We all have food cravings – all of us. And according to The Yoga Healer, Christine Burke, they’re not all bad. Sometimes we crave the very foods that we actually need to eat. But, there is a different kind of craving… one that comes over us when we’re least expecting it. And those pesky cravings often take the form of a nagging voice in your head. And that voice tells you that you NEED the taste of sweet/salty, or the feeling of being stuffed full in order to be okay…in order to even get through the next twenty minutes. There are many reasons why we eat foods we know won’t make us feel good, or reasons why we overeat. And it’s very often to mask or hide uncomfortable feelings and emotions. We literally “stuff” them. There also may be biological reasons for your food cravings: Perhaps you are missing vital nutrients, or your hormones are out-of-whack, or you are hypoglycemic. Either way, I have found that yoga is one of the most powerful ways of dealing with food cravings in a really healthy way.
I visited soul sister, Christine, in her pretty Los Angeles yoga studio to get her take on how to ride the wave of a food craving. Not only is Christine a skilled yoga teacher (who teaches teachers), but she also has a knack of taking your practice way beyond the actual asanas, and into a deeply healing place. Christine teaches many teenage girls, so I knew she’d be the perfect person to lead us through the practice of dealing with food cravings.
Here are some of her tips:
- Thank your body! We tend to punish our body rather than be nice to it when a craving hits. We frame it as something bad and shameful. Christine recommends that you thank your body for telling you it wants to feel good. Just thank it and suggest (as you would to a small child), that there is another way to release those feel-good endorphins.
- Gratitude: Instead of looking at what you haven’t got and your bad feelings (empty tummy, fear, panic, boredom etc), sit down and make a gratitude list of what you do have in your life, and how full your life actually is!
- Get still: This is the most important tip! Rather than rush to the fridge or the cookie drawer, remove yourself from the situation, take a pause, take a few deep breaths, and become mindful of what is going on with you. Sometimes writing down your feelings can really help.
- Restore and nourish yourself by practicing a few simple yoga poses, which Christine shows you how to do in the video.
- Breathing technique: Learn Christine’s simple yoga breathing technique (in video) for instant calm and balance.