Yoga: Healing the Mind and Body
The Psychology of Women Quarterly published a report that “mind-body exercise, such as yoga, is associated with greater body satisfaction and fewer symptoms of eating disorders than traditional aerobic exercise like jogging or using cardio machines.” Perhaps it’s because yoga creates an environment of self-awareness and a sense of how powerful the body is, or maybe it’s the innate mind-body consciousness that occurs with regular practice that’s the key. Either way, yoga is proving to be more than just a method of reducing stress and increasing one’s flexibility: it’s a mindfulness practice dedicated to realigning the mind-body connection. One learns to be in the moment, and can eventually transform the insipid ideology of self-loathing into a greater sense of self-acceptance, body awareness, and a potentially less distorted perception of themselves.
The results of a randomized, controlled clinical trial of yoga in the treatment of eating disorders found that the “Yoga group demonstrated greater decreases in eating disorder symptoms. Specifically, the EDE (Eating Disorder Evaluation) scores decreased over time in the Yoga group, whereas the No Yoga group showed some initial decline but then returned to baseline EDE levels at week 12. The conclusion is: “Individualized yoga treatment decreased EDE scores at 12 weeks, and significantly reduced food preoccupation immediately after yoga sessions. Yoga treatment did not have a negative effect on BMI. Results suggest that individualized yoga therapy holds promise as adjunctive therapy to standard care.”