While the causes of eating disorders are as complex and numerous as the individuals living with the diagnosis, often the solutions to living with an eating disorder and being in recovery, are simpler. We must eat to provide our bodies with vital energies and the practice of yoga is in large part a practice of building prana in the body. A regular practice of yoga is a great tool for anyone living with an eating disorder.
First, yoga helps calm the mind, helps the practitioner be more in touch with their mental thoughts, activates the parasympathetic nervous system and pranayama helps improve digestive function. Many postures in yoga can create positive feelings. Caught in a negative feedback loop, a person in the midst of a disordered eating episode can use the physical posture such as tadasana, mountain pose, to help break the loop. Forward folding asanas give a person a chance to be introspective. For a person who uses food as a coping mechanism for daily stress, yoga can be a placeholder for the guilt ridden disordered eating patterns. And loving kindness for yourself can be cultivated during postures such as apasana, hug your self. Loving oneself gives a person value, allowing them the space to make healthier decisions.
Emotions such as guilt, shame, desire to isolate, depression, and emptiness are common occuring elements of disordered eating, yoga can counteract these feelings. Completing a yoga class can boost self confidence, help establish social connections, and give the practitioner a sense of purpose and wholeness. The grounding practices and rooting of the muladhara, root chakra, can help to stabilize the internal landscape. Opening the heart can instill feelings of value and self love.
Mindful eating is a pillar to the recovery process and mindfulness on the mat can be translated into other parts of life including with the knife and fork. Yoga helps teach delayed gratification and self mastery.
The need for more and more is a function of the mind which can be calmed. At times, eating disorders can be stimulated and heightened when the mind wants and wants without understanding that need and want are different things. The practice of yoga teaches us to be happy with what we have. To be happy with how our body is and gives us space to practice gratitude. To any person living with an eating disorder, the practice of yoga can be a critical part of a recovery plan.
Yoga can fill the emptiness that food never will.
In a previous post here on Nosara Wellness discussed "Why Does Anyone Do Yoga Anyways". There are many different reasons why people practice yoga. Some do yoga to improve their health, manage their stress better, or reflect on their inner selves.
But did you know that from the many yoga poses come techniques that can help you achieve beautiful and glowing skin? It's true, and even doctors like Dr. Timothy McCall agree that practicing yoga can make your skin look and feel younger.
Padmasana, Adho Mukha Svanasana, and Dhanurasana are three of the poses that you can do regularly to beautify your skin. These particular postures are said to stimulate blood circulation in the body, while reducing stress and tension.
image credit: www.stylesatlife.com
Sit up straight on the floor with your legs stretched out.
Bend the right knee slowly, and use your hands to place it on your left thigh. The soles on your feet must point up, and the heels must be close to your stomach.
Then, do the same thing with your other leg.
With your legs crossed, and your feet placed on opposite thighs, put your hands together into a mudra of your choice. Normally, the hands are placed on the knees.
Breathe long and deep. Hold this position for a few minutes before releasing. Also, remember to hold your head straight and your spine straight as well while doing the pose.
Repeat the process with the other leg on top of the other.
Adho Mukha Svanasana
image credit: yogadork.com
Stand on all fours like you're imitating a table. Then, lift your hips gently and straighten your knees and elbows. Make sure that your body’s form is similar to an inverted V.
Make sure your hands are in line with your shoulders, and your feet in line with your hips. Also, your toes should point outwards.
Press your hands towards the ground and stretch your neck. Put your ears close to your inner arms while you position your view to your navel.
Hold the pose for a few seconds, bend your knees, and then return to the first pose, which is standing on all fours.
image credit: sarvyoga.com
First, lie on your stomach. Keep your feet apart and relax your arms at your side.
Then, slowly bend your knees and hold your feet.
Lift your chest and legs off the floor, and pull your legs back.
Hold the position for a few seconds while breathing long and deep.
If you find these poses easy, it’s worth researching some more complex poses.
Yoga is being practiced by hundreds of thousands of people all over the world, and they're living examples of the age-defying benefits of yoga. The younger you start doing it, the better, but you can practice it at any age and reap the benefits.
Just look at the many celebrities who swear by yoga. They have amazing bodies, and look great even as they pass their 40s. David Beckham is one of the most prominent yogis on the planet, and he looks great even at 42. Interstellar and Magic Mike star Matthew McConaughey is also a keen yoga enthusiast, practicing it seven days a week.
