When it comes to addiction, people may try every method possible to reach long-term sobriety. But one method that you may not have thought of is yoga. Yoga contains two aspects: stretching and breathing. These aspects can work together to bring a person to addiction recovery!
There are many benefits of yoga for the average person, but when using it on someone who is suffering from addiction, it may help them in ways that you never thought possible. So yes, stretching and mindfulness may just do the trick, and here’s why:
It’s holistic. Many addiction treatment facilities use a holistic approach with their clients (meaning they want the person to come out not just sober, but a better person all around). That is just what yoga does; it aims to connect the mind, body, and spirit as one. It can be hard to be physically in shape if your mind isn’t motivated to do so. It’s difficult to be completely mentally happy if you have physical health problems. Yoga strives to condition your body, mind, and spirit into all getting on the same page and will relax you in the process.
It has many benefits. Besides yoga as a way to cope with addiction, there are many added benefits to make a person an all-around healthier individual:
- Emotional: By practicing mindfulness, you can experience peace of mind and find calm ways to solve your problems.
- Discipline: Yoga encourages self-discipline by becoming something that you must strive to be dedicated to. It can become a replacement for addiction.
- Physical: Yoga increases flexibility and will strengthen muscles.
- Circulation: You may find when practicing yoga that you will be able to think more clearly; it lowers your blood pressure and allows more oxygen to get to the brain.
- Stress: Yoga is a great way to let go of mental and physical stress because of the combination of mindfulness and stretching.
It has a deeper meaning. Yoga was invented by the Hindus and has been practiced since around 3,000 BC. The Hindus came up with different concepts to go along with each of the yoga poses, such as Yama, meaning learning how to adopt healthy behaviors, or Pratyahara, meaning letting your thoughts slow down to get rid of anxiety. Each of the many concepts that the Hindus came up with are supposed to be thought of when doing the stretches to ease the mind and relax the body. These thoughts can be helpful to move away from addiction.
You don’t have to be a professional. Anyone can do yoga! It may seem intimidating at first, but beginner’s yoga is actually quite simple. As you begin to master each pose, you will be able to advance to more difficult ones. It’s not about how professional you look doing the movements, it’s about your mental state and breathing techniques that come along with it.
Yoga in recovery can be very beneficial for a person’s mind, body, and spirit. Per Wickstrom, the founder of Behavioral Rehabilitation Services Rehab Center, believes that a natural approach to overcoming addiction gives them a solid foundation to long-term sobriety and anything that can connect the mind, body, and spirit (such as yoga) is a great way to overcome addiction.
If you or a loved one are suffering from addiction, add yoga to your treatment plan. Practice it alone or with friends to experience the many added benefits that come along with it. Find the right poses and methods for you so that you may experience the benefits in the most effective way!