Healing Arts: The Power of Yoga for Addiction Recovery

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Recovering from addiction can be a terrifying process to go through, and struggling with withdrawal symptoms can make your healing feel impossible. It’s easy to feel alone and misunderstood while getting past your addictions.

How can you move forward and start to heal after living with your addictions?

Yoga for addiction has been studied for several years now and has shown to be useful for recovering addicts. Here are just a few of the ways that yoga can help you get through the recovery process. 

What Does Addiction Do to the Brain?

Not only do certain addicting substances create a habit of consumption, but they also have serious physical effects on the brain. Drugs and alcohol can change the chemical output of our brain as well as rewiring us to be more dependent on the substances we abuse. 

It starts slow as the substances force our brains to produce enormous amounts of dopamine, a chemical that creates feelings of happiness, excitement, and euphoria. This causes your brain to associate the drugs with pleasure and actively seek it out. 

Once your brain has created this cycle, it will become more difficult for you to get the proper amount of dopamine for your high with the same level of substance. In order to feel the same amount of happiness, you’ll need to start taking more medications or alcohol. The speed at which this happens, as well as the intensity, depends on the type of drug or alcohol involved.

Once your brain has created this feedback loop of euphoria, you’ve become addicted and will require drugs or alcohol in order to feel fulfilled. Normal activities won’t feel the same, and we can’t derive pleasure without the substances. 

How Yoga for Addiction Can Help

In conjunction with other types of addiction therapy, yoga has proven to be very useful when it comes to recovering from addiction. While yoga therapy should never be the only measure used against addiction, it is a great way to improve your advancement with other types of therapy.

Here are a few of the ways that practicing yoga regularly can help you through your addiction. 

Yoga Encourages Self Improvement

Yoga is great for getting your body into shape, but it does so much more than that. By getting yourself healthier physically, you can slowly start to feel better mentally. Yoga has been known to improve confidence through exercise. 

Eating healthy is also heavily encouraged when it comes to yoga, which further helps your body recover. Getting into this improved mindset will help you through other forms of therapy as well. 

Getting Into a Routine

Having regularly scheduled yoga sessions is a great way to get yourself back into a normal routine. By having something set up for yourself during the day, you are less likely to become distracted and more likely to be motivated to achieve your goals. 

It’s best to sign up for a yoga class so that you aren’t discouraged from doing your exercises. A coach along with others learning and practicing yoga can help you stay on task and not be tempted to skip your routine. This is why many rehab facilities are including yoga classes to help their members; having other recovering addicts to practice with will help to keep you motivated and coming back for more sessions.

Stress and Anxiety Reduction

One major factor that leads to relapse in addiction is excess stress. This leads to a deep desire to get a quick boost of pleasure, meaning you are more likely to start using substances again. 

Yoga can help with relaxation and reduced anxiety levels through certain poses and practices. Specifically using these positions can help reduce your desire to go back to substance abuse.

Better Sleep

Yoga, like many exercises, is great for getting a good night’s sleep. This is because exercising during the day helps to make the body calm and relaxed during the night after wearing out your energy. 

A lack of sleep can cause stress and anxiety, which is why it’s important for addicts in recovery to try to get a healthy amount of sleep. Keeping up with yoga and similar exercise routines can help you sleep better and get away from an unhealthy mindset.

A Better Connection Between Mind and Body

Mindfulness is an important step to improving your life and get away from addiction. Mindfulness is a type of meditation that helps you to live in the present and focus on the connection between your mind and body to create a better, healthier version of you.

Yoga is one of the many ways that you can practice mindfulness and feel more at peace. It works to reduce stress, get you in tune with yourself, and focus on your wants, needs, and feelings.

Mindfulness is a great way to identify the negative thoughts and feelings you’re having so that you can work to abandon them and move forward. These negative feelings usually drive a person to abuse drugs and alcohol, and by ridding yourself of them, you can start becoming the person you want to be.

Live a Healthier and More Fulfilling Life Today

In conjunction with regular addiction therapy, yoga for addiction is a wonderful way to improve your life and win your battle with addiction. Start learning about different poses and styles of yoga today to begin your recovery journey!

Are you or a loved one struggling through addiction and aren’t sure what to do?

We’re here to help! Be sure to contact us with any questions you might have about our programs or to discuss your addiction problems, and continue reading our blog for more helpful advice.