Yoga is a physical, mental, and spiritual practice that was developed over 5,000 years ago. It is meant to bring harmony and peace between your body and mind. Yoga typically combines breathing techniques with physical movements to enhance relaxation. This meditative practice has been proven to be a powerful tool for developing mental and physical skills for those struggling with addiction. In fact, many recovery centers are beginning to incorporate yoga as part of a holistic therapy program.
Outside of nourishing your body, mind and spirit integrating yoga into your lifestyle has been shown to:
Yoga Reduces Stress
It’s no surprise that embarking on a journey of recovery can trigger many stressful emotions, yoga is a great way to ease the mind and body of stress. It is a time where you can pause, become aware of your surroundings and find peace and comfort. Yoga concentrates on breathing patterns and light stretching which allow you to regain control over your body. Furthermore, anxiety is reduced as your heart rate slows down and you allow yourself to become centered. You also regain control of your mind as you feel an overall sense of calm and well-being.
Yoga Provides a Sense of Community
Even though you may stand-alone on your mat, you are surrounded by love. Yoga is performed in a safe space that allows for people to feel calm and put down their walls, increasing the likelihood of communication after classes. It brings people together, creates a sense of community and has even been shown to build trust. Yoga can help you meet and bond with other individuals who share similar aspirations, interests or perspectives on life.
It’s been found that intense breathing patterns, such as Kundalini, release the body’s natural pleasure producing endorphins. Ultimately this allows for a healthy yoga practice to replace and/or suppress addictive behaviors all while restoring the brains dopamine levels to a healthier state. Many individuals report better sleep, less anxiety, improved self-image, and an increase in energy.
Overall, when used in conjunction with clinical treatment yoga serves as a powerful tool that can benefit those in addiction recovery. When incorporated into treatment and aftercare it has been shown to decrease the likelihood of relapse and increase ones overall sense of well-being.
Author: Lindsey Bozzi – Admissions Coordinator – Footprints to Recovery