Benefits of Yoga When It Comes to Treating Addiction
Addiction to alcohol and drugs affects physical and mental health, so it’s no wonder that the best drug rehab in Fort Myers targets physical and psychological health. During rehab, you may have become acquainted with many new ways to cope with your negative emotions and other triggers that have led you to abuse drugs or alcohol. Your therapist likely discussed the benefits of physical fitness for both the mind and body.
At WhiteSands Alcohol and Drug Rehab, individuals frequently include yoga participation in their treatment programs. If you have not participated in yoga or already know its benefits, you should consider practicing yoga at home or at nearby Fort Myers, Florida studios even after completing your addiction treatment program. Aside from yoga’s tremendous health benefits, many people recovering from addiction now rely on yoga to enhance their continued recovery journey.
Yoga is an ancient practice that spans well over 5,000 years. Today, there are various styles of yoga. The modern approach here in the U.S. typically involves using physical postures to connect the mind, body, and breathing to promote mindfulness, focus, and self-awareness. People recovering from addiction to drugs and alcohol can benefit from yoga at all stages during their recovery and long after. Yoga can help them maintain their sobriety while enhancing other aspects of their physical and mental health fitness.
Fortunately, the Fort Myers region features many yoga studios and venues like community centers where people can practice yoga. If you have recently completed your formal addiction treatment program, you will want to consider activities like yoga that can help you keep your continued recovery plans on track.
Yoga can be so beneficial to people recovering from an addiction to drugs or alcohol that many addiction treatment centers have begun to offer it and their other therapies. WhiteSands Alcohol and Drug Rehab features on-site yoga classes because of the benefits that the practice affords to participants. Yoga can complement more traditional therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy and group counseling sessions. As an alternative therapy, it is gaining national recognition for its benefits to people in recovery from a drug or addiction.
One of the key benefits of yoga for addiction is the way it can promote improved self-control. Practicing the various techniques and postures associated with yoga requires self-control. Similarly, it takes no small degree of self-control for a person recovering from addiction to practice their beneficial coping strategies to prevent relapse. Yoga can strengthen a person’s ability to control themselves in many different ways. When a person can exert self-control to maintain a pose, they invariably strengthen their ability to maintain self-control when feeling emotions like anger or sadness.
Yoga is also a positive means of coping with stress. There are all kinds of stressors that affect our lives. Many people develop a drinking or drug habit as an unhealthy means to cope with the chronic stress in their lives. Yoga is a healthy way to dispel anxiety. To keep relapse at bay, people recovering from addiction must find positive ways to alleviate stress to trigger them to turn to drugs or alcohol.
Benefits of Meditation
Meditation and yoga go hand-in-hand. However, one can practice yoga without meditating, and one can practice meditation without yoga. Even so, many yoga practices combine the two to support that connectedness between the mind and body. To meditate means to ponder or reflect, but in the context of yoga, meditation means to tap into one’s pure consciousness, to remain observant yet mentally detached. In this way, meditation is a state of being in the present but in a place of pure calm.
The benefits of meditation are both physically and mentally powerful. Stress can cause physical health symptoms like blood pressure spikes or headaches. Meditation can reduce these physical symptoms in many instances. People who meditate can also quiet mental health symptoms such as anxiety or depression. While yoga and meditation may not cure these conditions, they can be therapeutic and provide people with some symptom relief.
Clear Minds Are Less Distracted
During yoga sessions, therapists encourage participants to clear their minds. Stretching is meant to promote good blood flow and help ‘clear the toxins’ from one’s system. Stress is toxic to one’s mental health. Clearing away negative thoughts and emotions, even for the span of a yoga class, can be immensely therapeutic. During this time, the brain has a chance to heal. People leave class feeling mentally and physically rejuvenated because they had an enjoyable break from their negative thoughts or feelings.
