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  • The Recovery Village

PART II - 5 Ways Yoga Supports Addiction Recovery

Guest article provided by: The Recovery Village

Yoga is an exercise method that emphasizes breath control and using held poses to increase well-being and relaxation. For some, meditation and a spiritual component with roots in Hinduism add to the experience. Some aspects of yoga can complement addiction treatment, and in many cases, yoga supports your recovery from addiction in a variety of ways.

1. Yoga helps cope with strong feelings.

The feelings that lead to an addiction are typically overpowering and cause people to want to escape via the use of drugs. By slowing down and breathing, yoga allows you to respond to these feelings calmly and to evaluate them so that they lose their overwhelming power. These feelings can then be let go slowly as you breathe out the bad feelings and breathe in new, better ones.

Yoga can be a centering experience that helps you not to become distracted or stressed out.

2. Yoga is a healthy outlet.

As your body recovers from addiction, you may not feel strong enough to engage in typical exercise like running, lifting weights, or taking an aerobics class. The beauty of yoga is that it allows for gentle movements and poses that can ease you back into a more strenuous exercise routine. Another positive aspect of yoga is that you can make the poses progressively harder so that as your strength comes back, you can increase the intensity, but gradually so you do not overwork yourself.

3. Yoga reduces stress.

Addiction often starts out as a way to cope with stress, and yoga can be a substitute for the addictive behavior that is actually more effective because it is an excellent stress reducer. From the breathing to the stretching of the poses, tension is released and good feelings replace the bad. Some types of yoga even work on the nervous system to help with panic attacks and provide a way to center yourself so you do not get as rattled by things that go wrong in life.

4. Yoga improves concentration.

Regular yoga workouts have helped even those with ADD and other attention problems concentrate better for days afterward because the practice is meant to bring clarity and focus to the mind of those who participate in it. Many addicts report that they have trouble with focus and concentration after detox is completed, so yoga could be the perfect way to increase clarity and focus.

5. Yoga can help insomnia.

Because yoga releases tension, is a gentle workout, and helps you cope with the daily stresses of life, many who do yoga report that it helps them sleep at night and avoid insomnia that can often be a part of early recovery from drug or alcohol abuse. A good night’s sleep can, in turn, give you the coping skills to handle each day better and continue to grow in recovery.

Yoga can be an important part of your drug rehab experience and help you have a more relaxing and less stressful recovery. Contact The Recovery Village for more information.

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