Yoga helps strengthen, tone, reduce stress, quiet the mind…and even fight cravings! Next time you feel the urge to eat something salty or sweet, try one of these yoga poses to reduce cravings.
There are a ton of benefits that come with a regular yoga practice, but one of the lesser known benefits is that it can help fight cravings!
It’s believed that since yoga promotes mindfulness and body awareness, it helps you decipher between being legitimately hungry and just wanting to mindlessly snack on something for entertainment. These yoga poses will bring you to the present moment and help you fight those cravings!
Yoga Poses to Reduce Cravings
Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
This one may look simple, but it’s anything but! This yoga pose boosts body awareness and confidence to help fight cravings. Mountain Pose also improves balance and supports spine health.
How to do Mountain Pose: Stand with your big toes touching and your heels slightly apart, evenly distributing your weight throughout all four corners of your feet. Roll back your shoulders and feel your spine and neck elongate, with the crown of your head aligned over your pelvis. Keep your arms engaged by your sides, and turn your palms so that they are facing the front of the room. Hold for 30 seconds or longer, focusing on keeping your spine elongated and evenly balancing on all four corners of your feet.
Child’s Pose (Balasana)
This relaxing and restorative posture is one of the best yoga poses to reduce cravings while you center your mind! In addition to curbing cravings, it boosts circulation and aids in digestion, while also lengthening the spine and opening the hips.
How to do Child’s Pose: Start on your knees, sitting back on your heels. Separate your knees from each other but keep your big toes touching, making enough space between your legs for your torso. As you exhale, bend at your hips and bring your torso forward between your knees, allowing your forehead to rest on the ground. Extend your arms in front of you with your palms on the ground but your arms lifted and active. As you’re in this pose, lengthen through your spine as you exhale, staying for 30 seconds or longer.
Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
Downward Facing Dog is a foundational yoga inversion – AKA a pose where your heart is higher than your head. Inversions are great for calming the mind, and can help you focus on what your body really needs before reaching for an unhealthy snack. This pose also strengthens the arms and legs, eliminates back tension and stiffness, and stretches the body.
How to do Downward Facing Dog: Start in a tabletop position. As you exhale, engage your core, curl your toes under your feet, and lift your knees off the ground. Stretch your tailbone up and away from your hands as you straighten your legs. If you need to wake up your hamstrings, you can alternate between bending each leg before settling into stillness. Focus your weight on the inside edges of your palm, and allow your gaze to fall between your knees behind you. Elongate your tailbone back on each exhale, and hold for at least 30 seconds.
Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)
This strengthening backbend is one of the best yoga poses to reduce cravings, because it allows you to redirect your focus away from the cravings and towards holding the position. It also stretches the neck, shoulders, and back (goodbye, tension!), and promotes good digestion.
How to do Bridge Pose: Start on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Allow your arms to extend at your sides with your palms down. Engage your core as you lift your hips off the ground to create a diagonal line from your knees to your head. Keep your head and shoulders on the mat, with your toes pointing forward and your feet on the ground. Hold the pose for at least 30 seconds, and then release by gently rolling your spine back onto the ground.
Legs Up the Wall (Viparita Karani)
This restorative yoga pose will calm and center you so that you can take your attention away from cravings! Legs Up the Wall also releases lower back tension while stretching your legs and relieving fatigue.
How to do Legs Up the Wall: Start seated, and bring your glutes towards the wall. Lie down on your back, and swing your legs up against the wall so that they are pointing straight up. Bring your glutes closer to the wall if necessary, and place your arms in a comfortable position. Hold for at least 30 seconds.
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