Exercise is an excellent way for us to continue coping with our conditions during early recovery. Exercise can incorporate so many different things and take various forms. All of them can give you a health benefit and boost your mental health when you indulge in it. The kind of exercise we want to look at today is yoga, which has been a popular form of exercise for many years.

Yoga is an exercise of the mind and body, promoting physical posture, breathing techniques, and meditation/relaxation to help you control your body’s processes. There are many different kinds of yoga you can do. Some of them are more focused on relaxation and meditation, while others are more strenuous and challenging.

The most popular form of yoga in the United States is Hatha yoga, which is focused on three elements: physical poses, breathing techniques, and short periods of deep relaxation or meditation. But for those of us who deal with mental illnesses like anxiety or depression, yoga can be a great outlet. This activity can help calm our nerves and get our minds clear from whatever is plaguing them.

It has been widely known that yoga can help lower anxiety. Yoga appears to modulate stress responses in our bodies, which will decrease physiological arousal. This includes reducing a person’s heart rate, lowering their blood pressure, and easing respiration. All of these things can influence how a person is processing anxiety.

If our stress is causing us to struggle with early recovery, yoga can be a great way to get rid of those symptoms. Some studies also show that yoga can help increase heart rate variability, which is an indicator of how the body responds to different kinds of stress.

Beyond the Physical Benefits of Yoga

These are all physical benefits you can get from yoga, and they are incredibly valuable. But there are mental benefits as well. People who have experienced trauma can become introverted and develop bad habits. We may develop certain repetitive behaviors and thoughts and even experience a complete shutdown of our minds and bodies.

Because of the mentally interactive part of yoga, we can access the deeper parts of our brain, the more primitive parts, where we house these traumatic experiences. Yoga provides us with a way to face this emotional turmoil, and ultimately let it go. When done in the right environment with the right people, it can be a completely liberating experience for many of us.

Furthermore, it helps reduce stress in our brain overall. Because of the way that yoga changes and interacts with our stress response system, it can decrease the levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, in our bodies. Just as we let go of trauma, we also let go of the smaller stressors we have been holding. We let go of the assignment due tomorrow. We let go of the coworker who snapped at us today.

We allow ourselves to breathe and see the better parts of ourselves and life. Thus, we start to encourage our bodies to begin to recover. Many of the longer-held poses in yoga help us dial down the sympathetic nervous system’s fight-or-flight response. This response is engaged when we are met with a stressful situation and begin to feel overwhelmed or like we can’t cope with it.

Space is created to allow a transition from fight-or-flight into relaxation. The parasympathetic nervous system – which is responsible for activating the relaxation response – can thrive and work the way it needs to.

Freedom Through Mental & Spiritual Wellness

The number of mental health benefits that come with yoga is vast and varied. It has become so popular around the world for a good reason, especially when you look at how many people deal with anxiety or depression. In our stressful world, it is crucial to find ways to exercise ourselves physically and mentally.

Yoga can teach you how to control your breathing, so that in those moments when your body begins to take off, you can use your breathing techniques to calm it down. Overall, it can provide you with a sensation of freedom, one that makes you feel rid of the burdens and weight you have been carrying for so long, or for so little.

It opens your mind and body to bliss and a feeling of freedom that can be hard to come by. For those of you who may not indulge because you want a more strenuous exercise, that’s fine. Still, we encourage you to try it as a form of meditation. You may find that it changes everything.

Recovery is a multi-faceted process and needs to incorporate every element of the human experience. Yoga is an excellent way to combine physical exercise with self-care and spirituality. At Camelback Recovery, you’ll find a sober living community ready to provide you with the tools you’ll need on the journey to sobriety. If you’re ready to get sober, it’s time to lean on the experience and strength of others who have come before you. Sobriety is not as uncharted as it may seem. Through a holistic recovery program, you can heal spiritually, mentally, and physically – you just need the time to do so. At Camelback Recovery, you’ll find the community you’re looking for and the experienced guidance you need. Give us a call at (602) 466-9880. Getting sober isn’t easy, but it can be an exciting period of your life, filled with transformational experiences and incredible growth.