Yoga for Eating Disorders
Yoga is an integrated approach to mental, emotional and physical health. The practice of moving consciously is an important piece in eating disorder recovery in addition to the cognitive therapies. Yoga can help those suffering become more present with their bodies and, specifically, strengthen interoceptive awareness, or the ability to track sensation from the inside out.
- By drawing attention to internal sensation as it arises through safe, conscious movement, those who can be drawn back into their bodies and get back in touch with internal sensation as an indicator of needs, specifically around hunger and fullness signals, for example.
- Individuals with eating disorders are often caught in their sympathetic nervous system, which keeps them in a fight/flight survival mode throughout their day and increases anxiety, stress and contributes to weakened functioning of the bodies systems. Yoga helps individuals bring their bodies back to a more parasympathetic nervous system response which is more calming and restorative and supports rest and digest, as opposed to fight/flight.