When a person’s mind becomes clear from stress and negativity, it’s easier for them to maintain their focus. During yoga class, a clean mind helps them to practice postures more successfully. As they develop their ability to focus, they can practice a disciplined focus outside of the yoga studio as well. A strong mental focus is essential for someone recovering from alcohol or drug addiction. Focusing on tasks and not letting their minds linger too long on cravings or negativity is beneficial for the recovery process.
Physical Benefits of Yoga
As a form of exercise, yoga features many physical benefits. During training, the brain releases feel-good endorphins that target the muscles and trigger healing. The endorphins also flood the brain, which is why people often feel ‘good’ after working out even though they may also experience sore muscles or fatigue. Many people describe exercise as delivering a ‘natural high.’ It’s not high like a drug can induce because it is natural. It occurs with the biological actions of our bodies.
Performing yoga on a routine basis can enhance physical health in several ways. While many people don’t readily associate yoga as an effective means to lose weight, practitioners burn many calories during yoga sessions. Many people rely on yoga to maintain a healthy weight. Additionally, yoga may help reduce blood pressure and inflammation. Mild yoga can be beneficial for people struggling with arthritis joint pain.
Finally, yoga can improve a person’s flexibility and strength. Positions can be challenging, but continued practice benefits the body in numerous ways. People who are recovering from addiction may have experienced negative physical health symptoms. So, focusing on yoga can help undo some types of damage and lead to improved overall health.
How Yoga Positively Influences Addiction Treatment
People can benefit from yoga during their formal addiction treatment at rehab and long after. By practicing yoga continuously, people can experience its many mental and physical health benefits. Ironically, many of the benefits that yoga provides can help people get more out of their addiction treatment or aftercare. For example, the practice of meditation to promote mindfulness allows people to take a ‘mental break’ from thinking about negative emotions or past traumas. Meditation doesn’t erase trauma, but it can help someone cope and gain some relief.
Learning to cope with past trauma and negative emotions in a healthy manner is at the root of many addiction treatment programs. Failing to manage in healthy ways invariably results in relapse. When a person has yoga to turn to after a stressful day at work, they are less inclined to turn to the bar or a drink. In this way, yoga is an extremely effective coping measure.
Another positive aspect of yoga for people in recovery is the community in which it is practiced. Therapists often counsel people in recovery to abandon unhealthy social groups, but that can lead to an unpleasant social void. By visiting a yoga studio for classes, you’ll be able to meet new people and form new friendships in a healthy setting. Some studios may even offer yoga sessions that are specifically geared for people in recovery. These groups include a healing community that can have a positive influence on everyone involved.
Yoga Studios in Fort Myers, FL
Yoga can improve both mental and physical health with its various benefits. There are numerous yoga studios in the Fort Myers, Florida area. Some of our favorites include:
Yoga Bird features in-person and live-streaming yoga classes for practitioners of all levels. Private and outdoor sessions are also available. Be sure to check the studio’s website periodically to find out about its special events.
Shiva Yoga Shala
Billing itself as a ‘safe home for transformation,’ Shiva Yoga Shala has created a studio-sanctuary that’s welcoming for yoga practitioners at all levels. Aside from its general yoga in-person and streaming classes, it also offers yoga teacher training, private yoga sessions, Reiki therapy, and physical therapy.
In its state-of-the-art studio, Yayso Yoga features various types of yoga, including aerial yoga, and acro yoga. Private sessions are available. Yayso Yoga is part of the Gung Fu Institute, which operates a network of services devoted to health, fitness, and self-defense.
Dragonfly Yoga & Pilates
With its focus on metamorphosis and transformation, Dragonfly Yoga & Pilates is a renowned area studio that features yoga and pilates classes. Live streaming is now offered, and practitioners of all skill and fitness levels are welcome.
WhiteSands Alcohol and Drug Rehab features yoga classes specifically designed for people recovering from drug or alcohol addiction. No matter what your skill level, you can benefit from yoga right from the start. As you build on your skills, you’ll find that yoga offers a wide range of life-enhancing benefits. Considering signing up for classes today.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.