Yoga has a variety of benefits for both physical and mental health. Anyone can enjoy these benefits, but they can be especially helpful to people in addiction recovery to help them keep their emotional and physical balance during this time of change. 

History of Yoga

Yoga started as a practice of meditation in India and has been around for thousands of years. It is often perceived to be a form of spiritual practice, but it is often not directly associated with any form of religion. If you wish, you can apply it to your spiritual practice, but you don’t have to use it this way if you don’t want to. Yoga has been used for a variety of purposes throughout history and remains a common practice today.

Yoga is based on eight asanas. Asanas are considered poses or postures of yoga that each movement is based on. Due to its simple structure, people can individualize it to their liking and benefit. The holistic practice of yoga can bring many positive benefits to your recovery by drawing your focus away from outside problematic factors and back to your body, your breath, and your mind.

Types of Yoga

While many individuals think of yoga as one basic practice, there are a variety of types of yoga. Discovering a style of yoga that works well for you and is enjoyable can help this practice to become a fun or relaxing activity rather than another task to complete. 

  • Ashtanga: This form of yoga is also known as power yoga. It incorporates quick movements between the different asanas or postures, providing you with a more intensive form of exercise.
  • Bikram: This type of yoga takes place in a room with temperatures regulated between 95 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. This “hot yoga” is meant to purge toxins through excessive heat while loosening and relaxing the muscles.
  • Hatha: This is a general practice of yoga focused on balancing asanas and breathing.
  • Integral: This yoga style focuses on the meditative aspects. It is similar to Hatha, but it is a slowed version that incorporates meditation.
  • Iyengar: This form of yoga requires you to maintain specific positions for an extended period. The focus of Iyengar is to practice aligning the body and being aware of its presence.
  • Kundalini: This type of yoga focuses on releasing negative energies through breathing. By focusing on each breath, your movements can help you release unwanted feelings.
  • Viniyoga: Viniyoga is very adaptive to the individual ability of its participants. By focusing on breathing and alignment, you can move your body in a way that feels comfortable to you.

Benefits of Yoga

Reviewing the different types of yoga that are available, you may have a few that stick out to you. One of the most beneficial aspects of yoga on recovery is the ability to refocus your mind and relax for a while. Recovery is an overwhelming and stressful process. Practicing yoga once a day can allow you to relax your body and mind. 

Yoga works to connect the body and the mind and bring a high level of self-awareness. By balancing your mind, spirit, and body, this exercise can help you avoid the potential of stress-related diseases coming into play. This can be a large concern for those in addiction recovery because feelings of stress are likely to arise. By managing these feelings of stress, your body will be able to function properly and understand that it does not need the addictive substance to be alive or comfortable.

Not only does yoga benefit our overall health and ability to recover, but it also helps us regulate our emotions. When you feel heightened emotions or a strong urge to act upon your impulses, taking five or ten minutes to do some yoga can help you reset your mind. This is a very beneficial grounding technique that can reset your mind in a very short amount of time.

Implementing Yoga Into Your Recovery

Yoga may seem like a great coping strategy or skill to apply to recovery, but how do you implement this practice without altering your recovery plan? 

Luckily, yoga can be done at any time of day for whatever duration you desire. If you choose to become more involved with this practice, you could look into potential classes available that align with your schedule. If you wish to implement this practice on your own, there are a variety of YouTube videos or print-offs that show you proper movement techniques.

Choose a time of day and length of time you wish to commit to practicing yoga. Even if it is ten minutes before going to bed or after waking up, even a small amount of time can help you balance your mind and body and give you these benefits.

The practice of yoga works to balance your mental state, physical state, and spirituality. By creating a balance in these aspects, your mind can focus on yourself and stray away from stressful thoughts clouding your perception. There are a variety of yoga types, each bringing a unique aspect to recovery. Choose which form of yoga seems enjoyable and engaging to you. By grounding and balancing your mental state, yoga allows you to focus on the areas that are lacking in recovery. It also helps you decrease the future potential of stress-related disease. This form of exercise that works with your body and mind can help you to incorporate both aspects of yourself with one act. This can be useful in recovery to avoid feeling overwhelmed. To learn more about the benefits of yoga on recovery, reach out to Dream Recovery today at (949) 732-1960.

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