video that documents his life changing journey.
How Yoga Helps People Lose Weight
“Weight gain often brings with it a great deal of harsh self-judgment,” says yoga instructor Baxter Bell, M.D. in Yoga Journal. “Through yoga, we can counteract this by creating a safe, positive environment to reconnect with our bodies and quiet the counterproductive messages that often arise in our minds. Reengaging in physical activity . . . can also foster a renewed sense of control over our lives, a quality that sometimes diminishes as one’s weight refuses to budge.”
Yet it’s not just the physical aspect of yoga that leads to weight loss, but the mental. Yoga teaches a mindfulness that enables people to be more in tune to their bodies and their needs. Such awareness can contribute to weight loss.
“Mindfulness gives people a better sense of control over food and makes eating a more comfortable experience,” says Donald Altman, author of Meal by Meal: 365 Daily Meditations for Finding Balance Through Mindful Eating (affiliate link).