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Improve Your Mind and Body with Yoga

Early sobriety can be a difficult time both emotionally and physically. It takes time for the brain and body to heal from the damages caused by drugs and alcohol. We may be feeling all sorts of uncomfortable symptoms such as anxiety, depression, and sluggishness. Fortunately, there are a variety of non-pharmacological ways to alleviate these symptoms and improve our sense of well-being. One such activity is yoga, and the mental and physical health benefits it provides can be powerful.

After we go through detox, we may still face some uncomfortable symptoms. Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS) “refers to a set of impairments that can persist for weeks or months after the abstaining from a substance of abuse” and “is marked by symptoms similar to those found in mood disorders and anxiety disorders, including mood swings, insomnia, and increased levels of anxiety even without any apparent stimulus,” according to the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. Fortunately, the symptoms are manageable without the use of medications and yoga may effective mitigate many of the problems associated with PAWS.

The physical benefits of yoga can be tremendous. Natalie Nevins, DO, a board-certified osteopathic family physician and certified Kundalini Yoga instructor in Hollywood, California, explains, ““The relaxation techniques incorporated in yoga can lessen chronic pain, such as lower back pain, arthritis, headaches and carpal tunnel syndrome. Yoga can also lower blood pressure and reduce insomnia.” Other benefits, according to the American Osteopathic Association, include: increased flexibility; increased muscle strength and tone; improved respiration, energy, and vitality; maintaining a balanced metabolism; weight reduction; cardio and circulatory health; improved athletic performance; and protection from injury.

The mental health benefits of yoga are no less impressive. Yoga can effectively reduce feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression. According to a 2018 Harvard Mental Health Letter entitled Yoga for Anxiety and Depression, “By reducing perceived stress and anxiety, yoga appears to modulate stress response systems. This, in turn, decreases physiological arousal — for example, reducing the heart rate, lowering blood pressure, and easing respiration. There is also evidence that yoga practices help increase heart rate variability, an indicator of the body’s ability to respond to stress more flexibly.” The combination of physical and mental health improvement provided by yoga may be highly effective in helping us navigate the crucial period of early sobriety.

Your life doesn’t have to be held back by the chains of addiction. You can make the decision to seek help today and begin building a brighter future. Resilient House, located in beautiful Shreveport, Louisiana, brings together the highest quality behavioral health and addictions specialists, holistic experts, and spiritual guides to help clients develop all the tools necessary to achieve and maintain sobriety. For information about treatment options, please call today: (833) 242-6431