How many times per week do you truly stop to notice your breath? Or how your feet and toes feel on the floor while you stand? Do you do any sort of mindful movements in order to connect with your body?
While on the path to recovering from disordered eating, mindful movement helps folks tune back into the sensations in their bodies. Learning to listen to these sensations and trust the body’s wisdom can help repair and build a positive and self-affirming relationship with the body (Monte Nido Affiliates). It can also be a form of self-care and can work to elevate mood and release stress and tension (Mindful.org).
Our Health and Wellness Coach at Evolve Wellness Group, Natalie Makardish, says mindful movement in eating disorder recovery is key in bringing the wholeness of the person into the recovery process. People who are recovering from disordered eating are highly sensitive to the feelings in their bodies. They may have learned to dull some of these sensations due to their overwhelming nature. Mindful movement brings the power back to the person in recovery to experience the deep sensations in a safe space and to learn to process and manage them.
Here is a quick daily practice that can be done in the morning or before bed as a way to mindfully tune in to your body:
- Find a comfortable space such as a yoga mat, blanket, or bed where you will have room to relax and be comfortable
- Find yourself in the yoga pose Balasana, or Child’s Pose (VeryWellFit.com).
- Come to your hands and knees in a tabletop position
- Spread your knees as wide as you feel comfortable with your big toes still touching
- Bring your belly between your knees
- Bring your forehead to the floor. Put a block or a pillow down to rest the forehead if this feels more comfortable
- Relax your shoulders, forehead, and eyes
- Keep the arms overhead, palms down toward the floor – this pose should be restful
- Begin box breathing
- Inhale for 6
- Quick hold at the top of the breath
- Exhale for 6
- Quick hold at the bottom of the breath
While breathing, begin to feel into your stomach and diaphragm. Feel your ribs expanding and imagine taking up this new space in your internal body. Curiously meet the new spaces that this breath takes up in your body. Acknowledge the new spaces and give it gratitude for being part of you.
Stay here as long as you like. It is recommended to sit and breathe for 2-10 minutes.