We all know the wonders of yoga to improve strength, flexibility, balance and overall fitness. This ancient practice also helps to prevent and even recover from many lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, asthma, thyroid, hypertension, and cancer. But did you know yoga can also help to tackle eating disorders?
Wondering how? Research reveals that yoga leads to an increase in the levels of the brain neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric (GABA), which combats anxiety and depression. Eating disorders are often caused by issues that are related to mental health, which can be treated through yoga.
Patients who suffer from eating disorders are commonly known to experience issues with their body image that is negative and distorted. And yoga is believed to be helpful for patients with eating disorders, as it builds mental harmony and positivity within oneself. Practice the following asanas, holding each pose for 20 seconds with awareness of breath.
* Kneel down with your pelvis lifted.
* Place your palms on your heels, and keep your arms straight.
* Inhale and push your pelvis forward.
* Bend backward.
* Stay for a couple of breaths
* Lie on your back and use your lower abdominal muscles to lift your legs up.
* You can use momentum to lift the pelvis up, and support your lower back with your palms, as required.
* Try to align your shoulder, torso, pelvis, legs, and feet.
* Focus your gaze towards your feet.
A word of caution: Do NOT perform this asana, if you have wrist, neck, or shoulder issues. Women must not do this asana during menstruation or pregnancy. Practitioners who suffer from enlarged thyroid, liver or spleen, cervical spondylitis, slipped disc and high blood pressure, or other heart ailments are advised to avoid this asana.
* Stand in Tadasana position.
* Exhale as you start to bend forward.
* Bring your fingertips or palms on the floor.
* Bend your knees slightly if you have tight hamstrings.
* Sit with legs stretched out, inhale and lift your arms up.
* Keep your back straight.
* Exhale and fold forward to place your upper body on your lower body.
* Lie on your back, bend your legs at your knees and bring your feet closer to your pelvis.
* Feet and knees must remain parallel.
* Fold your arms and place your palms under your ears.
* Inhale, and push up to lift your body up.
* Relax your neck and let your head fall gently behind.
Yoga can drastically improve self-acceptance and brings joy through practice. This ultimately causes practitioners to view their bodies in a new and different light. Although yoga can change your external appearance positively, it also leads one to look within.
When you can cultivate this form of self-awareness and observe yourself from a place of love and non-judgment, it naturally makes those who practice yoga appreciate life and marvel at its wonder. Yoga may in this way help to improve body image through asanas, pranayama, and meditation.
Yoga breaks the conditioned response, allowing you to create new thoughts and belief patterns. With the help of yoga practices, you can be more relaxed in your own skin. When you have the ability to engage with life through mindfulness, you can pause and change the way you react.
Pranayama or breathing strategies are the most crucial way to enhance attention to one’s own patterns. With the help of regular yoga practice, you can gain support to manage conditions like stress, depression, and anxiety which are all common components of eating disorders.