Using Yoga for a Better Life and Recovery

Published On October 14, 2017 | By Kimberly Baker | Health

Yoga dates back to ancient times. This mind and body practice has gained popularity over the course of the past few decades because of its many health benefits. Today, it’s even part of the addiction recovery treatment process.

General Health Benefits

Yoga helps to increase your strength. It also has the potential to increase your flexibility and improve your balance. These benefits happen over time. You won’t notice an improvement in your flexibility or balance during your first few sessions, but gradually over time, you’ll notice changes. This mind and body practice improves poor posture because it improves flexibility in the muscles and connective tissue. During yoga, you take your joints through their full range of motion. This keeps your joints moving, which ultimately has the potential to prevent arthritis because it encourages the flow of nutrients to the cartilage. These nutrients help protect the joints from wearing out. In addition, yoga has the potential to reduce osteoporosis since weight-bearing postures enhance the strength of your bones. Studies indicate yoga has the ability to reduce the level of cortisol, a stress hormone, in the body. Lower levels of cortisol may aid in retaining calcium in the bones. Practicing yoga increases the amount of lymph drainage you have, which improves how your body fights infections. Lymph is a fluid that consists of immune cells.  

Yoga has the potential to get your blood flowing. The cells in your body receive an increase in oxygen. The increase in blood flow also means your cells are receiving an increase in nutrients. The enhanced circulation reduces swelling. This particular exercise thins the blood by lessening stickiness in the platelets. Additionally, it decreases the level of proteins that promote clotting. Thinning the blood naturally will decrease your risk of heart attacks and stroke. Regular exercise is recommended to keep your heart healthy. Yoga, especially quicker paced versions, have the ability to boost your heart rate. An improvement in your heart rate helps improve your heart’s function.

Recovery-Specific Benefits

Yoga has a number of general health benefits, but it also has the potential to enhance your recovery. First and foremost, it has the potential to relieve pain and discomfort holistically. Oftentimes, pain and discomfort are symptoms of withdrawal a person must try to cope with during the initial stage of withdrawal. Other common symptoms of withdrawal are restlessness and insomnia. While medications can help, taking a drug-free approach to your recovery is beneficial. Yoga has the potential to provide insomnia relief because it relieves stress. Keep in mind, sleep deprivation has a huge impact on your mood, especially because it can cause depression and anxiety.  And Pranayama for anxiety is always helpful. 

During your recovery process, you may feel stressed. Taking the necessary steps to recovery can make a person feel overwhelmed. It doesn’t help that one of the symptoms of withdrawal from most substances is anxiety. Yoga has the ability to de-stress you and relieve your withdrawal symptoms.

In many cases, people use drugs or alcohol to combat self-esteem issues. They self-medicated, which can eventually lead to addiction. The drugs or alcohol can cause changes in physical appearance and a person’s life, both of which are damaging to a person’s self-esteem. Yoga has the ability to improve your self-confidence. As you improve at yoga, you’ll feel accomplished. This impacts your self-esteem positively. Yoga helps tone muscles and can potentially lead to weight loss. These improvements boost your self-esteem as well.

When you exercise, your body releases “feel-good” hormones. The release of hormones has the potential to improve your mood. You’ll feel more fulfilled when yoga boosts your mood; therefore, you’ll be less likely to return to substance abuse. 

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