Yoga for Eating Disorders Recovery
Why Yoga for Eating Disorders Recovery
Some of the benefits of yoga include improvements in self-esteem, body image, and mood, and a decre
ase in anxiety. It helps the client reconnect to their inner self and let go of their eating disorder identity. By reconnecting to their sensations, learning to recognise and be with their emotions, they slowly build resilience and heighten their sense of self. We learn to become present and recognise our disordered self as something seperate to us. Shedding that self-harming identity will help to make space for becoming our most authentic self, reconnecting to joy, ambitions, creativity, love for ourselves and others.
Yoga has been the catalyst to my own healing journey, you can read about it here.
Although Yoga doesn't replace traditional forms of treatment, it works as a great complement. Yoga can offer healthful tools to help process and explore concepts that have been brought up during a therapy session.
Grounding techniques can help with meal-time anxiety and other recovery-related challenges. Breathing practices teach clients how to calm spinning thinking and be more present.
Healing Potential of Asana (postures) in Eating Disorder Recovery:
• Gentle way to incorporate movement into life and redefine relationship with exercise
• Each pose is a container for individuals to observe their responses to being in their body
• Build mental and physical strength
• Help cultivate appreciation for body
• Relearn how to feel/sense and notice and name sensation
• Relearning sensation can translate into awareness of other sensations, like hunger and
fullness and emotions
• Repetition of asana practice (and other Yoga practices, like breathing, meditation, etc)
lead to internal balancing of systems of the body (nervous system, digestive, hormonal,
etc plus can help balance mood and positively impact organ health).
• Purposeful, intentional movement builds self-awareness, helping individuals to “see”
• The philosophies of non-harming, non-judgment, compassion, contentment, and acceptance, to name a few, are incredibly beneficial for untangling from food rules and other eating disorder thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors that drive a self-destructive mindset.
• Gentle asana is downregulating for the nervous system, which helps to ease anxiety,
spinning thinking, and leads to mental clarity.
• Repetition of practices rewires the brain, building new neural pathways that lead to new
Asana invites people to turn TOWARD their body rather than away from it.
Asana includes the body in healing the mind.