While people choose to seek treatment for drug or alcohol addiction…
A good substance abuse recovery program focuses on helping the whole person. Working towards better physical, mental, and emotional health are all critical pillars of support for substance abuse recovery. The relationship between physical health and substance abuse is not linear, but there is no doubt that improving physical well-being is important for long-term sobriety in many people. The links between mental and emotional health and sobriety are even more important. Incorporating exercise into a daily routine supports all three of these important components of total health, but not all types of exercise are created equal. In our experience, yoga is one of the optimal exercises for people working towards sobriety.
Benefits of Exercise
Sure, you know that exercise can improve your physical health, strength, and mobility. If your substance abuse problem is rooted in any type of physical ailment, exercise can help you tackle the root of the problem, as well. However, you may not realize that exercise has other real benefits, all of which can help people who are confronting substance abuse issues. Exercise is a natural mood booster that can help alleviate feelings of depression and feelings of anxiety. It is a way to handle stress in a healthy way; people who exercise are shown to be more resilient when facing stressful scenarios. Exercise can improve your memory, specifically your spatial memory. Exercise can improve the quality of sleep, which impacts so many areas of life. Finally, exercise is actually linked to the creation of new cells in your brain.
Benefits of Yoga
While exercise is awesome, it is not for everyone. In fact, some types of competitive exercise can actually be their own type of addiction, and abuse of exercise is a common feature in people with eating disorders. Yoga differs from some of these other types of exercise because of the way it integrates the mind and the body. By making meditation a critical component of the exercise regime, practitioners simultaneously get out of their mind while connecting with their body.
Yoga for Everyone
One of the great things about yoga is that it is an easily adaptable type of exercise, which can be enjoyed by people in various physical conditions and by people with disabilities. This makes it a perfect program for people who are in a substance abuse recovery program, who may come into the program at various fitness levels and with various levels of expertise. In yoga, a seasoned athlete and a novice can work side-by-side. In fact, part of the support community that develops in yoga classes is derived from this inclusive atmosphere.