Regardless of where you go for addiction treatment, you can expect to undergo counseling, be involved in a 12-Step group, and receive relevant health care. These programs are the foundation of recovery, providing the tools you need to stay continuously sober and lead a healthy life.
However, they aren’t the only ways to treat addiction and enhance recovery. One activity that many addiction treatment centers overlook as important to healing is yoga for therapy. Using yoga in addiction recovery is part of our treatment plan at several Pyramid Healthcare locations. Once you understand the benefits of yoga for addiction treatment, you may find that you want to incorporate it into your recovery lifestyle.
What Is Yoga?
First, it’s important to have a clear idea of what yoga is. You may associate it with young, hip females or old Asian monks. However, these stereotypes only encourage people to think that because they don’t fit these descriptions, then yoga must not be for them.
The truth is that yoga is for everybody, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, religion, or socioeconomic status. Yoga is a form of physical exercise that uses different poses to focus on deep breathing, flexibility, balance, coordination, strength, and self-awareness. Meditation is also a part of yoga and involves undistracted awareness and focus, whether it be on your breath, bodily sensations, or thoughts.
What Are the Benefits of Yoga for Addiction Recovery?
Yoga is well know for its physical benefits, such as pain relief, improved sleep, and increased energy. Though these health improvements certainly aid in recovery, yoga is for more than just exercise. Yoga and meditation connect you with your body and mind, a tool that is essential in learning to identify and manage triggers. In addition, they result in the following emotional developments.
- Stress management: When you experience stress or any other negative feeling, your instinct is to turn addictive substances or behaviors. Yoga teaches you a safe and positive way to deal with stress. Breathing deeply helps you calm down, and physical exercise releases endorphins.
- Mindfulness: Yoga and meditation teach you how to be present. This is called mindfulness. The purpose of addiction is to escape reality, whereas the purpose of mindfulness is to be in and appreciate reality.
- Self-compassion: Yoga and meditation invite emotional healing, which can be painful to deal with. This is where self-compassion comes in. You learn how to soothe yourself and provide your own needs so you don’t have to turn to your drug of choice to cope. You practice letting yourself feel all emotions and being loving, kind to, and forgiving of yourself.
- Neurological repair: Humans can rewire their brains. Yoga and meditation allow you to turn healthy thoughts and actions into new neurological connections so they become your new mental norm. This is medically known as neuroplasticity.
- Mental health treatment: Yoga and meditation can reduce depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues, with the possibility of decreasing your need to rely on medication. Yoga may be especially beneficial when treating co-occurring disorders.
These benefits will help you come to know yourself and become comfortable in your own mind and body. This self-love brings peace and contentment, eliminating your need to find validation, fill emptiness, or punish yourself through harmful ways. Boost your healing by adding yoga to your addiction recovery through the holistic therapy programs at Pyramid Healthcare.
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