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Yoga for eating disorders

You might not know, but there are over ten million men and women who are affected by eating disorders within the United States alone. While most being within their teen years, there are still many adults who are affected by this difficult illness. The most commonly talked about forms of eating disorders being bulimia and anorexia, all of the eating disorders have just now begun to be thought as mental ailments. It was previously thought that it was simply a physical ailment, that was the doing of the person who was ill. Instead, it is now thought to be a more complex problem. Including social, biological, behavioral, as well as psychological triggers.

But, what does this have to do with yoga? Well, it has become common-place knowledge that a calm and focused mind. Has a better chance of reducing any harmful effects of an eating disorder on a person. Which leads us to yoga. Yoga has become a proven method of reducing depression, and helping to recreate a state of balance in the mind. Yoga has also been used to encourage heightened self esteem, as well as to promote a positive self-worth and view of ones body. Which ultimately means, yoga is an unstoppable force in the healing and recuperation of anyone with an eating disorder.

It is taught that by eliminating self judgement in someone. Yoga can establish a connection between the mind and body, by allowing both of these two elements to minimize any negative effects on the illness. If you have studied anorexia, you have seen the debilitating effects it has on someone’s body. Often times lowering the energy level and creating a low bone density. Of which will have negative effects at a physical level of the person who is struggling with the illness. It has been shown that regular yoga lessons can help to increase overall fitness, which will help to give a fighting chance of beating any eating disorder.

Yoga teachers and writings, have identified eating disorders as not just a common physical problem. Instead it extends to ones mind and soul. Often times considered to be a problem related with the first chakra. Poses such as the crab, full wind, locust, pigeon, and staff among many are used to balance the first chakra. Along with strengthening and raising the courage of the person who is ailing. Offering positions such as the grounding posture of the mountain, standing squat, prayer squat, and the goddess. All of which are used to help reestablish a strong mind and body connection, to help overcome any physical obstacles that someone may be going through. It has been thought that any back-bending poses will help to reduce the affects of depression, while forward bends are thought to help calm ones spirit. Thus it is assumed that it will minimize the effects of anorexia on someone’s body and mind.

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