Yoga is an exercise practice that brings together your body and mind to increase your strength and reduce your stress. In addition to stretches and flexibility, yoga also focuses on breath control, meditation, and specific body postures.
There are various forms of yoga, each focusing on something different. However, no matter which type of yoga you choose to practice, the physical and mental health benefits are the same. One of the important aspects of yoga is that people from multiple fitness backgrounds can do it. Each pose has a modification to make it either more or less challenging, depending on your skill level.
Yoga provides benefits for anyone that practices. However, it is commonly used in substance abuse treatment programs due to its mindfulness techniques and support of healthy lifestyles. Below are just some of the benefits yoga offers to those struggling with substance abuse disorders:
1. Decreases Stress and Anxiety
Yoga focuses on three main aspects — your body, mind, and breath. This practice teaches you how to exercise your muscles while clearing your mind and controlling your breath. Combined, these techniques promote relaxation.
Stress and anxiety are two of the most common triggers for relapse when struggling with substance abuse. By incorporating yoga into your daily practice, you help reduce those negative emotions, which allow you to better maintain sobriety.
2. Fights Depression
Studies show that practicing yoga correlates with decreased cortisol levels, a stress hormone that affects serotonin levels. One study found that after two weeks of participating in a specific type of yoga that focuses on breathing, members of an alcohol dependence program experienced lower cortisol levels and fewer symptoms of depression.
In the United States, nearly 9.2 million adults struggle with co-occurring disorders, which are substance use disorders in conjunction with a mental illness. Fighting symptoms of depression can also reduce cravings or urges to use the substance of your choice.
3. Improves Quality of Life
Because of its effects on anxiety and depression, yoga is also known to improve sleep quality, eating habits, and immune function. Better sleep and healthy eating both promote better overall physical health, which then impacts mental health.
Additionally, yoga increases self-awareness and self-esteem. Building a strong relationship with yourself and a sense of confidence also improves your overall quality of life.
Yoga at Mount Sinai Wellness Center
Mount Sinai Wellness Center recognizes the benefits yoga and meditation can have on someone in recovery. That is why we incorporate it into the weekly routine of our clients. We keep our patients busy with a full schedule of activities that help them find peace of mind and build effective strategies for managing addiction.
If you are ready to take the next step toward your recovery, contact us online today or call us at (800) 353-4673.