People with eating disorders often find it helpful to do yoga poses like tree pose. Yoga can be a soothing eating disorder treatment that you can do in the comfort of your own home. It’s effective because eating disorder symptoms often include a dissociation of mind and body, and yoga brings them together. Your child should have a number of tools available for managing anxiety, and one of those tools may be a few simple yoga poses that can help ground and center your child.
One pose that can be very helpful is tree pose. This balancing pose requires focus and is best performed with a strong sense of the ground. Literally grounding one’s self during a strong urge to use eating disorder behaviors may, with practice, reduce urges and triggers.
Vrksasana (Tree Pose)
1) Start Standing (use a wall for support if you need it)
2) Root through your right leg and place your left foot on your ankle, calf, or inner thigh (AVOID PLACING YOUR FOOT AT YOUR KNEE).
3) Keep hands at hips, heart center, or extend your arms to the sky.
4) Stay for 5-10 even breaths and switch to the other side.
Do this pose with your child any time you notice your child is feeling emotionally dysregulated, anxious, or dissociated. This is not a competition – it’s OK if you can only get your foot to your ankle. It’s OK if you wobble and topple. Just keep practicing together, breathing deeply and focusing on the ground beneath your foot as a stabilizing force. Build your toolbox of coping behaviors throughout eating disorder treatment to support your child into recovery.
Give these printable worksheets to grow more confident, calm and resilient and feel better, fast!
- Calming strategies
Ginny Jones is on a mission to empower parents to help their kids recover from eating disorders, body image issues, and other mental health conditions. She’s the founder of More-Love.org, an online resource supporting parents who have kids with eating disorders, and a Parent Coach who helps parents who have kids with mental health issues.
Ginny has been researching and writing about eating disorders since 2016. She incorporates the principles of neurobiology and attachment parenting with a non-diet, Health At Every Size® approach to health and recovery.