Yoga is great for anyone, no matter what their physical strengths, flexibility, age, well being, or frame of mind are. There’s a misconception that all yoga people are already super fit and flexible, but everyone has to start somewhere! Yoga is commonly introduced as a part of addiction treatment, and it can be an incredibly valuable tool in recovery from addiction as well, no matter how much clean time you have.
Why Yoga Benefits Recovery from Addiction
Yoga has many overall health benefits beyond helping practitioners get flexible and fit. For people in recovery, this is especially true because so many of the things that yoga offers is exactly what people in recovery need most.
Here are some of the major benefits a yoga practice will have for someone who used to be addicted to drugs or alcohol.
- It’s a healthy hobby. Hobbies are very important to have when you’re in recovery because boredom is bad news and can lead to a relapse, especially early on. Have an extra hour to spare? Unroll your yoga mat and spend your time doing something good for you.
- It reduces stress. There will be times in your sobriety that life gets stressful. In the past, you may have reached for drugs or a drink. A much better option is yoga. It has long-lasting stress reduction effects. And, unlike drugs or alcohol, you’ll wake up the next morning with no regrets and no heightened and magnified stress.
- It makes you mindful. So much of what is taught in treatment is about mindfulness and learning how to live in the present moment. Yoga links movement with breath and allows the practitioner to truly be 100% in the moment, even with their thoughts. The more you practice yoga, the more this will become second nature and you will be able to apply it to your everyday life.
- It puts you in tune with your body. The mindfulness and presence of yoga gives you time while you are practicing to become more aware of your body and to recognize what moves feel good, and which don’t. You’ll learn to recognize when you feel sluggish and slow, and when you have a lot of energy. As a result, you’ll want to keep doing things that make you feel good.
- It makes you feel good about yourself and keep a positive outlook. Being happy as much as possible will help you stay sober. Having a positive outlook will keep you on the right track.
Yoga is good for everybody, especially for those in recovery from addiction. If you can, give it a try while you are in rehab if your facility offers it. Who knows, maybe you will develop a healthy habit for life!