Struggling to untangle yourself from the grip of addiction? Dealing with the complicated and manifold addiction recovery process is not easy. Although there are many ways to break the cycle of addiction, one way that is gaining momentum these days is the yoga therapy. Combining exercise and mindfulness, yoga can help the addict to get sober and stay sober. It’s the perfect practice!

Yoga has been used for many years and known for providing many health and wellness benefits like deep relaxation, improved flexibility, and enhanced mindfulness. Yoga works wonder when it comes to achieving inner peace and tranquility that is exactly what post-addiction patients need. Inner peace is an essential element to get your healthy life back, and yoga is a great help in this respect.

What is Yoga Therapy?

The term yoga creates a picture of a person with difficult poses that are utterly impossible to perform in our mind. Well, that’s simply not the case.  Yoga is a holistic approach that has been around since 3,000 BC.  Yoga refers to “ yoke” in the original Sanskrit language, which means the unification of body, mind, and spirit. The approach is invented to calm your mind and exercise your body.

Thus, Yoga therapy plays a vital role in addiction recovery process. It heals the body and mind while shifting the focus from the substance.  Including yoga to your addiction recovery process can give you a better result.  This why most of the rehab centers provide yoga therapy to offer calm and reflective rehabilitation using postures, breathing exercises, and guided imagery. It works by merging various techniques to promote changes in muscles, joints and organs.

Yoga and addiction recovery

Here is how yoga aids in the long-lasting recovery of substance abuse.

Relieves the stress

Stress triggers the relapse and yoga is a great way to calm and restore the nervous system. It has been shown that yoga effectively reduces stress with the regulation of dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine. The addiction to substance affects parts of the brain that lead your mind to a state of fight or flight. Most of the addicts get stuck in the survival mode and do not know how to relax. Practicing yoga helps you slow down and pay attention to your breath while learning to relax. The calming effects of yoga help you to stay relaxed without needing drugs to cope.

Works as a pain reliever

With opioid prescriptions skyrocketing in a fast pace, the opioid epidemic is killing thousands of addicts every year. In addition, many drug or substances are prescribed to help reduce chronic pain issues. But some people still experience pain acutely while going through the detox process. This is because the substance affects the neuro-receptors in the brain that is responsible for interpreting how we feel pain.

The underlying pain can increase and aggravate when the body is free of the toxin. This is where yoga can help. With yoga, you learn new ways and reactions to deal with pain and stress help your body to relearn healthier responses.  Also, some significant muscular tension that exacerbates chronic pain can be healed by yoga.

Gives Relief from Co-Occurring Disorders

As yoga is a proven way to reduce stress and anxiety, it can also aid in certain co-occurring disorders. As per University of Utah research study, yoga lessens the perceived stress and anxiety and helps to control stress response system.  According to University of Utah, yoga helps to reduce perceived stress and anxiety and regulate stress response systems. The holistic therapy lowers the blood pressure, controls the heart rate, provides ease of respiration and helps to deal with eating disorders. It helps the addict to be more flexible in stressful situations.

Better Sleep and More Energy

No doubt sleep is an essential element of the addiction recovery process. The Circadian rhythm that controls the brain activity and helps in having a deep, restful sleep at night gets affected by the substance.  This way it disrupts your waking and sleeping rhythms that lead your way to insomnia after detox.  This causes relapse as the body needs the substance to get to sleep. Practising yoga daily can give you better sleep and improved perception of quality of life.

Provides Physical Wellness

Gaining your physical health back is the biggest achievement of early sobriety, and yoga enhances your physical health in many ways.  The holistic approach has been shown to improve cardiovascular health, strengthen muscles and increase heart and lung capacity. After the pain of addiction, physical wellness will make you feel better and help restore feelings of empowerment.

Makes You Mentally Stronger

Substance abuse can have damaging effects on your brain which makes it difficult for the addict to experience happiness without the substance.

While entering into a drug rehabilitation center, most of the addicts have poor physical health and fatigued. They go through emotional fluctuations without knowing how to tackle the situation.  Our mind interprets the emotions that are expressed and felt by our body and hence the combined action of mind and body is required to regulate emotions.

Studies have shown that yoga promotes the release of endorphins that act as natural feel-good chemicals for the body.  Yoga approaches both mind and body by integrating breath, movement, and meditation.  When you practice yoga, you learn self-regulatory skills such as self-awareness and connect with yourself.  You learn how to react to situations that are emotionally stimulating.

Maintain emotional balance

Addiction causes the person to go through a roller coaster of emotions. Anger and depression are common in the people receiving therapy for substance abuse. Practicing yoga can help in accepting the limitations and offer a sense of inner peace that makes the recovery process a bit easier. They learn to handle the highs and lows without being carried away by them.  Also, the practice makes life in sobriety more enjoyable and helps to manage the interpersonal relationships that are crucial for people in addiction treatment.

Aids Detoxification

Many yoga poses are there that use gravity to increase blood flow to certain parts of the body. Such poses can activate the organs that aid detox. The bridge and triangle pose in yoga improve digestion which in turn makes the detox easier. This way yoga target detoxification and makes the process less complex and less painful.

Reduce Cravings and Impulsivity

After the drug addiction treatment, the person can feel the cravings and experience negative or difficult feelings over time. Yoga can help to avoid and suppress such impulsivity.  Consistent yoga practice enables you to develop the skill to respond to the craving in a new and healthy way.  Relapse is a real concern for those beginning their recovery journey.  However, the influence of yoga on preventing a relapse makes it an essential part of addiction recovery.

To Sum Up…

The recovery process is often arduous for addicts with physical anxiety and deep, overwhelming cravings. However, practicing yoga l can lead your way to early recovery and help you get back to life and cope without substances. The sobriety journey takes courage and determination.  In addition to other effective therapies like medical detox and trauma therapy, a holistic approach like yoga can set you free from the tight grip of addiction once and for all. Want to know about yoga blocks? Check out this link!

Talk to Someone Who’s Been There. Talk to Someone Who Can Help. Scottsdale Recovery Center holds the highest accreditation (Joint Commission) and is Arizona’s premier rehab facility since 2009. Call 602-346-9142.