How Yoga is Putting Me One Step Closer to Recovery — Yoga For Eating Disorders Montgomery County PA Yoga TherapyBlog

By Rachel, Guest Contributor

I never thought anorexia would be something I would go through in my lifetime. It never made sense to me when I was younger; I remember being so confused as to why someone would ever withhold food, something so vital, from themselves. It just didn’t make any sense to me. Now that I’ve gotten older and experienced it for myself, I understand that it’s not really about food. It’s a coping mechanism; one that leaves its user with more problems and less compassion for themselves than they started out with. I miss the days when I was oblivious to the ins and outs of eating disorders.

Before I started yoga, I didn’t have any compassion towards myself, instead turning to harmful methods to make myself feel better when things got hard. Yoga is teaching me that these harmful behaviors are not the answer, but caring for myself and being gentle with myself is.

I never had any intention of starting yoga; but one day upon plugging “How to cure an eating disorder” into Google, I found something interesting. Yoga, for many, can be a helpful tool in coping with and aiding in eating disorder recovery. This piqued my interest, and so I decided to give it a try. I went to a simple yinyasa class for the first time a few weeks later. I had no idea what I was doing, or even if I would like yoga, I just knew that I wanted to get better. I was tired of being stuck in the relentless torment that is anorexia.

However, my relationship with yoga didn’t start out perfectly, nor did I fall in love with it right away like some do. I enjoyed the classes, but for a long time remained hyper-focused on the physical aspects of yoga. I treated it more as a workout and way to burn calories than a way to focus my mind or gain clarity. I wasn’t sure that I would ever feel any mental or emotional benefits from yoga.

Soon after, I started recovery for the first time, and a month or two later began Yin yoga. Looking back on it now, it wasn’t real recovery, and I remember being disappointed and frustrated that I wasn’t getting a workout from this type of yoga. While I may have been eating enough in this so-called “recovery”, I remained focused on the way my body looked. I thought because I was no longer focusing on being thin and losing weight, that it wasn’t a problem anymore and I was recovering. But I was quickly becoming obsessed with looking toned and eating a certain way, and looking back on it, that wasn’t healthy either. I was obsessed with “fixing” parts of my body I didn’t deem attractive enough, spending unhealthy amounts of time trying to alter them with various workout routines. This quasi-recovery didn’t last, and four months later I relapsed into my eating disorder again.

Since then, I’ve kept at Yin yoga, beginning to appreciate its slowness and the chance it gives me to tune into and process my emotions. Its slow, gentle nature has allowed me to focus on my body, breath and feelings in a way I haven’t before. My instructor often speaks of self-compassion and feeling things in the body without judgement, and I have learned to extend that to my everyday life. Yoga has helped me gain a sense of compassion for myself and my body, no longer putting blame or judgement on myself for my struggles. It has also enabled me to process the feelings and thoughts that arise from my eating disorder with less of a feeling of shame. I’ve gained an understanding that caring for and showing myself compassion is a vital part of feeling better, and that I don’t need my eating disorder to do so. It’s also shown me that I’m capable of showing compassion for myself and my body in the first place.

The deep breathing and breathwork that come with yoga have helped me make peace with myself and my eating disorder in ways I never anticipated when I started. It took some time to figure out what worked for me- how to breathe with the movement in a way that felt natural and beneficial. But after a while it became intuitive, and I began to feel the benefits of it emotionally in my practice. With each deep breath in, I envision positive energy flowing inward, expelling negative energy with every long exhale.

The last year and a half hasn’t been all bad. I have grown a lot, and a lot of good has come into my life. I have found a new hobby I enjoy and look forward to (yoga), and have found support around me in the most loving and caring people.

By no means am I saying that I am recovered, but yoga has given me what I need to move in the right direction. It has truly given me the feeling that real recovery is possible, and that I do not need my eating disorder to meet my needs. Through yoga, I have learned how to be more compassionate towards myself, and have been given a feeling of control over my life that I didn’t have before. Without it I would be much worse off, and I am very thankful that I took a chance with it. Yoga, combined with the support of those around me, has set me in the right direction towards recovery, and for that I am grateful.

Source link

Please follow and like us:
Pin Share

By admin

Follow by Email