As a yoga teacher, I am often asked about eating disorders (ED). There's more to these disorders than just diet and weight. From school or job success to physical health issues, an ED may trigger significant disruptions in a person's life. Yoga is a mind-body practice that is known for its inherent therapeutic powers and mindfulness. Yoga can be a good aid in the healing process, and a consistent yoga routine (in conjunction with therapeutic treatment) can be beneficial.
How well does yoga work with food disorders?
Yoga is a mindful practice that needs meditation and yoga asanas, and it's a perfect way to remain in the current moment while concentrating on your breathing and body. Yoga can be a valuable aspect of recovery for eating disorders and they are triggered by a number of causes, including a loss of coping strategies and depression. It can also help to maintain positive improvements and healthier behaviors.
How yoga helps you with eating disorders
Yoga has many advantages, including better sleep and a favorable effect on mental health, well-being, and overall quality of life. When fatigue, troublesome thoughts, or other causes occur, instead of resorting to disordered eating habits, one should practice yoga.
Yoga can help to improve digestion, ease constipation, and decrease reactivity to the traumatic re-feeding process. Yoga's emotional effects assist with grounding and processing intense emotions, desires, and longings. Long-held feelings may be released before or during a meditation class, which helps to minimize repetitive thought patterns.
Attempts to avoid negative thoughts are common causes of disordered feeding. Hatha yoga practice can be a safe way to float on the waves of your experience by doing breathing exercises, self-acceptance, calming, and observing and encouraging your emotions to flow through you. This can sound better said than done, but imagine your mat a experiment room where you can learn welcoming uncomfortable feelings without ignoring them. Consistently exercised, the desire to sit with emotion and awareness during yoga will eventually transform into a life away from the yoga mat.
According to an analysis of current studies on yoga for eating disorders, it is too early to determine if the exercise is useful, though no evidence indicates that it is harmful. My experience with the clients were very positive in helping people regarding their eating disorder.
Choose practice wisely
For those with eating disorders, some types of yoga can be more beneficial than others. Some individuals, for example, can use power yoga as a compulsive type of exercise, which may intensify symptoms. Try something less strenuous, with a mindful or gentle aspect, instead of a "hot yoga" or "speed" class. Slower yoga styles (such as gentle and restorative yoga) that help you re-inhabit the body with caring consciousness are likely to be more relaxing, even though initially they appear less desirable. Choosing the right class will help you develop self-compassion which will help you overcome the negative self-talk of eating disorders.
Yoga will be a positive supplement to the healing from an eating disorder. Consistent yoga practice and frequent yoga sessions are prescribed for maximum benefits of yoga. Working with a yoga instructor or a certified yoga trainer will help you speed up your healing and tailor your practice to your specific needs.
Remember that “health” is a subjective term, and what is good for one individual cannot be healthy for another. Consider concentrating your energy on meditation, mindfulness, and positive asana rather than rigid and rule-based dietary suggestions as you continue your yoga journey.
Yoga is not a substitution for medical attention, but it will help you battle your disorders more efficiently.
This is not an advice to use yoga as a means to escape coping with challenging circumstances or to divert obsessive habits to a new place. However, you should use impulses to engage in unhealthy behaviors as a cue to hit the "stop" button and walk onto your mat.