Actress Alicia Vikander is also an avid yogi, using it to mediate and de-stress. Vikander is the female star set to play the latest version of Lara Croft in the 2018 remake of the film Tomb Raider. The movie, which has several titles on the digital platform Steam will once again start to take over the gaming world with its many incarnations. A Tomb Raider slot game has also recently appeared on gaming site Slingo in the lead up to what will no doubt be a Hollywood blockbuster and career-defining film for Vikander. And with such a hectic schedule ahead, Vikander will need yoga to help her focus on the many tasks at hand.
The original starred Angelina Jolie as the iconic femme fatale. If you always wondered how celebrities had such wonderful and flawless skin, then you don’t have to look any further than yoga to see how you too can reap the rewards from this meditative exercise.
Do you practice yoga in your free time and have any tips to share? Let your voice be heard in the comments section below!
click here to read this article about Aerial Yoga Instruction in Nosara, with Hayley MacMillan-Ord :
A physical therapist explains the therapeutic benefits of Pilates.
Click on this link or read below : http://physical-therapy.advanceweb.com/SignUp/RegDocFetchFile.aspx?BRID=52299570410111
Joseph Pilates has written that “physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness.” To enjoy and receive the full benefits of Pilates, understanding the application of the basic principles is imperative. It takes both time and patience for each of these principles to become a natural and inherent part of each movement. This is why Pilates is different from other forms of exercise, and can be so enjoyable, interesting, always challenging, and even addictive.
Awareness and Concentration
Developing a strong mind-body connection is an essential component of Pilates. It begins with learning about the body. There is never a sense of “going through the motions.” There is careful attention to each and every movement. The more you develop a strong sense of awareness, the more you will benefit from Pilates. Clients are taught the correct positions they should be in and how to hold those positions with movement such as in maintaining a neutral spine during leg work. Body awareness is also taught in regards to which muscles one should use and where to initiate a movement.
After a Pilates session, a client should feel “balanced.” More specifically, the client has completed a well-rounded exercise program that has worked on improving both strength and flexibility. There is great attention to the selection of exercises that would best address an individual client’s postural dysfunctions. After a class, in addition to feeling “shaky and worked,” clients will often say they feel taller and lighter on their feet.
While the benefits are enormous, teaching a client the concept of breathing during Pilates is not easy and takes time. Proper breathing is taught very early on in one’s Pilates practice, but the powerful benefits of breathing often are achieved much later in one’s practice. Pilates stresses posterior lateral rib cage breathing which emphasizes using the diaphragm muscle (the primary muscle of inhalation) and the abdominals (important spine stabilizers and assist with exhalation). Initially a client is focusing on so many things, but once the movements in the body are learned, more attention can then be put on breathing. The breath and the movement go hand in hand.
Centering oneself or focusing on one’s core is part of every Pilates movement. Each exercise begins with correctly tightening your core (originally termed the powerhouse) to stabilize and protect your spine. Many people are drawn to Pilates for this very reason—to strengthen their core to eliminate back pain or to improve performance in a sport.
Control and Precision
During Pilates, a client is always in control of her body and the movements she is performing. Because of this, Pilates can be a very safe and effective form of exercise for anyone. As Pilates movements become more advanced, the control of a movement becomes increasingly important. The end result is a very advanced exercise that looks easy and effortless. Emphasis is on precision of a movement and maintaining good form. The more precise one can be with a movement, the more one will benefit from the exercise. Once a client starts to lose good form, the exercise is over. Doing 6 repetitions of an exercise correctly, with good form, is much more effective than 15 repetitions with bad form.
Efficiency / Flow of Movement
Pilates has a strong focus on movement versus holding a pose or position. Throughout a class, there is constant movement from one exercise into the next. As a result, strength and stamina are developed. Many movements are designed to improve posture and lengthen the spine, improve flexibility of muscles, and mobility at joints. Harmony Good Pilates practice requires discipline. The outcome of this mind and body exercise is dependent on continuing to work on improving the flow of exercise, challenging oneself and developing a true sense of harmony and well being.
article by Mollie Fitzsimmons, DPT, MSPT, CPI, staff physical therapist and Pilates practitioner at Physical Therapy and Pilates Restoration LLC in Cheshire, CT.
I liked this article about the reason why people practice yoga. It explains some of the health benefits, but also how yoga can change your brain and really how in the end, Yoga is just a way to be in the present moment, to be mindful and open.