Many addiction treatment centers have begun offering yoga as a complement to their traditional therapy for substance abuse. This ancient practice has shown to provide numerous benefits for individuals in drug therapy or alcohol therapy. Here are just a few ways yoga can help with recovery from drug and alcohol abuse:
1. Yoga promotes physical fitness
Daily exercise is an essential component of any recovery program. Physical activity improves your mood, helps you release tension and negativity and promotes good health. Yoga can accomplish all of these things and more. Different forms of yoga require varying levels of physical activity– some restorative yoga classes focus on deep breathing and gentle stretches, while other forms of yoga practice are more strenuous. It’s important to try a few different yoga classes to find the routine that’s right for you.
2. Yoga helps maintain emotional balance
Addiction can cause a roller coaster of difficult emotions. Anger is common among people receiving therapy for substance abuse — they may be mad at themselves for being in this situation, or they may feel angry at others in their life. Yoga places a strong emphasis on acceptance and simply “being where you are”. Accepting your own failures and accepting the limitations of others can help you find a sense of inner peace, which is important during recovery.
3. Yoga offers a spiritual environment
No matter what your religious or spiritual beliefs may include, yoga offers a positive spiritual environment for practitioners. The focus on mindfulness and acceptance promote a healthy spirit, which is essential for long-term recovery. In addition, a regular yoga practice can help you build a community of like-minded friends.
4. Yoga teaches self-discipline
Impulse control is a common problem for people who have struggled with drug use. In yoga, you improve your skills slowly but surely through regular practice. This self-discipline can carry into other areas of your life, helping you adjust your attitude and stay focused on your goals.
5. Yoga reduces stress
Stressful situations can trigger cravings and fuel addictive behavior, especially in the earlier stages of recovery. Yoga is beneficial to the nervous system: Steady, controlled breathing and calming poses help slow your heart rate and relax tense muscles. With regular yoga practice, people tend to feel calmer and more in control of their emotions.
6. Yoga restores the mind
Drug and alcohol abuse can have damaging effects on your brain’s chemistry, making it difficult for people to experience pleasure without drinking or using. Studies have shown that the breathing patterns employed during yoga practice promote the release of endorphins–the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Doing yoga regularly can help recovering individuals restore their natural chemical balance and fight cravings.
It’s clear that yoga offers a number of valuable benefits for people recovering from drug and alcohol abuse. If you’re looking for a drug rehab program, be sure to locate substance abuse rehab centers that offer yoga and other mindfulness activities. Combined with drug rehab at a recovery center and a good support system, yoga can help you maintain a healthy lifestyle and keep your recovery efforts going strong.