Written by Jenn Hand, Holistic Nutritionist, Board Certified Health Coach, NBC-HWC, Emotional Eating Coach

How To Use Yoga To Overcome Emotional Eating

Does yoga help in controlling emotions?

Yoga is an amazing tool to help us deal with our complex emotional world.

In this fast paced life, we can’t help but operate on autopilot, stuffing down emotions and not allowing ourselves to really feel things. Yoga can be a nourishing and supportive way to slow down and process the things we end up stuffing inside in our day to day busy life.  

Does yoga release negative emotions?

Yoga is a wonderful way to release negative emotions.

Because so much of yoga is linking breath to movement, it helps release stuck energy, old feelings, and emotions trapped in our bodies. Deep, rhythmic breathing allows the body to relax and tap into the parasympathetic nervous system, which is what helps us restore and let go of things we no longer need. 

Should you try to “control” emotions or let them go?

Trying to resist and control emotions usually only keeps them stuck.

At its core, an emotion is simply energy needing to move through the body. When we try to control the path, the process or the movement, it usually backfires. By trying to control emotions, we end up feeling more out of control! Working to let them go and move through the body is the key to feeling emotional freedom. 

Which yoga practices help in emotional management?

While you can’t go wrong with any yoga pose to help you emotionally, some of my favorites are the ones where you’re breathing long and deep. Experiment with a half or full sun salutation, forward fold with breath, child’s pose, pigeon pose, and upward facing dog to down dog. 

yoga helps with emotional eating because you can release negative emotions

But, sometimes yoga triggers emotions…then what?

It’s normal if a strong emotion comes up during a yoga class!

I’ve had times over the years where I’ve cried in class or had a feeling come up that I needed to come back to post class to process. If something does come up, be kind to yourself.

Yoga is all about listening to your body so explore what would feel nourishing– lying in savasana, going into child’s pose, breathing in a supported bridge pose or a chest opener–use your own body’s guidance to listen to what you need. If you aren’t able to do that during class, revisit the emotion after to see if there’s something else you need to “do” to process it. 

Why does yoga trigger emotions?

Because we’re doing a lot of breathwork in yoga, it naturally brings up things we “stuff” down inside during the day. We swallow a lot of emotions, desires, needs, and requests throughout our day, so it’s natural when we slow down enough to breathe and be in our bodies, emotions come up for us to process them. 

What are some other ways to release trapped emotions?

Some of my favorite tools to release emotions are journaling, meditation, EFT (tapping) and a good cry!

Read More:

🌷What Defines Emotional Eating

🌷How to Not “Give In” to Emotional Eating

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About the Author: 

Jenn Hand has been helping women like you become normal eaters since 2015.

She’s worked with thousands of women, helping them to balance their bodies, end bingeing, stop obsessing over food, and start feeling amazing again.  As a board-certified health coach and holistic nutritionist, Jenn knows how to support you in making real positive changes that last.

Her articles have been published on Mind Body Green, Tiny Buddha, Thrive Global and other local and global media platforms. She’s the author of How to Be a Normal Eater and the creator of The Normal Eater’s Club program. Listen to Jenn’s advice and tips on the Cake Doesn’t Count Podcast, or read more of her articles for free on the Food Freedom Blog.

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