The Value of Yoga in Treating Eating Disorders

It’s estimated that 8 million Americans suffer from an eating disorder (anorexia, bulimia or binge eating).  In an effort to provide some perspective on the enormity of this crisis, that’s almost equivalent to the most populated city in the country (8.2 million people resided in NYC in 2011).
Even more shocking is that eating disorders carry the highest mortality rate of any mental illness; with 5-10% of those afflicted passing away within ten years of falling victim to the disease, 18-20% after twenty years.
Psychological and emotional factors often contribute to the emergence of an eating disorder.  Some of these factors include low self esteem, perfectionism, anger management issues or relationship conflicts.
Individuals who are saddled with any of these issues may be able to find relief from their disease through the practice of yoga.
According to Anita Ahn, Director of the EarthMind Wellness Center, “Yoga in itself is a powerful tool.  It encourages healthy relationships between one’s body and emotions.”
A study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health substantiates Ahn’s claim, noting that individuals who participated in a one hour yoga class, semi-weekly, for eight weeks exhibited a greater decrease in eating disorder symptoms.  Ahn attributes these decreases to yoga’s innate ability to guide participants in becoming less self-objectifying.  “It’s about focus” says Ahn.
If you or someone you love is currently struggling with an eating disorder and is interested in participating in a yoga class, contact the EarthMind Wellness Center today at or call 845-210-3143.