Though I’ve been practicing yoga for years, it was in my recent yoga teacher training program when I started to realize the broad implications of the benefits of yoga. Just as the book Living Your Yoga implies, there are many places in our everyday life where yoga can apply.
Here are some of the yoga principles that have come up most often as I have counseled people with eating disorders and food addiction to “live their yoga.”
- Letting go – instead of using food behaviors to bury uncomfortable feelings, let them go
- Getting centered – instead of feeling pressured and anxious, pause and come back to the present moment where you can make more self-compassionate choices
- Connecting to other people and to a higher power – food has been a barrier between you and other people
- Tolerating discomfort – learning to sit with uncomfortable feelings will give you the power to move through them without using food or food behaviors
- Taking time to relax and regenerate – instead of feeling intimidated by silence and stillness as they compete with your busy mind, let it all go and give your body and mind the break they need
- Being grounded – feel a sense of support and connection to the earth below
- Soothing yourself – instead of reaching for food or other harmful behaviors, learn to self-soothe in healthy ways
- Surrounding yourself with beauty – empower your sense of self-worth by choosing to indulge in healthy forms of joy and pleasure
- Witnessing without reacting – let go of judgment and practice accepting things as they come
If you’re interested in learning how to apply these principles in your own life in recovery, watch for more details about our yoga classes. For those who want to go deeper, we will offer small yoga therapy groups and private yoga therapy.
Yoga practice is a safe place where you can feel both relaxed and energized. Through yoga you can learn to use these principles and apply them to your whole life, gaining clarity and a sense of rejuvenation, and freedom from the stressors of an eating disorder.