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How Yoga Acts as a Bridge Between Addiction and Recovery

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When we think about recovering from our addictions or choosing to get help. Our thinking process is often one-dimensional, and we often resort to believing that the only options for us are rehab centers and detox plans. While these options are essential in getting help and are very important, there are also other numerous ways you can help relax your body with Yoga and Addiction Treatment.

Yoga is something that is extremely vast in its prospects, it helps in keeping your bones flexible and strong, but more importantly, it keeps your mind active and at peace.

Yoga is also defined as a structured form of exercise aimed at cultivating harmony in the body, mind, and atmosphere for physical activity, breath control, relaxation, diet control, and positive thinking and meditation. Low-impact physical exercise, postures called asanas, breathing exercises, relaxation, and meditation are used in the practice. Most people are familiar with the physical poses or positions that are involved with yoga but usually don’t know that yoga involves so much more than just that.

A lifestyle that is constantly under a lot of stress and tension can be harmful to one’s health and we have seen how it contributes to substance abuse and addiction.

 

Yoga and Addiction Treatment

Yoga and Addiction Treatment is much more than physical ability; it is a form of consciousness. Studies indicate that yoga can enhance recovery from addiction and drug abuse in a number of ways. Yoga is capable of eliminating negative moods by altering your brain chemistry.

Addiction shifts the chemistry of your brain, which then, rewires how you react to alcohol or drugs. Signals that increase cravings are sent by the neurons in your brain. Around the same time when you first had a drink or used a drug, the brain tries to reproduce or copy the sensation it had when the drug was still in the system.

Opioid or alcohol addiction is also a means of dealing with stressors, anxiety, or mental health issues. While serving as a vent for tension, anxiety, and other mental health problems, yoga provides a safe outlet for those emotions.

In substance abuse treatment services and during rehabilitation, yoga is increasingly used to help avoid relapse, alleviate withdrawal symptoms and opioid cravings, and offer a safe way to deal with possible causes and stressors in everyday life.

 

Mental and Physical Benefits of Yoga

Yoga session encourages an individual to reflect on what makes him/her different when they practice yoga. Yoga helps you to recover from your worries, doubts, or negative thoughts because of the time spent practicing and embracing yoga and making it a part of your lifestyle. You can listen to your body, you can feel its strength, and you can embrace how you feel. Along with these, benefits of yoga include:

Yoga practice is known for its ability to relieve stress and inspire relaxation. In fact, numerous studies have shown that it will decrease the secretion of cortisol, the primary stress hormone.

One research showed the effective effect of yoga on stress by following 24 women who regarded themselves as emotionally distressed. The women had substantially lower levels after a three-month yoga therapy program and they also had lower levels of the stress response, anxiety, fatigue, and depression.

There were similar findings in another study of 131 individuals, showing that 10 weeks of yoga practice helped with stress relief and anxiety. It has also contributed to improving the quality of life and mental health.

When used alone or along with other ways of relieving stress, such as mindfulness meditation, yoga can be an effective way to keep stress in check and gain emotional healing. Several people are beginning to practice yoga to cope with feelings of anxiety. There is quite a bit of research that shows that yoga can help relieve depression. In one report, 34 women diagnosed with an anxiety disorder participated twice weekly in yoga classes for about two months.

At the end of the study, those who practiced yoga had significantly lower levels of anxiety than the control group. Another study followed 64 women with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which is characterized by severe anxiety and fear following exposure to any traumatic event.

After 10 weeks, the women who practiced yoga once weekly had fewer symptoms of PTSD. In fact, rather surprisingly 52% of participants no longer met the criteria for PTSD at all.

It is not entirely clear exactly how yoga is capable of minimizing anxiety symptoms. It emphasizes, however, the significance of being present in the moment and having a sense of calm that could help to treat anxiety in stressful situations.

As well as making your mental health healthier. Inflammation is a normal immune response, but chronic inflammation can result in the development of pro-inflammatory diseases. Including increases heart rate, diabetes, and cancer.

Research in 2015 divided 218 respondents into two categories: those who regularly practiced yoga and those who did not. Both groups then performed moderate and strenuous physical body exercises to induce stress. Research shows that mindfulness meditation can become a valuable technique for people affected by substance use disorders to help manage drug cravings and reduce the risk of relapse.

With relapse rates higher than 40 percent, addiction specialists as well as those in recovery are turning to adjunct therapies such as the practice of yoga as a way to supplement the traditional approach to recovery. Many addiction treatment centers have integrated alternative therapies like yoga for addiction, 12-step programs and meditation techniques, into traditional treatment models to provide a natural and holistic component to treatment. 

If stepping into a yoga studio or yoga class is intimidating, don’t worry. Start taking some deep breaths. Visualize healing energy flowing through your entire body.

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