New Choices Treatment Center Logo

How Yoga Can Help You In Addiction Recovery


When you have experienced the reality of substance abuse and addiction and have started the recovery process, it may seem difficult to even think about taking the time to begin focusing on building up your physical health again. But there are many sober activities in and around San Antonio to help. What if we told you that physical activity is one of your best friends while you’re on the path to recovery? Yes, we’re speaking of yoga!

We know it’s hard to start down that path when some days it feels like you’re not the one in control, mainly when you’ve fought against a substance use disorder and are recovering from addiction. And if you hate the process of exercising, you know it will feel even more like an uphill battle.

Would it help to know that recovery centers like New Choices are working with trainers and active recovery coaches to harness the science-backed benefits of exercise, such as yoga, to aid in addiction recovery?

Yoga is incredibly beginner-friendly and budget-friendly. It provides an incredible feeling of inner peace to those practicing it, making it an ideal option for those engaged in New Choices Treatment Centers’ Active in Recovery or Outpatient Treatment Programs.

When you begin your fitness journey with or without the help of trainers and coaches, we guarantee that you’ll begin to get those endorphins flowing, you’ll eat better, you’ll sleep deeper, and you’ll feel clearer. Once you get into the schedule of working out again, it will just become a regular part of your day and won’t feel like as much of a chore.

Why Yoga Works With Addiction Recovery

One great type of workout that feels like less of a chore and has been integrated into many treatment programs is yoga. Attending a yoga class can be a transformative experience for those in recovery. Not only is yoga an excellent way to build physical strength, but it also aligns with more holistic therapies and offers people clarity of mind.

Jennifer Dewey, a fitness manager of the Betty Ford Center, notes the profound impact of addiction on the individual: “…addiction takes a person out of their body and prevents them from connecting to who they are physically and feeling what their body is telling them…” Given the anxiety, stress, and depression accompanying withdrawal symptoms from substances, yoga is invaluable in helping people stay calm and grounded.

The benefits of yoga in addiction recovery have been substantiated by various studies, particularly focusing on nicotine addiction. Such studies reveal that yoga can bolster one’s mental and physical health through a holistic approach.

Given that “yoga is a multi-dimensional approach which includes elements of exercise, meditation, breathing work, as well as concentration,” it’s no surprise that many researchers have employed yoga as a therapeutic tool for patients with nicotine-use disorders, according to a study shared by the National Library of Medicine. This study is yet another reason why getting active is so important to recovery from any addiction.

But nicotine is just one of the substances people grapple with. Yoga for alcoholism, for instance, has been explored as a supportive practice in many treatment programs. Alcoholism, like other addictions, often exacerbates the body’s stress response, making it challenging for recovering individuals to manage their emotions and physical reactions.

Attending regular yoga classes provides recovering addicts an avenue to reduce stress, reconnect with their bodies, and enhance their overall well-being. So, regardless of the addiction one is overcoming, yoga stands as a beacon of hope, helping to alleviate physical discomfort, regulate stress response, and cultivate a sense of inner peace essential for sustained recovery.

How Yoga Aligns With Alcohol Addiction Recovery Methods

Your overall well-being is not solely hinged on your physical health; both your emotional and mental conditions play an indispensable role. Proper health emerges from a harmonious balance between these three pillars.

That’s why incorporating physical activity, like yoga, can be a transformative step on your recovery journey. Individuals grappling with alcohol addiction often find that even post-sobriety, they face various physical challenges, emphasizing the critical need to focus on physical restoration.

Yet, believing that yoga’s potency lies only in enhancing physical vitality would be an oversight. The realm of mental health has benefited equally from yoga’s therapeutic aspects.

Within addiction treatment circles, there’s an understanding of the profound impact of leaning on a higher power during recovery. While many interpret “higher power” within religious contexts, it’s by no means restricted to such interpretations.

For many individuals, the deeply rooted principles and philosophies underpinning yoga offer strength, essentially serving as their “higher power.” This can be particularly evident when observing yoga’s calming effects on the heart rate, helping reduce anxiety and stress that often accompany addictive behaviors.

Ultimately, the journey to recovery is about finding a motivating and anchoring force that resonates with you, driving you forward, and keeping you grounded. Yoga and addiction treatment go hand-in-hand and applied correctly, yoga and recovery from addiction can help you attain peace.

Whether it’s the spiritual essence of a religion or the holistic practices of yoga, what’s pivotal is identifying and embracing that force in your healing process.

As shared by The New York Times, Yoga has also proven to be very effective “through regulating the nervous system — specifically the autonomic nervous system and its response to stress.” This aids in the recovery process immensely. This regulation can even help with other potentially co-existent mental illnesses that may be present alongside substance abuse disorders, such as anxiety disorders, depression, and PTSD.

Reducing the overall stress that may be attached to these disorders can make it less likely that you’ll reach out and seek substances to cope.

How New Choices Can Help You In Addiction Recovery

At New Choices Treatment Centers, we believe in taking a holistic, mind-body-spirit connection to healing and recovery. Because addiction affects every part of an individual’s life, the road to overcoming the stress and anxiety, as well as the struggles with addiction, to achieve long-term recovery, also needs to similarly renew each aspect of that person’s relationship with themselves and others. Learn more about our Active Recovery Coaches and individualized programming at New Choices Treatment Centers.

To learn more about how yoga can aid you in your journey to recovery today, contact us online or call us at (726) 888-7003.