Yoga for Eating Disorders

As more is understood about eating disorders, including how they develop and progress, many treatments and therapies have been developed to help people who are suffering. An eating disorder such as anorexia or bulimia can take a toll on a person’s mental and physical health. While traditional treatment like individual and group counseling can promote recovery, yoga for eating disorder management can also enhance the recovery process. In fact, many people who have recovered from an eating disorder continue to practice yoga for its many physical and mental health benefits. Practicing yoga for an eating disorder could be the answer for you if you are suffering from one these conditions.

Yoga for Eating Disorders: An Overview

Yoga is a popular activity that is known for its benefits to mental and physical health. In recent years, healthcare providers have turned to yoga with the hope that it could enhance the recovery process for individuals suffering from various conditions like a substance addiction, eating disorder, or another mental health disorder. Yoga is a form of physical exercise that can be practiced by people of varying levels of physical fitness. Additionally, the meditative qualities associated with this ancient practice support mindfulness, which can support improved mental health.

Research

There has been research conducted in association with yoga for eating disorder treatments. A study published by the Journal of Eating Disorders found that yoga significantly decreased anxiety, depression, and body image stress without impact to participants’ weight. Medical practitioners believe that practicing yoga for an eating disorder along with conventional multidisciplinary care can lead to positive results in the management of these conditions.

How Can Yoga Help in the Treatment of an Eating Disorder?

People who suffer from eating disorders may feel disconnected from their bodies or, conversely, overwrought with thoughts about their bodies. Yoga supports healthy attitudes towards the body, so it has the power to change how people relate to their bodies. People who practice yoga learn to focus on flexibility and strength as opposed to weight loss or image. The mental component of yoga is also powerful. Just as participants practice stretches, they also practice being mindful of the mind and preventing negative thought from impeding their session. The act of training the brain’s neural pathways for mindfulness on the mat, enhance a person’s ability to be mindful off the mat. Mindfulness is important because it allows a person to more effectively keep anxiety and other negative mental triggers at bay.

Yoga for Long-Term Recovery

A great thing about practicing yoga as a treatment for eating disorders is that it doesn’t have to stop once conventional treatment does. Individuals recovering from an eating disorder can continue to practice yoga as long as they desire. They can practice it at home, at a studio with other practitioners, or when they travel. Once people understand and feel the benefits that yoga offers to one’s mental and physical health, they may wish to continue indefinitely.

If you are suffering from an eating disorder, it’s important to visit an eating disorder treatment center where you can get help. Many of today’s best centers for the treatment of eating disorders now offer yoga among their programs because of its ability to support long-term recovery. It can help you, too.

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