To quit smoking might be hard, but yoga and meditation can support you in this journey. Tobacco use is considered a major risk factor for cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, cancer, and premature death.
But nicotine is a stimulating and relaxing drug that causes severe addiction, so it is difficult for most smokers to quit smoking.
Can yoga and meditation practices help in the fight against addiction?
A group of researchers from the University of Health and Science of Oregon (USA) conducted a systematic review of scientific research on getting rid of nicotine addiction, including the practice of calming the mind and working with the body. The results of research claim that yoga helps to quit smoking.
How yoga can help to quit smoking?
It should be noted that a person who practices yoga is distinguished, first of all, by willpower. This is achieved both through physical practice and through direct training of the mind. It is the mind that plays a key role in the question of how yoga helps to quit smoking. First of all, the mobilization of the will is necessary to give up harmful dependence. It is the will that allows you to overcome a bad habit on your own.
Of course, unlike medications, it is impossible to get results here and now from yoga. There is no magic mantra or special pranayama that can defeat a bad habit, but the result obtained from the practice of yoga will be final and 100 %.
Yoga can help increase awareness of your body and mind
The researchers concluded that ” practices for calming the mind can be useful for getting rid of the smoking habit.”
Current primary treatments for smokers, including cognitive and behavioral therapies, as well as pharmacological methods, nicotine replacement therapy, and atypical antidepressants, have moderate effects. In view of this fact, the results of a review of studies on the effects of yoga and meditation on smoking cessation are encouraging.
While traditional methods of getting rid of nicotine addiction help many to quit smoking in the short term, long-term abstinence is a serious problem for most smokers.
The inclusion of complementary therapies, such as yoga and meditation, can help increase awareness of your body and mind, as well as develop greater emotional control and restraint in behavior.
There is general agreement that body and mind practices, including yoga, breathing exercises, meditation, and others, are extremely beneficial for stress relief. It is likely that those who are trying to break the habit of tobacco use can benefit from adding such techniques to their treatment program, especially during the stressful process of fighting cravings and desire.
The key to quit smoking is willpower
Quitting smoking requires, first of all, willpower. Every asana in yoga, even the simplest, strengthens the will of the practitioner, makes him stronger. The most effective asanas for developing willpower are: Urdhva prasarita padasana, Chaturanga Dandasana, Shalabhasana, Utthita Trikonasana.
The next time you want to smoke – you practice chaturanga dandasana – staying in this asana for at least a minute will discourage you from any desire. On average, a person spends 2-3 minutes smoking one cigarette, the proposed alternative will take a minute — not only will you be able to strengthen your health, but also save time.
Remember that any habit is formed in 28 days, give up smoking for this period, replacing it with yoga practices. I am sure that such a replacement will help you easily get rid of the addiction.