Eating disorders have become quite common off lately and can lead to potentially life-threatening conditions arising from a combination of emotional, psychological, behavioural, interpersonal, biological, and social factors. People suffering from a psychological eating disorder often use food and the habit of binge eating to evade feelings, emotions and overcome certain situations. Others due to unusual cravings often suffer from digestive troubles, constipation, abdominal pain, flatulence, etc. Also Read: Emotional Eating: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment
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Yoga is an ancient and traditional form of exercise that will not only act as an effective tool to reinstate the imbalances in both the body and mind that occur with eating disorders but also enhances the overall quality of life. The asanas in yoga focus on mental and physical well-being by providing relief from depression, anxiety, anger and also allows one to achieve equanimity, relaxation, and serenity. Also Read: Yoga: The Path To A Healthy Life
Eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia nervosa mostly cause dysfunction of the first chakra in the yogic energetic system causing loss of strength, energy, and reduction in bone density. But with regular practice of the specific yoga postures that are aimed towards improving the base of the spine, one can restore imbalances of both the mind and body, and can also attenuate constipation, indigestion, and other ailments.
The most important aspect of healing from this disorder is to be aware and accept the problem you are having. Since eating disorders are mostly due to psychological influences, the practice of meditation in the form of pranayama is extremely essential in order to nurture a sense of control over one’s life’s events and to alleviate obsessive thoughts.
Although yoga is not a substitute for conventional medical treatment, if you are one to try out some yoga asanas to get relief from eating disorder, this article is for you.
- Tadasana (Mountain Pose):
Stand upright on the ground, with the heels touching each other and feet slightly apart. Keep the soles grounded at all times and your hands straight on either side. Look in the forward direction and hold this position for 5 minutes. Take a minute of break and repeat three times.
Being one of the easiest yoga postures, this is extremely helpful in combatting mental health issues like depression, anxiety, disorientation and improve body balance and gut health.
- Kapotasana (Pigeon Pose):
Kneel down on the ground with your toes pointed outwards. Slowly bend your body backwards until your hip or torso is vertically above your feet. Keep stretching until your body, is entirely bent and you touch both your feet with your hands. Now, keep your face outwards and slowly rise upward by inflating your chest and inhaling deeply. With your back stretched, hold this position for 1-2 minutes. Relax and repeat for 4-5 times.
This asana aims towards improving the strength of the chest and legs, loosen the hip muscles and tones the thighs. It also improves appetite and prevents eating disorders and digestive troubles like indigestion, stomach cramp, and gaseous trouble.
- Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose):
Lie flat on your stomach and place your head on the ground. Keep both your hands on either side of your shoulders. Slowly, put pressure on your palms and lift your body up from the torso while stretching your back and belly muscles. Straighten out your arms and keep your shoulder blades pressed against your back. Fix gaze at a point on the ceiling and hold this posture for about 15-30 seconds and exhale as you return to the starting position.
The cobra pose not only helps get rid of belly fat but also cure digestive disorders like constipation and flatulence. It also improves mental calmness and gradually helps in treating sudden food cravings.
- Dhanurasana (Bow Pose):
Lie flat on your stomach and raise both the legs and torso backwards. Extend your arms backwards and grasp both the feet with your hands. Hold this position for as long as possible and keep inhaling normally. Return to the starting position and repeat the asana for 5-6 times.
- Halasana (Plow Pose):
Lying on your back, raise both legs above the stomach. Bend your body and try to extend your legs above the head to touch the ground with the toes. Hold this posture for 10-15 seconds, relax for a minute and repeat again.
One of the best asanas to help provide relief from an eating disorder. It also resolves digestive issues and enhances appetite.