The benefits of Yoga when dealing with eating disorders


Debate has risen over how yoga can fuel issues like eating disorders rather than treating them. Studies have noted that if performed properly, yoga can in fact help heal eating disorders in a timely and healthy manner.

Yoga Therapy for Eating Disorders

The common notion is that yoga for eating disorders involves hot, sweaty and high energy yoga classes filed with music and entertainment. On the contrary, a more subtle approach is taken for treating conditions like eating disorders which are best taken care of using yoga therapy. Yoga therapy focuses on healing the mind and body while highlighting the path towards health and well-being in a more systematic and philosophical manner.

Unlike traditional yoga classes, yoga therapy places more emphasis on integrating movement and breath while also incorporating traditional medications and psychological interventions.

Ways in which Yoga therapy heals eating disorders

Here are some ways in which yoga therapy has been shown to be beneficial for those suffering from eating disorders.

  • Yoga helps individuals concentrate on poses that help curb the urge to binge, especially on unhealthy foods. Yoga helps delay hunger pangs and impulses effectively, thus allowing one to have more control of these urges and not act upon them instantly.
  • Yoga helps one gain control of the mind. In the long run, this will help the individual have more control over his/her emotional states, thus resisting the urge to run to food for comfort whenever needed.
  • Individuals with eating disorders find it hard to return back to their normal eating habits for fear of putting on too much weight. Yoga can help these individuals trust their bodies better and understand the messages the latter send to them. This will, in turn, help them to concentrate on mindful eating rather than bingeing on food or refraining from it completely.

Yoga Poses that help curb eating disorders

Take a look at some yoga poses one can try out to curb eating disorders.

  • Pigeon Pose

Kneel upright, ensuring to keep your head stacked above your knees. Press down your back with your hands. Inhale slowly and move back your shoulders keeping the hips intact. Lift your chest as far as possible, moving your head back as you do so. Touch your feet with your head, making sure your thighs are perpendicular to the floor when you do so. Maintain this position for about 30 seconds. Now put your hands on the floor and come back to your initial position, exhaling as you do so.

  • Goddess Pose

Stand with your feet wide apart and the feet facing away from each other. Bend your elbows at shoulder height, ensuring that the palms of your hands face each other. Exhale slowly and squat down until the knees are at right angles. Keep your hips straight and look forward. Remain in this position for about 30 seconds and inhale as you come back to your normal stance.

  • PlowPose

Lie down on the floor on your back and raise the legs above your stomach. Extend the legs until your toes touch the ground right beyond the shoulders (you can bend your knees while doing so). Remain in this position for about 15 seconds and return back to the original position.

Eating disorders have become quite common in today’s world filled with image conscious people. In sharp contrast to the notion that yoga can fuel eating disorders, a number of studies have indicated that yoga can in fact; curb eating disorders in a systematically and psychologically effective way.

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