Yoga instructor Carly Orshan, MA, E-RYT200, RCYT shares some of the many benefits of yoga practice for any individual including practitioners, professionals, and those struggling with eating disorders. For a previous piece written by Carly exploring the benefits of mindful movement and awareness through the practice of yoga visit here.
The physical, mental and emotional connection made during yoga helps participants experience mindfulness; cultivating the quality of being awake, present and accepting of this moment’s experience. Yoga and the practice of mindfulness can be effective tools to restore imbalances in both the body and the mind that often occur with eating disorders.
The physical postures in yoga help bring everything back to a place of equilibrium. This is particularly relevant with helping the body become a stress-free environment to house healing and recovery.
The mental benefits of yoga help participants become aware of breathing, how they move and how they think. By becoming more aware, yoga creates opportunities for participants to challenge negative mental patterns around body image. Being on the mat and moving around can help each individual realize exactly what their body is doing for them each day – and what it is capable of. This interaction with the body can increase the desire to honor the self.
Emotionally, yoga helps to improve participants on an energetic level. It allows participants to unblock and unlock emotional baggage stored within them. The physical movements and mental experience rooting in the moment react with the nervous system, which releases the muscles and the constant mind-chatter that is often present in day to day life. This mindful awareness can lift participants up and elevate their experience.
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