Eating disorders, whether officially diagnosed or not, affect people of all ages, sizes, shapes and genders – up to 24 million people in the US alone, according to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders. The stats are staggering. Our inner dialogue tends to have an awful lot to say about food, body image and how we should feel about ourselves. But yoga can be a powerful tool to counter those negative voices.
Yoga teacher and blogger Chelsea Roff knows this firsthand, and she’s teamed up with the Give Back Yoga Foundation to raise $50,000 to bring her program, Yoga for Eating Disorders, to treatment centers across the country as a free service as well as to conduct an evidence-based study on its effectiveness. She’s asking for your support.
More about Chelsea, her struggle with anorexia and how, eventually, yoga helped her thrive:
When I was 15 years old, I nearly died from a stroke caused by severe anorexia. I was 58 pounds, severely depressed, and had given up on my life. Two weeks before my 16th birthday, I was removed from my parents’ custody and placed under the custodianship of the hospital. I lived there for nearly 18 months.
When I got out of the hospital, my therapist encouraged me to try yoga. I was still significantly underweight and terrified of people, but I went… only to discover a practice (and community) that changed my life. I went from surviving to thriving; from living half a life to experiencing joy and freedom I never imagined possible. Over the past six years, I’ve developed a program called Yoga for Eating Disorders based on my experience. I offer it in hopes that others, too, can recover their lives from this disease.
Right now it’s a three-day program and every $5,000 will allow Chelsea to bring it to one facility. We’re hoping it will expand to a regular service or, in the very least, inspire these treatment centers to incorporate more yoga into their bill of recovery therapies.
The money will also allow Chelsea to visit and speak at local high schools and colleges about eating disorders and prevention. If you’re moved to make a donation head over to the Indiegogo campaign page and show your support. We did.
Here’s Chelsea’s campaign video:
image via www.cornwallfoundationtrust.nhs.uk