5 Benefits of Practicing Yoga During & After Addiction Recovery
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Addiction can be one of the hardest things one could deal with in life, but it doesn’t have to become an impossible giant to beat. While attending recovery, there are many things we can learn about dealing with all the difficulties that come with the process, in a better way. From finding new hobbies to working on our social sphere, most of the actions we can take to improve ourselves and our lifestyle come along once our mind is ready and starts gaining the strength it needs to push through the whole program.
Rehabilitation itself, although it’s the core of the whole recovery process, is not the only thing we should be doing. Adopting a healthy lifestyle and making healthier choices will automatically lead to a happier life in which addiction is no longer in control.
One of the most effective ways to improve our own life during this difficult time is by practicing yoga and meditation. The benefits that come along once we start embracing a daily routine, ranging from a better control of our emotions and feelings, to actually improving our immune system by making it stronger and healthier. This, of course, is only one part of the treatment and should never be deemed as the only activity that will lead us out of the dark abyss addiction can push us into.
Here are 5 benefits yoga can give us during recovery:
Just as any other workout routine, yoga exercises you. Its practice leads to a better shape, better health, and a stronger body. Unlike an average gym, the slow and peaceful movements that come with yoga will allow us to manage the discomfort and pain that withdrawal can cause.
It also helps us to relieve anxiety which is one of the main problems that come along during recovery (and afterward too). By practicing yoga, our whole body will learn how to stretch out the pain, anxiety, depression, and stress that is likely to appear during some stages of the process. It will also help us to reduce the cravings, calm our nerves down and ultimately push through the emotional distress that we might feel during this difficult time.
Any sort of exercise helps us to keep our body fit and strong. Yoga is no different. If anything, it has been proven to help every single part of the body in ways that no ordinary routine could ever dream of.
By having a better circulation, our blood pressure will also improve dramatically, which means the risk of heart disease will also be diminished. An even more relevant effect is how the oxygen flow to our brains increases, which leads to a clearer train of thought, better mood and a calmer attitude overall.
Better control of our emotions
All yoga exercises are meant to work with the flow of our body. In other words, it’s all meant to help our body work in a way that everything runs smoothly physically and mentally.
Some of its exercises such as deep breathing will allow us to be in control of our emotions and thoughts the same way meditation teaches. This means that before thinking of going back to drinking or using drugs, our minds will prefer other coping mechanisms that are more efficient, thus giving us the inner peace and mindfulness to deal with whatever situation we might have at hand.
While we practice yoga, we will also be practicing meditation to some extent. Meditating in addiction recovery will train our mind control and dictate which thoughts and emotions are in charge. This doesn’t mean that we will never feel sadness or pain again though. What it means, is that every time one of those negative thoughts or emotions come knocking on the door of our mind, we will be able to welcome them as a guest but never allow it to become the master of the house. Which is extremely helpful when dealing with addiction since our mind won’t be playing tricks on us or won’t be falling back on temptation due to lack of strength, better discipline, and willpower.
Learning everything that comes with practicing yoga will grant us a better life, mindset and it will also improve the outlook we have on life. Embracing a routine that requires effort, dedication and discipline will also strengthen our will and we will be able to make healthier and better choices down the line.
Most of us, regardless of whether addiction had been present in our lives or not, struggle on a daily basis with all the choices we have to make on the go. And though being spontaneous and making some decisions lightheartedly will take us out of our comfort zone sometimes, being able to say “no” and “yes” when it’s right and appropriate will open a whole new world of opportunities that we weren’t even aware of at the start.
It’s the start of a new self that will only grow stronger and happier within time.
Regardless of our religion or beliefs, practicing yoga enhances our spiritual power, and it gives us the strength and motivation we need to carry on through life, the mindfulness and self-awareness we acquire with this lifestyle will guide us through our happiest and darkest times with a will made of iron that never bends under pressure or hardship.
We will understand our current situation and will learn how to love ourselves, our past and our future by respecting every single choice and event that led us to this very moment, and appreciating it because we are who we are in spite of it all.
Reaching inner peace is a search that one way or another, everybody sets themselves onto at some point in life. For us, though it might not be any easier, the path will clear up to walk through with more confidence and determination because we will know where exactly we want to go; along motivation and hard work, that’s all we need in life to be happy.
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