Men are used to having to present an argument as to why they do yoga. The many benefits of yoga are not exclusive to the many women who regularly practice it. Yoga has been scientifically proven to reduce stress, thereby reduce inflammation, improve awareness, concentration, focus, mood, and enhance flexibility, strength, as well as both physical and mental resilience. Yoga is also known to increase endurance and stamina mentally, physically, and sexually. For men who regularly play sports, adventure, do cardio, and train with weights, yoga acts as an aide for opening up tight muscles (like muscles in the groin area and hips), engaging muscles which aren’t being targeted, and stretching out muscles for recovery.
Men who are entering treatment for drug and alcohol addiction at Tree House will be introduced to EP yoga therapy. Yoga, in addition to its long list of benefits, has also been proven to reduce symptoms of anxiety, depression, and cravings for mind-altering substances- all of which are common in the early stages of recovery. Often, men are encountering yoga for the first time in treatment. Here is a quick guide to what men need to know for starting a yoga practice:
- Let your yoga instructor know you are new to yoga. Yoga instructors can offer hands on adjustments, or drop small suggestions in your ear during the course of class. If you are uncomfortable with physical touch, listen for the yoga teacher to bring that up. Most yoga teachers will have everyone close their eyes and raise their hand if they do not approve of physical adjustments.
- Yoga is encouraged to be a practice of non-judgment by removing the ego. Yoga instructors strongly encourage practitioners to abstain from looking at other practitioners and comparing themselves against them. For first time yoga-goers, looking at others can be a helpful practice. You can see how people are placed in their position and adjust their own. Just be careful not to slip into ego and start comparing your practice to theirs in terms of being “good” or “better”.
- Don’t be afraid of modifications. Yoga instructors will suggest using blocks for stability and offer variations on poses to make a position easier. Yoga, contrary to some popular beliefs, isn’t always easy. Using props and modifications helps your body adjust to the positions and prevent injury.
- Make peace with your limitations. Another piece of wisdom yoga instructors will offer you is to avoid pushing yourself to the point of pain. Yoga is not about pain. The word yoga means union in sanskrit. Rather than fight your body, use yoga as a way to meet your body where it is.
Recovery for men needs to be mind, body, and spirit. At Tree House Recovery we are building men from the ground up with sustainable changes to create a sustainable recovery. Call us today for information on our treatment programs and how we can help you find freedom from addiction: (855) 202-2138