Yoga Therapy for Eating Disorder

Yoga Therapy for Eating Disorder

A study published in the latest issue of Psychology of Women Quarterly reports that mind-body exercise, such as yoga, is associated with greater body satisfaction and fewer symptoms of eating disorders than traditional aerobic exercise like jogging or using cardio machines. Yoga practitioners reported less self-objectification, greater satisfaction with physical appearance, and fewer disordered eating attitudes compared to non-yoga practitioners. Through yoga, this study suggests that women may have intuitively discovered a way to buffer themselves against messages that tell them that only a thin and ‘beautiful’ body will lead to happiness and success.

Yoga offers an unparalleled opportunity to heal negative body image. The various poses challenge people to use balance, strength, stamina, stillness, mindfulness, and flexibility. The yogic system identifies eating disorders as a problem related to the first chakra. Different poses are used to balance it: crab, full wind, pigeon, locust, staff, and many more. Strengths and courage can be increased by using grounding postures such as mountain, goddess, standing squat, and prayer squat. The postures re-establish the strong mind-body connections and help overcome many physical obstacles. Most back bending poses help reduce depression and forward bends usually calm the spirit and minimize the effects of anorexia.

n active, specifically targeted meditation practice will prove to be highly effective in managing eating disorders. General meditation practice will be beneficial, but using an active and targeted meditation would be more effective. Practice any or all of the following based upon what calls you to be invoked within yourself: Inner Peace Meditation, Third Eye Meditation, Root Chakra Meditation or Prana Healing Meditation. If it becomes uncomfortable to practice with the eyes closed, have them slightly open with a soft downward gaze.

Yoga, highly therapeutic and relatively non-threatening, is the ideal therapy: a gentle reawakening of the mind and a soft embrace of the body, all helping to get patients back into the land of healthy living.

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