On September 15th at 8am, I climbed onto the 'You Are Beautiful' building, laid my yoga mat down on the roof, and I am not getting off this mat 'til all the funds for our campaign are raised. Period!
Watch live here.
When I was 15 years old, I nearly died from a stroke caused by severe anorexia. I was 58 pounds, severely depressed, and had given up on my life. Two weeks before my 16th birthday, I was removed from my parents’ custody and placed under the custodianship of the hospital. I lived there for nearly 18 months.
When I got out of the hospital, my therapist encouraged me to try yoga. I was still significantly underweight and terrified of people, but I went... only to discover a practice (and community) that changed my life. I went from surviving to thriving; from living half a life to experiencing joy and freedom I never imagined possible. Over the past six years, I’ve developed a program called Yoga for Eating Disorders™ based on my experience. I offer it in hopes that others, too, can recover their lives from this disease.
Chances are you know someone with an eating disorder. Maybe it’s a daughter, maybe it’s a friend, maybe it’s an ex-lover or spouse. An estimated 24 million Americans suffer from eating disorders, but only 1 in 10 ever receive treatment. This disease kills nearly half a million people every year - it has the highest mortality rate of any mental illness.
I used to believe that no one recovered from an eating disorder. Every person I knew who had struggled with this disease was still struggling, recovery seemed hopeless and impossible. But now I know: Freedom is possible. Joy is possible. There is a way out of this illness, and yoga is an incredible tool in paving the path to healing.
My goal is to help other women find their way out of this illness -- just like my community helped me in my time of need. I am partnering with the Give Back Yoga Foundation to offer Yoga for Eating Disorders™ as a service at treatment centers and to conduct an evidence-based study on its effectiveness in improving treatment outcomes. Please support our campaign.
Yoga for Eating Disorders™ is a 3-day program that teaches patients practical tools to cope with difficult emotions, tune into hunger and fullness signals, and ultimately use yoga to support their recovery rather than act out in their eating disorder.
For every $5000 raised, we can offer the program at one treatment center in the United States.
Your funds support travel, lodging, data collection, curriculum development, support staff, materials, and related expenses.
Your funds will also allow me to visit one high school and one college in the hosting city to speak to young people about eating disorder prevention.
The sky is the limit. 50K is minimum. The more money we raise, the greater our potential impact.
The average cost of treating an eating disorder is $1,250 per day, and even at that rate over half of patients relapse after discharge. Yoga for Eating Disorders™ is a cost-effective program that teaches patients critical skills for long term recovery; potentially shortening treatment, reducing relapse, and ultimately saving lives.
Your support will allow us to collect data to assess whether Yoga for Eating Disorders™ improves treatment outcomes. Our hope is that this research will bestow greater legitimacy to yoga-based interventions in medical settings and ultimately make it possible to offer the program in centers worldwide.
More than one half of teenagers use unhealthy control behaviors (e.g. fasting, vomiting and taking laxatives) to control their weight. Your support will allow me to speak with young people about developing healthy relationships with their bodies and emotions, as well as teach educators how to stop eating disorders before they start.