The world of addiction treatment and recovery has expanded beyond traditional therapy and 12-step programs in recent years. Today, many addiction treatment programs incorporate holistic and alternative treatment models into already successful and well-known evidence-based treatment models. Although traditional therapy models remain successful, research has shown that incorporating holistic treatments designed to treat the mind, body, and spirit of the recovering individual offers opportunities for enhanced success during and after treatment. Many alumni of addiction treatment programs take the skills learned from holistic treatment models with them after they leave treatment. They use these skills as coping mechanisms and healthy lifestyle changes, allowing them to continue with long term recovery and reduce the risk of relapse when faced with triggering situations. 


What Is Yoga Therapy?

The practice of yoga is not new. Yoga is an ancient practice that began in India centuries ago. Yoga is a group of physical, mental, and spiritual disciplines often associated with specific bodily postures. Today, yoga therapy is considered by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) to be one of several empirically validated holistic addiction treatment methods. When used in conjunction with other forms of clinical treatment, yoga can help address issues related to substance abuse, mental health, and chronic pain.

During drug and alcohol detox, it is normal for you to experience increased anxiety, stress, and depression due to withdrawal symptoms. Yoga therapy is an excellent, non-medicinal way of relieving these symptoms using your body’s own resources to heal itself. During a yoga session, your yoga instructor will guide you into and through positions. These postures are intended to be a bit uncomfortable because they are meant to increase mental concentration, perseverance, and self-discipline. Over time, as you repeat the same postures and persist with yoga practice, yoga postures require less and less effort as your muscle tone and overall posture improve. 


How Does Yoga Help with Recovery from Substance Abuse?

You may be doubtful about the benefits that yoga could offer your recovery. It can be challenging to imagine how stretching and breathing can help you defeat your addiction. Yoga is an excellent coping tool that can provide multiple benefits during your recovery.

Physical Benefits

Yoga can help you feel stronger and more flexible after every session. Aches and pains that are common as part of withdrawal will decrease as you use yoga to stretch and breathe through them. 

Stress-Reduction Benefits

Rehab is not easy. It is normal for you to feel increased stress while you are in treatment. The calm breathing exercises and mediative benefits of yoga can help calm nerves, reduce cravings, and help you find a healthy way to address any emotional distress or trauma you may feel regarding your addiction or other co-existing mental health conditions.

Improved Circulation

Long term addiction can have adverse effects on your cardiovascular system. Yoga can lead to improved circulation and lower blood pressure. Combined, these can lower your risk for heart disease. It also increases oxygen flow to your brain and improves your mood, which is crucial when the depression that can sometimes accompany recovery becomes challenging. 

Emotional Benefits

Many people will tell you yoga provides greater peace of mind. This can give you access to new, healthier coping mechanisms to use once treatment ends. Instead of turning to drugs or alcohol, you can turn to new, healthy, calming breathing exercises learned in yoga therapy.

Get Sober at Crosspointe Recovery

It is important to note that yoga cannot and should not be used as a singular treatment for addiction and recovery. You still need to complete detox and any necessary medical and mental health treatment provided by your mental health team. Yoga is a powerful and relaxing way for you to go through recovery and gain the peace of mind essential for defeating your addiction. To learn more about how yoga can help your rehab process contact Crosspointe Recovery today. 

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