Practicing yoga as a form of self-care has become increasingly popular in the United States, specifically for those in recovery. Although, many individuals who are not in recovery can gain many benefits from practicing yoga as well.
The numerous benefits of yoga can essentially be divided into three different sections:
#1. The Physical Benefits
When individuals initially evaluate the benefits of yoga, they may consider some of its well-known physical benefits. Many in recovery know that getting active can be a great way to mitigate various urges and other negative experiences that can occur. Not to mention that getting regular physical exercise is a necessity for overall health and well-being. It helps ensure that individuals’ bodies can function properly in day-to-day life.
Aside from being a healthy, unique way to get active, yoga offers more physical benefits than might be assumed. According to the National Library of Medicine, some of these lesser-known benefits can include the following:
Unfortunately, the role of flexibility in physical health is highly overlooked by the vast majority of individuals. Despite it being overlooked, it significantly impacts a person’s overall health. In fact, the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs explains, “Maintaining range of motion in the body’s joints is important for basic functioning and may (along with other components of musculoskeletal fitness) be especially important to maintaining functionality in the setting of aging, injuries, and chronic illnesses.” By practicing yoga, individuals can increase their flexibility, which is incredibly important for basic body functions.
Many yoga poses help individuals improve their posture and how their spines curve. If individuals find themselves slouching over frequently, they may find that they have digestive issues, such as indigestion or acid reflux. Practicing yoga regularly can allow individuals to improve digestion by improving their posture.
Lowers Blood Pressure and Heart Rate
Many forms and styles of yoga involve significant breathwork throughout the session. Oftentimes, a basic yoga session is comprised of a series of different yoga poses. Individuals are encouraged to hold these poses for 10 to 15 seconds and breathe purposefully while they do so. This can help individuals lower their heart rate and blood pressure over time.
Helps With Sleep
It is well known that exercise of any kind can help with sleep because it helps to work off any extra energy an individual may have. The same can be said for yoga. However, yoga is slightly different in that it can help relax the body rather than overwork it. Individuals can get a significant workout from practicing yoga, but they can also use it as a way to unwind at the end of the day. It does this by lightly stretching parts of the body that are tense, which promotes relaxation and release. The breathwork involved also allows for relaxation and an overall calmness within the body.
A large part of yoga involves being aware of the body so that individuals can have better control. When they can feel their muscles engaged and their tendons being stretched, they can be more aware of how to utilize these different parts of their bodies. Outside of yoga, individuals will find that they have increased coordination as a result.
#2. The Mental Benefits
Due to the calming nature of yoga, it can offer individuals many mental health benefits. Some of these include:
- Reduced anxiety
- Increase in confidence
- Alleviate depression
- Promote feelings of joy
Yoga is all about grounding oneself. In order to accomplish the poses and the flow of the poses, individuals must connect with their bodies. To do this, individuals bring awareness to their breath while striving to take deeper, longer breaths. This can help them realize how their bodies feel in each pose and access inner peace and ease within themselves. This leads to experiencing feelings of confidence, joy, fulfillment, and peace.
#3. The Spiritual Benefits
Similar to the mental benefits, the spiritual benefits that can be experienced during yoga are incredibly influential. By influencing individuals to live in the present moment instead of dwelling on the past or future, they can learn to find appreciation and peace in teach present moment. By flowing from pose to pose, they can realize that life is a journey, and there are benefits to each moment. Even if a pose is difficult, there are benefits to practicing the pose nonetheless, which can be applied to difficult life situations as well.
Each pose comes and goes, just as each moment in life does. All thoughts and emotions are passing things throughout life, but what remains constant is one’s connection to oneself. Upon discovering these beliefs, individuals can feel a strong connection to themselves and the world around them in a powerful, optimistic way.
Yoga has many benefits for those in recovery, which include physical, mental, and spiritual rewards that can greatly impact your recovery and help you achieve the many goals that you may have for yourself. Some such benefits include improving your flexibility, increasing confidence, and helping you remain in the present moment to realize the good that can be found by staying present. We understand how difficult the recovery journey can be, which is why West Coast Recovery Centers wants to equip you with all the tools, resources, and skills needed to achieve lasting physical, mental, and spiritual wellness in recovery. We are here to learn more about you and your specific needs during this challenging time. You do not have to go through these challenges alone. To learn more about all that we can offer you, call our facility today at (760) 492-6509.