The benefits of yoga are seemingly never-ending: it helps us sleep, gives us energy, and of course gets us closer to that six-pack we’ve always wanted. But yoga expert Tara Stiles, founder of Strala Yoga founder and author of Make Your Own Rules Diet, says hitting the mat can also help curb food cravings. Skeptical? Listen up: Stiles says that when we get cravings we hold tension in the hips, hamstrings, shoulders, and the spine. Doing poses that open up these areas can greatly diminish the urge to grab a doughnut or bag of chips. Still not sold? The next time a desire hits, grab your mat and get moving to see for yourself.
Pose 1: Pigeon
Bend your right knee and angle your shin so it is facing your front. Bring your left leg around behind you and extend it. If there’s pain or tension in your right knee, scoot your right foot closer toward your body. Move your hips around until you feel a nice opening. If you feel great sitting upright, stay there. Or, if it's comfortable, try walking your hands forward and relaxing your torso. Shift from side to side to explore different sensations.
Pose 2: Cow Face
Stack your knees on top of each other (right on top of left) and let your feet rest out to your sides. If this doesn’t feel good on your knees, don’t push or force your body into the shape, just stay in an easy seated position. If you are comfortable with your knees stacked, take a few breaths here. You can either stay upright or rest your torso forward. When you are finished, bring your torso upright.
Pose 3: Reclining Eagle Twist
Lay flat on your back and place the soles of your feet flat on the ground beneath your hips. Lift your hips up and shift them over to your right side. Wrap your right leg around your left leg and let your knees relax over to your left side. Open you arms out to your sides and look over toward your right hand.
Photo: Tara Stiles
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