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person in yoga pose silhouetted by the sun demonstrating yoga as an addiction recovery tool

Yoga as an Addiction Recovery Tool

Top Rehab Centers have in recent years begun to include complementary treatments into recovery programs beyond the traditional twelve steps. Many of these are incorporated to give recovering addicts tools to use to maintain their sobriety. Yoga is becoming a popular addiction recovery tool.  Its efficacy on the health of the body and mind is undeniable. These benefits of yoga can have a profound effect on your recovery.

The Physical Benefits of Yoga

Yoga improves muscle strength. Many recovering addicts have neglected their physical fitness. Others will be suffering pains in their muscles after withdrawal and detoxification.  Aches and pains are reduced through the stretching yoga exercises. The practice of yoga improves digestive processes, sleep patterns, appetite, fatigue, and regulates the nervous and hormone systems of the body. The feeling of blood flowing to the many parts of your body has been described by many people who practice yoga as a ‘natural high’.

The Spiritual Benefits of Yoga

The meditative aspects of yoga increase the mindfulness and sense of serenity of the recovering addict. Breathing exercises are especially calming. They become a tool for recovering addicts to use during times when the temptation to relapse is high. You do not need to be in a yoga class to take a few minutes to breathe and meditate to re-focus yourself and walk away from a potentially toxic situation. The sense of purpose during yoga is also useful for your everyday life.

The Emotional Benefits of Yoga

Many addicts are the product of emotional trauma early in life. Often, they will describe feelings of inadequacy and great unhappiness which easily lead to depression. In this depression, they may turn to drugs to self-medicate. Yoga provides an outlet for those who are experiencing emotional pain. The self-awareness it creates allows for introspection and self-healing. As the body and spirit grow in the practice of yoga, so does the emotional being inside you.

Yoga Leads to Increased Self-discipline

The stamina and strength required for yoga create a launchpad for increased self-discipline for the recovering addict. A recovering addict may find yoga very difficult in the beginning, but over time they will begin to improve and find it extremely rewarding. The levels of self-discipline for doing yoga are useful in real-life situations when the recovering addict faces a situation where you have to say ‘no’ and mean it and walk away for good.

Yoga Leads to Improved Breathing and Circulation

Much of yoga practice revolves around breathing. Yoga requires a mutually beneficial relationship between the body and breathing.  Understanding and controlling your breath has a calming effect on the body. It also strengthens the lungs. This is particularly beneficial to recovering addicts who have inhaled or smoked drugs.  Better breathing techniques and habits lower the blood pressure and improve the circulation of blood through the body. This lowers the risk of heart disease. For more information about addiction treatments, call Vogue Recovery Center at (866) 682-8449.