Yoga: Good for Addicts and the Rest of Us

Addictions Content Team Info icon
Calendar icon Last Updated: 09/16/2021

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Many people have practiced yoga for its rejuvenating effect on the human body and studies have shown that yoga can be good not just to addicts, but for everyone. According to the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, if yoga is practiced consistently, it can strengthen and tone the body to form a lean body, but it can also ease stress, bring peace, and help an addict to fight addictions.

Benefits for Everyone!

When the topic of yoga is brought up, many people associate it with meditation because of the deep breathing and focus of the mind exercises. Yoga works mostly on the breathing along with their various poses to teach an in and out rhythm, which is a practice in mindfulness.

In short, yoga works to raise awareness of the mind and body to form a harmony between the two.

According to a study conducted by the NCBI in 2011, therapeutic yoga was found to enhance muscular strength, flexibility in the body, reduce chronic pain, and improve the function of the respiratory and cardiovascular function.

Emotionally, yoga reduces stress, anxiety, depression, and improves sleep patterns.

Beneficial for the Addict!

For former addicts, yoga helps to promote treatment and recovery from the addiction by enhancing the overall health and quality of life. For example, a style of yoga named Kundalini (which puts a focus on mindfulness) is shown to be able to beat an addiction to nicotine through strenuous, repetitive movements.

These movements stretch individual limits and uses heavy breathing to draw attention to the person’s lungs and the current health of their body under the use of the drug.

Because of these benefits, the use of yoga in recovery programs has increased, especially for the prevention of a relapse. The temptation for the use of the addiction is based primarily on the comfort the person feels and if yoga were to provide the same or more comfort in difficult situations, the individual has a better chance of remaining sober.

Anxiety is another common reason to try addictive substances or behaviors and through the practices of yoga, the individual can learn a healthier way to calm and stabilize their mind while eventually strengthening their muscles.

This practice is not competitive and puts a focus on balance in the individual’s life. Instead of focusing on the general definitions of achievements, yoga puts an emphasis on the success of the effort to remain sober instead of the result to give him or her a more fulfilling and enlightening experience.

The idea is to embrace what the individual can do and let go of the limitations, which would allow him or her to continue with their lives. Self-forgiveness is a big part of recovery and with yoga, the addict can help them to let go of the past decisions to focus on the current ones.

Yoga has a profound effect on those who practice it by helping to harmonize the mind with the body to alleviate any stress in his or her lives. Everyone can benefit from the mental and physical attributes as it strengthens the body but relaxes the mind.

Addicts can benefit because it will give them a healthy alternative that will yield better, stronger results to help them cope with everyday life.

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