Pranayama for Overeating

Just something I found and wanted to share as an alternative for those looking for a way to control compulsive eating. i struggle with this sometimes and this has worked for me.

This is at best a painful subject, at worst a dangerous one. Compulsive overeating. You can't stop it, you can't help yourself, you just keep eating and eating. You ignore the pain in your stomach, the screech in your mind that says "What are you doing?!?!" and listen to the darker part of you that pushes you on. Maybe you only eat a little bit too much. You're intending to diet and instead of stopping when you're not hungry, you eat until you're full. Maybe you are fully consumed with an eating disorder, and you are haunted by thoughts of eating, anything and everything, and stuff yourself even more when you think sadly about what you're doing to yourself. Feelings of anger, hate, jealousy don't want to feel anything, so you replace it with feeling full. Maybe you're emotionally distraught from a fight with your loved ones. Maybe you've come home from school where the kids bully you and food is a comfort. Comfort, stress, emotions, sadness, self-hate...there are many reasons we overeat.

When your eating becomes uncontrollable and an instrument of violence against your own body, its time to take action. You deserve to be happy. You deserve to live a life of peace and joy. You deserve a healthy relationship to food and to your own body. And there is a pranayama, or breathing exercise, that can help you.

Yogi Bhajan, master of Kundalini Yoga, said that compulsive overeating had to do with an imbalance in the "self-depriving factors" in the brain's eastern hemisphere. He felt that it could be corrected by activating the left hemisphere of the brain to combat that impulse to overeat that is originating from the right hemisphere.

Pranayama for Overeating

At the time that you feel the urge to overeat, sit in Easy Pose. Block the right nostril with the right thumb. Inhale deeply through your left nostril and hold the breath in as much as you can. Then exhale through the left nostril smoothly and hold the breath out for the same amount of time you held it in. Continue for 31 minutes.

Yogi Bhajan said that 90 consecutive days of this pranayama for 31 minutes a day would be enough for most chronic cases. He also cautioned not to overemphasize the breathing. A nice, slow yogic deep breath is enough. You should not be putting pressure on the diaphragm.

Give yourself this gift. Fill yourself with prana, the energy of life that is in the breath, instead of food. The hardest part will be starting. You'll want to continue with your old patterns. But you can do this, you deserve to do it. You can fill yourself with light and love instead of food. It is possible.

Edit: for got to put where I found this


  • I am not really into first class was a disaster but I have heard deep breathing boosts ur metabolism. I don't disagree with this method. I think it could work for anyone. Sitting in that position for that period of time gives ur mind enough time to recover from any impulsive feeling you may have...I will try it...if I need to!

    PS (I was diagnosed with BED in 2001)
  • Alicia09NYC
    Alicia09NYC Posts: 34 Member
    Thanks for sharing this....i have been practicing breathing meditation while i am in the train commuting and it has made a big difference as far as emotions
  • atucker0821
    atucker0821 Posts: 106 Member
    i have never received a diagnosis for binge eating but i know that i suffer from some form of's almost compulsive...even when i know i shouldn't be eating, i do it anyway...and like the post suggests it is painful to discuss...and embarrassing especially with someone else doesn't understand it...

    i'm not into yoga either but if i could train myself to do that everytime i had an urge to overeat...the sheer willpower and focus it would take me to sit there for 30 minutes with one nostril closed would probably help detract me from wanting to eat =).

    Interesting post, I am going to use this if necessary!:happy:
  • c7eat2live
    c7eat2live Posts: 308 Member
    thanks for this! I love yoga, and do four classes a week, and this is a great idea for calming the mind, I am going to make a conscious effort to try this for a week...
  • mem50
    mem50 Posts: 1,384 Member
    Interesting. I do have a problem with binge eating. Sometimes I just go nuts. Have made myself sick at times. It does not happen often but am gonna try this out. Thanks!