Yoga is considered an exercise “practice,” because it is a dynamic exercise that seeks to constantly improve. Stability, strength and a clear mind are key aspects. All of these qualities bear remarkable similarities to addiction recovery skills.
The Sun Journal posted an article entitled, “Yoga brings balance to recovering drug addicts.” The article centers on Kelly Benson, a yoga instructor, who emerged from a background that included heroin addiction, and a pattern of drug abuse that stemmed back to her teen years.
A quote from Benson reads, “Once your mind/body system is more in balance, it opens up the space to really tap into the soul.”
The article goes on to discuss one of her class participants, another recovering addict, who notes that he uses yoga to get both his body and mind into a better place.
Exercise presents an opportunity to achieve a natural high, as hormones within your own body are stimulated that have the potential to help you feel better. Making exercise activities, such as yoga, into a regularly scheduled part of your routine, can be very rewarding both mentally and physically.
Here are some simple yoga exercises you can try at home:
sit or stand, then slowly raise both arms above your head. Arch your back slightly into a backwards “C” position.
Arm and shoulder stress buster:
Raise your right arm to the sky. Allow your arm to bend at the elbow (like you’re patting yourself on the back). Let your left arm follow the contour of your head to gently press the right arm backwards, increasing the stretch slightly.
Let your left arm drop to your side, then reach behind your back. See how close you can reach the fingertips of both hands. Repeat on the other side.
Reach your right hand out, with your palm outstretched. Stretch your fingers backwards.
Use your left hand to gently increase the stretch, including your thumb, as well. Repeat on the other side.
There are many youtube videos that allow you to try yoga from the comfort of your own home. An example of a great video for beginners that offers extensive information that helps with proper postures, while offering a calm and soothing instruction style is available here.
As you continue to find balance and healthy outlets in your life, we urge you to find hobbies that align with those objectives, such as yoga, which can play a role in women’s sober living.
If you seek additional help in transitional recovery services within the Chicago area, please contact us.