6 Benefits of Yoga in Addiction Recovery
When it comes to addiction recovery, it’s no easy process. Depending on how serious an addiction is, recovery can look different from person to person. There are many forms of recovery therapy, but what may help one person, may not help the other. Some of the most common forms of detox therapy are medicinal and counseling. However, there are numerous other methods people use to help them on their road to recovery and each one has their own individual benefits. One of the most common alternative methods for recovery therapy is yoga therapy.
Yoga is a Hindu spiritual and ascetic discipline which includes breath control, simple meditation, and the adoption of specific bodily postures is widely practiced for health and relaxation. Yoga has proven to be a highly effective technique for relieving stress, which is a major issue for those in recovery. Another great thing about yoga is you can do it anytime, anywhere, and with anyone!
When you become addicted to any substance, you are damaging your body physically, mentally, and spiritually. When your well-being is damaged by substance abuse, therapy methods like yoga seek to help rebalance your life and get you back on the right track.
Recovery is process that requires a lot of strength, will, and determination. During this process, you are attempting to regain who you once were and live a new life, again. Many who have gone through this process have used yoga as their means of regaining what they once had. Yoga has gone to show great results for those trying to live a sober life; we will discuss the benefits of yoga practice as addiction therapy:
Practice Yoga Anywhere, Anytime
Just like we mentioned earlier, one great thing about yoga is it can be practiced anywhere, anytime! Practice it in your backyard, in nature, in your room, at the gym, wherever you want! Just grab your mat and get to meditating.
If you are someone that feels uncomfortable doing it by yourself, take a couple basic yoga classes to get a better feel for how it all works. Once you learn the basics, you can easily create your own yoga routine to easily fit within your daily schedule. Take some time early in the morning, midday, or at night; whatever works best for you.
Eliminates Withdrawal Symptoms
When you are in recovery, chances are you will experience a lot of discomfort, pain, and other issues. When you become dependent on a substance, it’s not easy to give up so quickly. Your body will attack itself and try to get you to seek chemical refuge again. The beginning stages of recovery are the most difficult and will see some of these issues.
When integrating yoga into addiction therapy, some of these issues may be eased. With the whole point of yoga being to ease the mind and destress, this is easily one of the best methods for recovery. We all run into problems throughout the day that can add a lot of unnecessary stress into our lives, and this can be devastating for those starting the recovery process. Yoga promotes a healthy body & healthy mind, it’s a fantastic way to get you to focus your energy on what matters (sobriety).
Gives You A Natural High
People use substances and ultimately become dependent on them because of the initial intense euphoric high they provide. However, this feeling will never be consistent. Oftentimes addiction develops simply because the person is chasing a high that they will never again achieve because of the effect the chemicals have on one’s brain. But yoga is considered one of the few healthy, natural methods of achieving elevated consciousness similar to the “high” you might experience when using harmful substances. When you practice yoga, it allows you to venture outside the confines of your mind to achieve a new kind of euphoria, the kind that allows for a sense of spiritual tranquility, relaxation, and peace. Now which sounds better, chemical euphoria or natural healthy euphoria?
Helps Redirect Focus
When people have a chemical dependency, it is typically to escape something in their lives. This clearly isn’t a healthy way of dealing with life issues. Substances create a short, but not permanent, escape from life’s worries (past, present, and future).
On the other hand, yoga helps ease your mind and trains you to focus on what you are being subjected to in the moment. Yoga is all about the present and investing your energy into your emotions and thoughts in your current state of being.
When you are able to focus on the present, you are able to hone in on what matters. The idea is to be able to finally let go of what happened in the past and accepting that there are things that cannot be changed. In addition to training your mind to release emotions surrounding past experiences, yoga will also help to squash any anxiety about the future. What happens in the future is unknown, so why worry about it? Focus on the now and redirect your energy to what matters.
Coping With Emotions
Drug abuse recovery is an extremely difficult time in someone’s life and it can cause some emotional turmoil. Feelings of loneliness, unimportance, helplessness, stress and many others affect people in recovery. When these negative feelings come up, people often turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms to combat them which never actually allow them to analyze and process the emotions they are experiencing. Facing your fears and confronting your problems head-on is one of the crucial steps in recovery. For this reason, yoga is the perfect companion to successful treatment because it teaches you how to calmly control your thoughts and emotions by seeking inner peace. This activity helps with self-reflection and gives you time to meditate and truly understand/control your emotions.
Creates Better Self-Control
One essential factor in recovery therapy is self-control. You are leaving behind something that you depended on for some kind of escape from reality, so it won’t be easy to give up. Additionally, maintaining some semblance of control over one’s life during recovery is an important thing that many people overlook. Without having healthy ways to feel more in-control, it can feel as though your independence is being ripped from you. Without ways to express their independence, addicts in recovery may begin to lose sight of their personal stake in the journey. That’s why practicing self-control is important if one is trying to avoid relapse.
Many former addicts have used yoga as a means to fight against these compulsive cravings. This positive practice promotes a healthier standard of living and can help fight addiction. Yoga helps a person realize that substance abuse is not a healthy way to live and there are better ways to live your life. Though yoga was created generations ago, the benefits of its use still hold up today. Even if it doesn’t sound like something you would enjoy, try it out! It has become a cornerstone in the world of sobriety for a reason.
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