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Thursday, June 18, 2020

International Day of Yoga: How Finding Your Center Can Enhance Your Recovery

In 2015, the United Nations designated International Day of Yoga each June. If you don’t already have a yoga routine, now is an excellent time to start discovering the many benefits of this venerable practice. While yoga is an ideal way to build strength and flexibility, these seemingly simple poses go far beyond physical benefits. Should you think about adding yoga to your addiction recovery program? Here are some advantages you might wish to consider.

1. Enhances the Mind-Body-Spirit Connection

The word yoga comes from a Sanskrit term meaning “union.” A typical yoga class combines a flow of poses, or asanas, with controlled breathing, and closes with a meditative period in which aspiring yogis seek to reach deeper within themselves. A regular yoga practice can bring you spiritual growth as you learn to quiet your mind and bring your body into balance.

2. Helps Heal Your Brain

Long-term substance abuse alters your brain chemistry, adversely affecting the pathways regulating decision-making, emotions and memory. Though drugs have lasting impacts on the brain, it’s not impossible to rebuild this organ once you start recovery. As you begin to heal yourself from the disease of addiction, yoga may act like a “reset button” for your brain’s chemistry and neural network.

3. Reduced Stress and Anxiety

Stress and anxiety are genuine threats in recovery because they can serve as significant relapse triggers. If you don’t learn healthy coping mechanisms such as yoga, a family argument or stressful day at work can cause intense cravings for your former substance of use. As one study by researchers at the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine found, the regular practice of yoga may enhance gray matter and the areas of the brain that play an active role in stress relief, like the hippocampus.

4. Better Overall Health

Addiction takes a toll on your overall physical, mental and emotional health. When you make yoga part of your recovery routine, you can enjoy more energy, an improved mood and better quality of sleep. You’ll also start feeling stronger every day, and will notice a boost in your self-esteem because of the changes yoga will make to your body.

5. More Self-Discipline

Walking away from the temptation to use drugs and alcohol is one of the most challenging things you’ll ever do, but committing to a regular yoga practice can give you the discipline you’ll need to keep saying “no” for the rest of your life. When you notice how much better you feel overall, it will help keep you motivated to continue with your yoga routine.

Begin the Journey to Healing at Complete Harmony

If you are seeking help for a drug or alcohol addiction or dual diagnosis, but wish to explore alternatives to traditional 12-step recovery, find your home at Complete Harmony. We offer a holistic treatment program that includes comfortable, non-pharmaceutical detox and cognitive behavioral therapy alongside therapies such as yoga, meditation and acupuncture to give our clients the best chance of lifelong recovery. Contact us today to learn more.
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