Addiction recovery is a long process so it’s important to have as many tools as possible to help you through your days. While there are a number of tools you can use to support your recovery, one of the most common is yoga therapy. The benefits of yoga for addiction recovery are expansive. People enjoy yoga because it calms the mind, releases tension and strengthens the body. Just a half hour of yoga each day also gets you the recommended dose of exercise.
To get the most from yoga therapy, it’s important to know what it does for your brain, your body and your sobriety. Once you get more comfortable practicing various yoga poses, you’ll be able to use this recovery tool any time you feel the need.
What is Yoga Therapy?
Yoga therapy is just like regular yoga except there’s a greater emphasis on therapeutic healing, breathwork, meditation, postures and exercises. Continuum Recovery Center in Phoenix AZ offers yoga as one of our alternative therapies and we ensure all clients receive proper instruction to keep them safe. Fortunately, yoga is very gentle on the body and can be practiced by people of all ages and abilities.
Research shows that yoga is highly effective at reducing stress, which is a relapse trigger for people in recovery. Not only does it calm the mind but also it eases everyday aches, pains and mood complaints. This can help protect your recovery because you’ll feel better physically and mentally and be less likely to turn to drugs.
Benefits of Yoga in Your Recovery
Once you have detoxed from drugs and alcohol, you can reap the benefits of yoga to help you stay grounded in your recovery. Let’s look at some of the ways that yoga can support your recovery and provide you with the strength you need during intensive outpatient treatment in Phoenix.
Get the body moving
Research shows that getting the body moving is a great way to help with depression and addiction recovery. You don’t need to focus on building muscle or burning calories just yet. Just getting out and moving around is what’s important. This will help you build healthy habits that you’ll be more likely to stick to.
Regulate your emotions
It’s normal to have mood swings in early recovery as you adjust to living without drugs and alcohol. Thankfully, yoga can help you regulate your emotions. By becoming aware of your thoughts and feelings, you can identify why you’re experiencing them and ways to cope.
People who practice yoga develop an important skill called interoception or the internal sense of body functioning. This skill helps people pay closer attention to what’s going on in the body, something that’s incredibly important for people in recovery. By practicing interoception, you can take a moment to make sure you have everything you need.
Strengthen the mind-body connection
During your addiction, you probably ran on autopilot. But now that you are in drug treatment in Phoenix AZ, it’s important that your mind and body communicate to re-establish their connection. Fortunately, you can encourage communication with simple steps like breathing and stretching. Over time, your mind-body connection will grow stronger and support a healthy recovery.
Practice deep breathing
Deep breathing is an excellent tool to fight depression and anxiety. When you breathe deeply, it sends a message to your brain to calm down and relax. The brain then sends this message to your body, which also starts to calm down. Yoga incorporates plenty of deep breathing, getting you used to using this tool to combat stressful situations.
What is the Best Way to Start a Yoga Program?
If you are interested in making yoga a part of your recovery regimen, it’s best to choose an outpatient rehab in Phoenix AZ that offers holistic therapies. Continuum Recovery Center provides a variety of alternative healing therapies to our clients, and yoga therapy is one of them.
During our yoga sessions, clients work on stretching, mindfulness and deep breathing to improve their health and happiness. Our clients find that yoga offers stress-relief and relaxation without all the side effects of substances. They learn to use this tool for stress management and feel confident working it into their everyday schedule as needed.
Once our clients complete holistic addiction treatment, they can use yoga at their discretion. Some clients choose to take a yoga class to fill their time and prevent boredom while others use it on their own in conjunction with journaling and mindfulness. There is no right or wrong way to use yoga to support your recovery. The key is to become comfortable and confident in this practice so you can use it as needed.
Yoga Tips for Beginners
As you prepare for yoga therapy, it’s normal to have mixed emotions. Is this type of therapy right for you? Can it really help you manage your emotions and build a stronger recovery? Will the benefits of yoga help me stay sober? There is absolutely no risk in trying yoga, so if you end up not liking it, there are other alternative therapies you can try.
In the meantime, here are some yoga tips for beginners:
- Release your expectations. Get yourself into the right mindset and work on evolving naturally. Don’t worry about what others are doing or what you feel like you should be doing.
- Understand the purpose of yoga. Contrary to popular belief, yoga is not about extreme flexibility or contortions. It’s about breathing, finding your inner strength and creating freedom.
- Pay attention to your breathing. Rather than focusing on various breathing techniques, discover awareness of your breathing – inhaling and exhaling.
- Get comfortable being still. People often find it difficult to be still, but yoga will challenge this. Appreciate being in the moment rather than giving into the urge for distraction.
If you are interested in practicing yoga therapy as part of drug treatment in Phoenix AZ, contact Continuum Recovery Center today. We’ll be happy to explain more on our holistic addiction therapy program and how it can benefit your recovery.