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How yoga helps curb cravings

Maggie Giuffrida is a graduate of The University of Arizona where she earned a degree in journalism. She is a contributing writer for SheKnows, specializing in health and fitness. Maggie is a certified yoga instructor and health and well...

Say no to cookies and yes to chatturangas!

When the cold weather kicks in, so do those sugary cravings! Learn the correlation between the winter blues and body weight struggles — and how practicing yoga can help you regain control!
Woman reaching for cookies

Say no to cookies
and yes to chatturangas!

When the cold weather kicks in, so do those sugary cravings! Learn the correlation between the winter blues and body weight struggles — and how practicing yoga can help you regain control!

I know I probably sound like an old broken record by this point, but go ahead and add another check to the list of what yoga can cure. From weight struggles and PMS pains to memory loss, fatigue and now, sugar cravings? Yes, folks, it's true — there's really nothing a little yoga can't do.

According to Whole Living, people eat an average of 86 more calories a day during the fall and winter months than they do in the spring and summer. And while various seasonal lattes courtesy of my favorite coffee shop (which shall go unnamed) could be partially to blame, the main reason has more to do with hormonal imbalances that tend to arise when the cold weather strikes.

“When you don’t get enough daylight, you produce less serotonin,” says Barbara Olendzki, a registered dietitian at the University of Massachusetts–Worcester. And what do you know? Low levels of serotonin have a direct correlation with food cravings.

Thankfully, we don't have to wage war on winter and delicious lattes alone. No, my friends, we have yoga to help us fight that battle.

"Cravings and addictions have to do with not being in the present moment and often not wanting to be," says Tara Stiles, founder of Strala Yoga in New York City, in an article published on MindBodyGreen.com. "Yoga is all about being in the present moment and paying attention to what is going on with you, right now. Dealing with it is more useful in healing addictions and facing cravings than mindlessly masking our feelings with food, drugs or alcohol."

Since yoga focuses on regular, deep breathing and meditation, it helps you still your mind and locate the emotion or circumstance responsible for causing your craving. This practice allows you to have a deeper connection with your body, ultimately enabling you to fight off those bad cravings and opt for healthier choices instead.

So go ahead and slowly unclench your fingers, releasing any tension in the hands and possible sadness in the face, and put that cookie back where you found it (or better yet — the trashcan), and indulge in a few of these yummy yoga poses instead.

1

Seated meditation

Seated meditation

2

Butterfly pose

Butterfly pose

Butterfly pose

3

Boat pose

Boat pose

Boat pose

Boat pose

4

Humble warrior

Humble warrior

4

Tree pose

Humble warrior

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More on yoga

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Photo credit: George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images
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