The power of moving slowly
There is a wide variety of yoga styles and it can be confusing about which ones are right for you. One major distinction is fast-paced versus slow-placed. Fast-paced (power yoga) can often feel more like a workout, while slow-paced yoga allows for more intentional connection to your breath and body.
Yoga classes that are power-style (one breath, one movement) don't really allow for time to feel the pose. Before you know it, you're onto the next one. This can actually be dissociating from the body, or even disorienting for some. The body becomes a vehicle to perform, rather than a vehicle to feel and sense.
When we slow down, we can feel. Our style of yoga provides a space for you to feel and notice with curiosity and compassion. There are no "rights" or "wrongs," there are simply observations. This is a major component of embodiment.
Yoga as a part of your recovery
New research shows us that eating disorder recovery is the process of embodiment. Embodiment is where consciousness intersects with the body (from Embodied Recovery). Recovery is not necessarily stopping behaviors, like we once believed. Rather, it's learning why the eating disorder behaviors exist in the first place, and healing through embodiment so that you no longer need them.
Recovery is the process of embodiment
We do not recommend yoga as the only tool for recovery. We recommend getting a mental health therapist and a dietitian who both specialize in eating disorders. You can also call an eating disorder treatment center like Carolina House, Veritas, Eating Recovery Center, or Alsana, for an assessment to see if a higher level of care is recommended. Early intervention is key.
Once stable, our Flow Yoga classes can be a great fit for individuals in eating disorder recovery, as well as individuals who suffer from anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and other mental health challenges.
Here's our approach:
- Trauma-Informed: Our teachers are trauma-informed and promote agency and choice throughout the entire class.
- Embodiment: We focus on feeling over doing to promote embodiment. It’s not about what your pose looks like at the Current, it’s about how you feel and what you notice through curiosity. (Our mirrors are covered during yoga classes to help drop in to your body).
- Stress Reduction: This style of yoga stimulates our parasympathetic nervous system (ventral vagal complex) which aids stress reduction and decreases body tension and tightness. Being in a class with other's also supports social engagement.
- Intentional Movement: Slow and intentional so we can tune into our breath and body. Faster-paced yoga can actually lead to further dissociation from the body, while slowing down gives us time to make contact with our body to build awareness and safety.
Health at Every Size®: Our teachers are trained in Health at Every Size and utilize language that celebrates body diversity.
Not sure what is right for you? We offer free wellness consultations to learn more about your interests and goals in order to guide you to the services and classes that would be most beneficial to you. Contact us here to schedule a call today.
About the author: Brit Guerin is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor who specializes in eating disorders, anxiety, and trauma. She is on a mission to make fitness and yoga more accessible for larger bodies, while ditching diet culture and celebrating body diversity. She believes movement best serves our community when it's about how we feel, instead of how we look.