What Could Knowing Your True Hungers Change for Your Yoga Practice & Life?

When I first began my journey to recovering from disordered eating and a negative body image, I heard quite a bit about hunger.

Being completely disconnected from my physical hunger, I spent months and months charting my hunger throughout the day. To be honest, most of the time this exercise felt almost completely arbitrary. On a hunger scale from 0 (I will eat anything in front of me, whether it’s food or not) to 10 (I need to go lie down for a week I’m so full), I often found myself wavering and wondering: “Was I a 3 or a 4 before lunch today? It kind of felt more like a 3.5…and afterwards, was I a 7 or an 8? Or a 7.25?”

Most of the time, I really didn’t know, so I made a best guess and then moved on.

At Arm’s Length

Even though undertaking that process was helpful for me in some ways, it never really resonated with me. While I definitely did struggle to stay in touch with my physical hunger, I knew deep down that my root issue wasn’t about what was or wasn’t in my stomach.

I wasn’t sure what it was, but I was willing to stay curious and see if I could learn more.

What Are You Truly Hungry For?

Through the grace of the internet, Rachel Cole somehow came onto my radar. One day I found a beautiful question from her that changed my world, and that I still think of often: “What are you truly hungry for?”

Whoa, right?

That one’s a game changer.

Through posts like this one on the courage to feed your true hungers and this one about how it’s useless to know what you weigh, I felt myself coming home. Her deeply embodied and insightful wisdom gave me that “something” I’d been looking for — a way to look at the many ways that hunger showed up in my life.

Hunger & Yoga

For me these days, I’m hungry for: spaciousness, creative projects I do just for me, house slippers, lap swims (something Rachel & I both love), true collaboration, teaching Curvy Yoga principles to yoga teachers, these amazing butterscotch sea salt caramels from Trader Joe’s, puppy snuggles, luxurious yoga practices, and as much time with my hubby as I can get.

This multi-layered perspective on hunger is so deeply aligned with yoga to me. My yoga practice helps me come into wholeness when I lose the thread of it — first through connection with my body on the mat, then through ever deepening awareness of my body, my breath, my feelings, and more.

When I stay in touch with my many and varied hungers, I do so thanks to what I’ve learned on my yoga mat. And when I do a yoga practice that feels good, I come back to the wisdom of my hungers and allow new ones to arise.

Wise Body, Wise Hungers

It’s because I believe so deeply in Rachel, the transformative power of her work, and how connected it is with the philosophy of Curvy Yoga that I am beyond thrilled to be co-leading a retreat with her in September. “Wise Body, Wise Hungers: Yoga & Coming Home to Our Desires” is happening Sept. 13-15 in San Francisco at Green Gulch Farm Zen Center.

We will be connecting with our true hungers, moving our bodies with comfort and joy, learning from each other, and experiencing delicious rest. I, for one, can hardly wait!

Rachel and I are co-hosting a live webcast (so you can see our smiling faces!) on March 17. We’ll be talking about 4 ways to connect with your wise body and wise hunger now, and we’ll also be chatting about the retreat.

To learn more about the retreat and/or sign up for the free webcast, please click here (webcast registration is at the bottom of the page). Just so you know, 9/15 spots in the retreat are already spoken for, so you might want to grab yours quickly if you know you want one! 

Looking forward to hearing what you’re truly hungry for — and how yoga can support your exploration.

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  • Rosie

    What a clear, profound question indeed, Anna. I love your answers to what you hunger for now and am thrilled about your San Francisco retreat. What a gift it will be to those who can attend. And what a gift you are.

  • Teryll

    Woohoo! Can’t. Wait.