There are many different things that play an important role in addiction recovery. It is important to have a good balance of therapy, medication as needed, and alternative treatments. More and more treatment centers are bringing mindfulness yoga into the mix, because it can have a powerful effect on addiction recovery.
How Mindfulness Yoga Can Benefit Addiction Recovery
You might be skeptical and wondering how on earth an activity like yoga can have a positive impact on addiction recovery. There are actually many reasons why. Yoga is a mindful practice that combines exercise with focus and breath work so that you become completely present in the moment. By doing so, you cultivate a greater awareness of what is going on in and around you, and you gradually become more mindful of your actions and how they affect you.
Most treatment centers encourage activities like these while their clients are getting rehabbed from drugs and alcohol. Mindfulness yoga can fall into the same category as things like drawing and writing classes, although it stands on it’s own because it is also incredibly beneficial for your body and overall health. However, all of them command your focus on what is going on in front of you, so that your mind doesn’t wander to the past or visit the future, but instead it stays in the present.
Starting a mindfulness yoga practice in treatment and carrying it into your addiction recovery can help to guide you to make good decisions. There are a number of reasons for this.
- Yoga makes you feel good. When you do yoga regularly, you become much more conscious of your body, and how good you can feel if you treat it properly. When you do yoga, you’ll want to continue to do more and more things to benefit your body instead of harming it. As a natural result, you’ll be less likely to pick up drugs and alcohol and potentially ruin how good you feel.
- It is a hobby to keep you occupied. In addiction recovery, boredom is a dangerous thing. As an addict, when you have nothing to do your mind will begin to wander, and often your brain will lead you right back to thinking about drugs or alcohol. And, the more it is on your mind, the more likely you will be to relapse. Yoga gives you an outlet for your boredom, since it is something you can do anytime, anywhere.
- Yoga teaches mindfulness. Addiction is the opposite of mindfulness. When you are in active addiction, you mostly act on impulse and the desire for immediate gratification. Every time you take a drink of alcohol or shoot heroin, you are thinking about how you will feel in the immediate future, and not what kind of effect it will have on you once the buzz or high disappears. When you start doing yoga, you will think more about your actions and the consequences they have. This alone can be enough to stop a relapse.
The great thing about mindfulness yoga is that it makes you start paying more and more attention to your body. Even people who aren’t addicts, but who used to live an unhealthy lifestyle, sometimes pick up yoga and completely turn their lifestyle around. The same can go for anyone, even people in addiction recovery. If you become a regular yoga practitioner, you will be more inclined to pick up healthy foods and do things that are good for your body instead of poisoning it with chemicals found in drugs and alcohol.
One of the biggest reasons people use or drink is to feel good. Well, yoga can achieve the same thing. When you experience that, you will realize you can live a life free of drugs or alcohol and instead focus on things that are good for you. When you build healthy habits like a yoga practice, you will continue to better yourself and good things will progressively come your way. Yoga can have tremendous benefits for addiction recovery, no matter who you are or how bad your addiction was.