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Curb Cravings with Yoga

Yoga Curbs Cravings

Deep breathing and flowing movement can help fight cravings, says Tara Stiles, founder of Strala Yoga [1] and author of Make Your Own Rules Diet [2]. Read on…

That desire for a second pumpkin brownie at 4pm can be overwhelming. But practicing yoga can help you control those strong feelings, by calming the mind.

‘Yoga is like a moving meditation. The style I practice is designed to activate your body’s relaxation response. When you forcefully try to ‘achieve a pose’ or ‘push through the pain’ your body is bathed in stress hormones, including cortisol. But when you are breathing well and flowing through the poses that fuels that feel-good chemical cocktail and when people leave the class they tend to want to eat better.’

A 2014 study from Harvard shows that the benefits of yoga go beyond being bendy. The meta-analysis of 32 randomized controlled trials found that yoga practitioners have lower body mass index, lower heart rate and lower LDL cholesterol. Previous studies have found that yoga can balance blood sugar and lower the stress hormone cortisol.

Cravings can also come from not eating enough nutrients or sometimes even nostalgia – you might reach for that oatmeal cookie because it reminds you of your childhood. This multi-factorial nature of cravings is something Stiles wanted to address in her new cookbook.

‘The recipes had to be easy, taste good and not be super expensive. I took a lot of the simple recipes from growing up – like potato salad and Twinkie cake – and made them healthier. But still have that nostalgia feel.’

‘Make Your Own Rules Diet [3] (Hay House) is filled with over 100 plant-based recipes from friends, family, members, yoga teachers and wellness gurus from around the world. There is a ‘Jet Lag Juice’ recipe with banana, almond milk, ginger and hot sauce, as well as a super speedy vegan pad-thai you can make in the blender.

Tara will be in London leading Strala Yoga Teacher Training [4] from February 13th until February 26th.

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