Can yoga help in addiction recovery? Yes! As with any good exercise routine, yoga offers many benefits during the recovery process.
Addiction is a chronic disease that over time can cause serious damage to a person’s physical, psychological, social and spiritual well-being. The whole purpose of the ancient discipline of yoga is to unite and heal the mind, body, and spirit – a perfect complement to addiction recovery.
To depict some of these great benefits of yoga on your health, we’ve summarized 10 of the greatest benefits of regular yoga practice.
The Health Benefits of Yoga in Addiction Recovery
1. Improved Flexibility
Increased range of motion is one of the first and most noticeable benefits of yoga. Flexibility improves your posture, balance, dexterity, blood flow and mobility in joints.
2. Enhanced Brain Function
Yoga has been hailed as a great way to enhance your brain function. As yoga becomes part of your regular exercise routine you will experience increased cognitive function, memory and focus, just to name a few. You will also be introduced to a new language; Sanskrit!
3. Build Strong Muscles
Yoga helps build muscle as your body holds poses or asanas. With increased flexibility comes access to more muscle fibres, and an enhanced ability to build those muscles. Yoga also helps you to define your existing muscle.
4. Stress Relief
Yoga is a wonderful stress-buster. It loosens up tense muscles, and the controlled and focused breathing alone helps you focus your mind, relax and de-stress.
5. Increased Energy
Regular practice of yoga will keep you energized, recharged and fresh even after a long day.
6. Sleep Better
Yoga can help improve your quality of sleep. In addition to helping you decrease stress, which helps improve sleep, certain yoga postures increase blood circulation to the sleep center in the brain. This helps normalize the sleep cycle.
7. Healthy Body Chemistry
As with any good exercise program, regular practice of yoga helps improve several aspects of our body chemistry such as lowering cholesterol, triglycerides, sodium and blood glucose levels; promoting a strong lymphatic system; and increasing the body’s production of red blood cells.
8. Improved Mood
Feeling down? Yoga is a great way to bring a smile back to your face. Many studies suggest that yoga can effect positive states of your mind and boost your mood. Regular practice has also shown to improve scores for life satisfaction, and lower scores for aggressiveness and depression.
9. Every Size, Every Age
Yoga practiced appropriately can be beneficial to all adults, whether you are a 6’5” 250-pound basketball player or a 5’1” 70-pound senior citizen. The secret is finding a level of yoga that suites you. Additionally, due to the low impact of most yoga poses, the risk of injury is quite low.
10. Natural Pain Relief
Studies have found yoga to be an effective treatment for chronic pain. Yoga can benefit many types of pain, including joint pain, neck pain, fibromyalgia, and arthritis. Moreover, Yoga is also known to create a higher tolerance for pain.
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By Wendy Lee and George Ratnanather