Practicing yoga is beneficial for the addiction recovery process and sober living because it helps you calm your mind and build a strong personal control over cravings and frustration. Yoga also improves your patience and concentration, and helps to ease issues with insomnia. However, in order to experience these benefits, you must practice regularly. Start with these three poses along with these affirmations and build upon them as you learn.
1. Vajrasana- sitting mountain variation
Start by kneeling on the floor with your knees forward and feet flat behind you. Straighten your back by sitting back on your heels, keeping your shoulders relaxed and chest open. You can use a cushion under your knees for comfort. Place your hands in your lap and breathe deeply through your nose, imagining that your body is a strong and grounded mountain.
As you continue to breathe, say to yourself: “When I surrender, serenity comes to me.” This pose is good for opening the heart and getting into a space of stillness.
2. Balasana- child’s pose
This pose starts in the sitting mountain position, but with your toes touching and your heels slightly apart. Inhale once through your nose, and as you exhale bring your head slowly to the ground in front of your knees. Move your hands to the sides of your feet with your palms facing up, keeping your neck and shoulders completely relaxed.
You can hold this position for up to five minutes and while you’re breathing, think or say to yourself: “I relax into trust and patience.” Child’s pose is great for releasing tension in the shoulders and promoting feelings of security.
3. Paschimottanasana- seated forward bend
Begin by sitting on the floor with your legs extended in front of you. Straighten your spine and rotate your ankles before slowly bending forward on an exhale. Make sure you bend from the hips, keep your feet flexed and your spine straight. You can place your hands on your calves, ankles or toes; hold this stretch for at least 10 breaths.
As you breathe, repeat this affirmation to yourself: “Patience helps me move forward.” This stretch opens up the lower back and hamstrings while promoting a calm sense of letting go.