3 MIN READ | Psychotherapy

Ellen Diamond

The Role of Yoga in Addiction Recovery

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Ellen Diamond, (2022, November 22). The Role of Yoga in Addiction Recovery. Psychreg on Psychotherapy. https://www.psychreg.org/role-yoga-addiction-recovery/
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Traditional addiction treatment generally focuses on abstaining from drug use and developing healthy coping mechanisms to deal with cravings and triggers. While this is certainly an important part of the recovery process, many people in recovery also find that incorporating complementary and alternative treatments, such as yoga, can be helpful in managing symptoms and promoting overall well-being.

Let’s take a closer look at how yoga can aid addiction recovery.

Yoga can be helpful in addiction recovery for a number of reasons. First, yoga promotes mindfulness, which is the practice of being present in the moment and aware of one’s thoughts, feelings, and actions. Mindfulness can be helpful in recovery because it allows people to become more attuned to their bodies and their surroundings, which can help them to avoid triggers and cues that may lead to relapse. Additionally, mindfulness can help people to cope with difficult emotions in a more productive way by teaching them to observe their thoughts and feelings without judgment. 

Physical benefits of yoga 

Yoga provides many physical benefits that can be helpful in addiction recovery. Yoga can help to increase strength and flexibility, improve breathing and circulation, reduce stress, and provide a form of exercise that is gentle on the body. These benefits are important because they can help the body to heal from the damage caused by addiction and give the individual more energy to put towards their recovery. 

Mental benefits of yoga 

In addition to the physical benefits, yoga also provides mental benefits that can be helpful in addiction recovery. Yoga can help to calm the mind, ease anxiety, improve sleep, and increase focus and concentration. These benefits are important because they can help to reduce some of the stress and anxiety that comes with early sobriety and promote better mental health overall. 

How yoga can help with addiction recovery 

Yoga has many benefits that can be helpful for those in addiction recovery. First and foremost, yoga is a form of exercise, which is important for both physical and mental health. It can help to ease anxiety and depression, and promote better sleep. It also helps to build strength, flexibility, and stamina. 

In addition to the physical benefits of yoga, it is also beneficial for mental health. Yoga promotes mindfulness, which is the practice of being present in the moment. This can be helpful for those in addiction recovery as it can help to prevent triggers and cravings. Mindfulness can also help to ease anxiety and depression. 

Finally, yoga is a form of self-care. It can help you to feel good about yourself and your body, and promote a positive outlook on life. Self-care is extremely important in addiction recovery as it can help to prevent relapse. 

Yoga is also beneficial for physical health. People who are in recovery often have problems with chronic pain, insomnia, and anxiety, all of which can be alleviated through regular yoga practice. The physical benefits of yoga can also help people to feel better about themselves and their bodies, which can be a powerful tool in combating negative body image issues that often accompany eating disorders or substance abuse. 

Finally, yoga is beneficial for mental health. The deep breathing exercises often used in yoga can help to lower stress levels and promote relaxation. Additionally, yoga has been shown to increase levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is linked to happiness and positive mental states. By incorporating yoga into their recovery plan, people in recovery can give themselves a boost of serotonin when they are feeling low or stressed out. 

Overall, there are many reasons why yoga can be helpful for people in addiction recovery. Yoga promotes mindfulness, physical health, and mental well-being—all of which are important for a successful recovery. If you are in recovery or considering treatment for addiction, talk to your doctor or treatment provider about incorporating yoga into your plan.


Ellen Diamond did her degree in psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. She is interested in mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.


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