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Why is Yoga a Popular Treatment for Addiction?
In recent years, yoga has become one of the more common treatment options for addiction syndromes and has been found to be very effective for many individuals. There are certain reasons for yoga’s popularity as a treatment for this issue, despite its lack of extensive evidence as an effective option and the abundance of other treatment methods.
There are many benefits associated with the practice of yoga that addicted individuals sorely need during their recoveries. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, “Studies… suggest that practicing yoga (as well as other forms of exercise) might have… health benefits such as reducing heart rate and blood pressure and may also help relieve anxiety and depression.”
A calming atmosphere is often extremely important to individuals going through addiction recovery, as the process itself can be difficult and nerve-wracking. Many individuals experience cravings, which can make it harder to abstain from the substances that caused them so many issues, and yoga can help alleviate some of these feelings. Anxiety and depression are also common symptoms of withdrawal and addiction recovery, and this treatment can be effective in treating them.
Yoga has a number of other health benefits, similar to those caused by other exercises, that individuals in recovery require. The practice is calming, healthful, and good at helping individuals focus their energies on a positive hobby instead of on their lingering desire to abuse substances.
Mindfulness meditation is a concept used in yoga teachings that helps individuals set their intention for their practice, concentrate on the task ahead, and train their thoughts in a way that makes them more beneficial to the individual’s overall life. This concept can be extremely helpful to those in recovery for all the reasons above as well as for its ability to help them control their actions more effectively.
Individuals recovering from addiction often need to learn to control their thoughts and feelings and to avoid dangerous actions that could lead to a relapse. This concept helps many people achieve this level of control, especially after they have lost so much of it to drug abuse. According to a study from the journal of Complementary Therapies in Medicine, “Mindfulness meditation has been shown to increase somatosensory processing, decrease cognitive elaboration associated with the narrative self, and diminish emotional reactivity in the limbic system,” all changes that benefit the individual to be more in control of their thoughts and actions.
Enjoying Yoga Practice
The practice itself, among many of its benefits, is also very enjoyable, and many individuals do genuinely like taking time to participate in it. It is often important for someone who has struggled with addiction to find a positive practice to pour some of their time into, and yoga is one of the best options for this. Those who enjoy yoga practice will keep coming back, getting better over time and learning more ways to make the practice work for them.