When certain activities are trendy, we may have a hard time taking them seriously. However, sometimes, popular opinion gets it right. The “trend” of yoga dates back to over 5,000 years ago. While it has roots in spiritual practices, it has become a mainstream way of not only exercising our bodies but also exercising our minds and connecting with our souls. Due to the fact that yoga approaches fitness holistically, it is also an ideal tool to heal from substance use.
What Is Yoga?
Initially, yoga was a spiritual tool that was used to connect the mind, body, and spirit. Some of the original concepts included finding more awareness of self, finding inner peace, and gaining control over body and mind. Today, it is still used for spiritual purposes, but it is also commonly used for everything from fitness to self-mastery.
Yoga combines breathing techniques, meditation, and exercise. The physical exercise looks simple, but can actually be a very intense workout. When combined with the mental and spiritual aspects, it can also be a very intense workout for our minds.
It is a great example of how Eastern philosophies have been integrated into Western culture, as people from all walks of life practice yoga daily. Even professional athletes commonly use yoga as a part of their regular routine, because not only does it improve their physical strength, it also improves their mental strength.
How Can Yoga Heal the Body?
Physically, yoga helps to burn a lot of calories and strengthen and tone muscles. The physical difficulty varies with the intensity and type of yoga. It is considered a low-impact workout that can also increase our flexibility as we continue to use it. All of these assets make it a great way to re-introduce our bodies to exercise after substance use.
Where the healing is most powerful is with the combined breathing and physical exertion techniques. It is a quiet power that allows our body to heal in a way that is safe and flexible with our needs. By healing all aspects of our beings simultaneously, it is a more powerful healing. We may not see the aerobic movement of more active fitness activities or measure the strength like in weight training, but the results are surprisingly beneficial to our physical and mental health.
Why Does Yoga Connect the Mind and Spirit?
Because yoga is more than just physical exercise, it has more than just physical benefits. The combined use of not only the physical but also the breathing techniques and the meditation aspects allows our bodies to connect with our minds and also our spirits.
The idea of meditating while exercising is a powerful way to re-connect our minds and bodies, to become conscious of both our bodies and what is happening, but also our minds, and in doing so, also our spirits. Yoga is like the perfect workout for our whole beings.
How Can Yoga Be Helpful in Recovery?
Substance use is usually based on thought patterns like automatic thinking and emotional reactivity. As we recover, we become more aware of other ways to respond to our lives. One of the best tools for this is yoga. Because it is focused on mindfulness and training both our brain and our body, it is a very powerful practice in our recovery.
The ability to gain more control over our minds and bodies helps us to not only overcome our substance use but to also help prevent relapse. Yoga helps us to regain control over not just our bodies, but our minds as well, and that will help us stay on the recovery path.
Why Is Yoga Effective in Healing?
Entering recovery, our bodies, minds, and spirits are tired and disjointed. Often, we don’t even pay attention to our bodies or know how we are doing mentally or spiritually. Yoga is a tool that helps to bring all of these together, allowing us to reconnect with ourselves on a holistic level.
As our mind and spirit are learning to function again, and our body is beginning to move and feel again, yoga uses breathing techniques, meditation, and physical exertion to bring each of our parts back into one whole. The healing begins as we learn yoga, and continues throughout our recovery journey as we continue to use it in our daily lives.
How Can I Unleash the Power of Yoga in My Healing?
For those of us who have never practiced yoga, it can seem different or perhaps like something we are not that interested in. However, by trying something new, we might find that it is every bit as powerful as people say it is. There is a reason, after all, that yoga still exists after 5,000 years.
When we are open to trying new things and we are vulnerable, we create the opportunity for greater healing in our lives. As we are willing to stretch outside of our comfort zones and seek more ways to recover, we will be given greater healing and more opportunities to strengthen ourselves, mind, body, and soul.
How can yoga be a part of your healing? Learn yoga and many more healing tools at AToN Center by calling (888) 535-1516. Your choices today impact all of your tomorrows. Find out how you can heal your whole self with the help of yoga. Choose today to begin your holistic healing.