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Yoga Eases Eating Disorders: Regular Practice Reduces Anxiety and Depression

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Researchers from Brown University, in Providence, Rhode Island, have found that regular yoga practice can help reduce anxiety and depression in young women with eating disorders. The scientists followed 20 girls between the ages of 14 and 18 that were enrolled in an outpatient eating disorder clinic that comprised the larger control group.

Those selected agreed to participate in a weekly yoga class and complete questionnaires after six and 12 weeks, assessing their anxiety, depression and mood. Of those that started the study, five attended all 12 yoga classes and six completed between seven and 11 classes. Researchers found decreases in anxiety, depression and negative thoughts among those that participated in the yoga classes, with no negative side effects.

Another study from the University of Delaware, in Newark, supports these results. Half of the 38 residential eating disorder treatment program participants did one hour of yoga prior to dinner for five days and the other half did not. The yoga group showed significant reductions in pre-meal anxiety compared to the control group.


This article appears in the September 2017 issue of Natural Awakenings.

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