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Overcoming Anorexia With The Help of Yoga

Updated on December 26, 2015

Anorexia – Causes and Symptoms

Anorexia is an eating disorder problem that has affected several individuals around the world, but the case is higher amongst younger women. One cannot specifically identify what might cause anorexia, although experts would like to believe it is a combination of factors. Often, these are not just physical reasons, but psychological as well, which makes the burden of diagnosis and assigning treatment even more challenging. Thus, proper understanding of this condition will provide one with the best tools needed to overcome this problem once and for all.

Some of the basic symptoms to anorexia are exhibited through the behavioral changes that a person exemplifies, which eventually lead to physical manifestation such as excessive amount of weight loss, that is also the most evident symptom of anorexia. Some of the most common and tell-tale symptoms of anorexia are:

*excessive weight gain
*refusal to maintain weight at a normal range
*obsessive fear of weight gain
*drastic diet changes in the hopes of losing weight
*unnecessary or unhealthy fasting
*excessive amount of exercise geared toward weight loss

These are just common manifestations that an individual has anorexia and it is therefore important to address this problem psychologically, aside from adapting physical changes.

Healing Quest - Yoga for Eating Disorders, Spinal …

How Can Yoga Help?

Due to the reasons stated above, yoga makes one of the best tools to facilitate in the treatment of anorexia. Aside from anorexia, those suffering from other forms of eating disorders could also benefit from using the tools of yoga to improve overall health and well being. The ability of yoga to combine both physical, emotional, and mental benefits is what makes it quite powerful against anorexia for an effective way to address the problem.

Anorexia is highly comparable to depression, another psychological illness that yoga is able to treat effectively. But experts warn though that one must not rely solely on yoga for treatment of anorexia. Instead, it must only serve to complement any existing treatment that one is undergoing for a more comprehensive treatment plan. On the psychological aspect, yoga is a great way to bring back lost self confidence, such that one can feel comfortable in their own body image and learn to be content with it. Unless you are able to establish that, you will find it difficult to succeed with the steps that follow.

Yoga Pose Guide for Shoulder Stand

Yoga Exercises for Anorexic Individuals

Individuals with anorexia need to practice yoga exercises on a regular basis. It is a great way to reinvigorate your body, improve its overall appearance, and renew your confidence about the way you look. But the most important thing that an anorexic individual can gain from doing yoga poses is the ability to create higher level of awareness for the body to appreciate its uniqueness.

An open mind is one of the most important prerequisites to a yoga exercise though. When you join a yoga session, try to focus less on the physical benefits of this activity and try to enjoy the fact that you can keep your body active and healthy. That is why gentle series of movements done in combination with proper breathing is highly recommended for anorexic individuals.

Some of the best yoga exercises that can be incorporated into your daily yoga routine and effectively combat problems of anorexia include Sun Salutation Sequence, Shoulder Stand, Head to Knee pose, Bow Pose, Spinal Twist, Corpse Pose, Triangle Pose, among others. To enhance those benefits, you can also improve your internal body system through cleansing techniques such as Ujjayi, Kapalbhati, Anuloma-Viloma, and Brahmari for an internal and external body enhancement.

Breathing Exercises

Performing Breathing Exercise

No yoga practice or session is ever complete without incorporating it with breathing exercises. In fact, some yoga asanas have specific breathing exercises that they are paired with to achieve better results. The ability to control your breathing pattern is useful to gain control over your mind and body, such that you can be effectively relieved off stress. In the case of anorexic individuals, the ability to eliminate stress and anxiety is crucial in improving your overall disposition and minimize destructive behaviors.

When you perform breathing exercises, it also lessens the amount of cortisol in the body to improve your body's immunity level and gain a positive mood.

Guided Meditation

Guided Meditation

Doing guided meditation is one of the best ways to end each yoga session and improve your chances when battling with anorexia. Try to incorporate as much meditation activities to your yoga practice as you can. This will enable you to move past the limitations of physical exercises so you can nourish the mind and soul until one eventually learns to gain confidence about themselves.

This is the most important step towards your fight against anorexia and being able to concentrate can clear your mind off any worries, then simply focus on what you need to do to win this battle. After all, it's your health on the line. The sooner you are able to reverse that disposition and turn it into something positive, the earlier you are able to rid yourself of this health or psychological condition.

Yoga Diet Plan

Adapting Yoga Diet

Another key yoga component that anorexic individuals must also learn to adapt into their lifestyle is the diet aspect. Your ability to intake proper yogic diet will help to give your digestive system a boost. People with anorexia must therefore adapt the Sattvic Diet, which consists mostly of leafy vegetables, fruits, and whole grains to get the proper nourishment for the body.

By adapting this kind of diet as part of your yoga treatment for anorexia, one is able to properly defend the body against all types of illnesses and improve overall health and well being.

Yoga Class

Joining a Yoga Class

Since anorexic individuals have special needs, they cannot simply enter basically any type of yoga class. One must therefore consider a few factors to ensure that the specific class wherein one is a part of actually contributes to your battle against anorexia. Here are some factors to consider when choosing:

  • If possible, go for a single session wherein there areĀ  no other participants. Being in this type of class setting often promotes competition, which can further affect your confidence level.
  • Make sure to personally speak with the instructor for a given class so they can understand your conditions and needs. This will enable your teacher to modify the exercises recommended to you to achieve your goal.
  • In connection with the above, choose only instructors that have substantial knowledge about yoga and understand what techniques suit your condition best so you can gain both physical and psychological flexibility.

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