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Quit smoke with yoga

Posted in Quit experiences 11 Jun 2019

Picking up starting to smoke is a decision often regretted. A destructive habit with no positives, but for the benefit of the bank accounts of the tobacco company directors. With what we know about the destructive outcomes of smoking, it is now almost universally seen as a bad life choice. Stopping is not so simple, as the active ingredient in cigarettes – nicotine, is one of the most chemically addicting substances known.

Why Is It So Hard To Quit?

Most long term smokers are trying or have tried to quit, and are struggling to make their decision last long term. The first barrier many fresh quitters face is, the cravings which arrive just minutes after your last cigarette. This can lead to irritability, anxiety, and can cause rapid and uncomfortable withdrawals within the body and mind.

As we inhale tobacco smoke, our body reacts by releasing dopamine – relaxing the body, while at the same time rewarding our experience with feels of energy and enjoyment.

Yoga – The Saviour

Yoga offers meaningful ways to help, by offering techniques, and coping mechanisms, to help distract us from cravings. It teaches us about will power and discipline, and even help our body recover as we stick to quitting.

We can give ourselves a dopamine release experience by using yoga techniques of Asana and Pranayama. In doing these, our body releases a cocktail of chemicals giving us a feeling of reward, energy and enjoyment, all without smoking a cigarette.

Two Simple Yoga Asanas To Give Feel Good Chemical Rush

Whenever you are feeling the cravings coming, try these two simple exercises to fend off cravings, and give yourself a feel good chemical hit.

Standing Back Bend

Take your hands to your hips, lean back into the heals, and wave your spine slowly backwards from bottom to top. At the end, expand the chest up and back and fill up. To come out, lean the weight back forwards and relax.

Seated Breath Retention

Sitting, take a few big breaths. At the top of your inhale, hold the breath, and close your eyes. Feel, and experience the sensations until you cannot hold any longer, then exhale effortlessly. Breath for a few moments to enjoy the buzz. The Other Benefits Of Yoga In De addiction

Helps Develop Willpower And Discipline

The second way yoga helps us create big changes like successfully quitting smoking is, by developing our willpower and discipline. The yoga practice demonstrates repeatedly that discipline pays as we watch our practice develop. The more we give, the more we get – the more we allow ourselves to push into discomfort for a positive reason, we feel better and better, just as it is with the decision to not smoke.

Think of willpower as a muscle needed for life changes. In our yoga practice, we flex the muscle of will power, and build its strength. With this developed willpower, we then avoid the weakness we can sometimes feel when fighting craving, push through, and quit.

Speeds Physical Recovery

The final way our yoga practice helps us quit smoking is by leading our physical recovery. Repairing our lungs by the use of Pranayama, and specifics in Asana is the first step. Even just conscious and deep breathing, can make a huge difference in clearing the lungs, and repairing the damage from smoking.

Flushes Out Toxins

Smoking also leaves us with toxins throughout the body. Asana in particular, helps in flushing out the toxins, and chemicals that have build up during our time smoking, helping encourage the movement within the lymphatic system. Furthermore, asana helps flush the liver, kidneys, and other organs through awareness, and the soak and squeeze effect from compressive asana.

If you want to move on from the decisions of your youth and quit smoking, then yoga can help make it a simple and easeful transition. Allow the practice to guide your mind, and help your body through the recovery. Stay focused, and enjoy the long term health and social benefits of quitting.

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  • softly40, Mid North Coast June 11, 2019 | 17:22
    Thankyou Vanlinh . I tried Yoga a long time ago but found it very difficult but agree with the philosophy. I ended up doing meditation and Tai Chi which helped with breathing etc. You dont say how long you have given up? I personally tend not to berate smokers as there could be lack of knowledge involved and the shame they already experience is their penalty along with health issues. We are all free to choose. Welcome to the forum you might like to help others with some breathing techniques and other manoeuvres etc.
  • Happiness June 12, 2019 | 0:56
    Any form of exercise releases dopamine. Any thing to take our minds off of a craving is a good thing. Yoga, meditation, dance, Tai Chi and many other things have a place in our plans while quitting smoking.
    Find something that you enjoy and replace the bad habit with a good one.

    Thanks for the comment and link Vanlinh. I hope you will continue to comment and perhaps tell us a little about yourself and your quit.

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