“What the heck is Harry Potter Yoga?” – That’s probably the first thought that comes to mind when you hear those three words.
Meg Burton, founder of the Southern California chapter of Project HEAL a 501(c)3 nonprofit which raises money for people with eating disorders who are not able to afford treatment. HEAL promotes healthy body image and self-esteem and encourages all people to believe that full recovery from an eating disorder is possible. Meg was inspired by an article on the Huffington Post about a yoga instructor Isabel Beltran and her sister Ximena Larkin who taught a Harry Potter themed yoga class for Halloween.
Meg, an eating disorder survivor herself, leaned on both yoga and the Harry Potter stories while she was going through treatment. Yoga helped replace her eating disorder habits with a new ritual, while Harry Potter helped her create metaphors to fight her eating disorder. When times got tough, she viewed her eating disorder as Voldemort, and thought about Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (the fifth book) when Harry was fighting Voldemort and Dumbledore is in the background begging Harry to keep fighting. Harry finally breaks through Voldemort’s power by thinking of friends and loved ones, and as many positive memories as he can.
When my brain is taking over and I can only focus on negative things, feeling fat, or telling myself I’m a horrible person; I do this same thing. I fight against them, and I think of positive memories and the love I’m surrounded with. These metaphors from Harry Potter give me skills that are helping me to actually reroute the neural activity in my brain.
Project HEAL’s inaugural Harry Potter Yoga class, led by instructor Kasey Hurlbutt, happens Sunday, February 19 from 3-6pm at Wanderlust Hollywood. Passages from the books will be read throughout the class, as well as in savasana.Purchase Tickets