Yoga is a gentle, yet powerful form of physical exercise that incorporates ancient spiritual principles. It remains one of the oldest spiritual disciplines that humans have ever practiced, and when you consider the many benefits that yoga can offer, it’s easy to see why. Here is a look at the many benefits that yoga can offer—particularly for your recovery from addiction.

Helps you recognize your limitations

Yoga involves stretching your body and pushing it in ways that might challenge you. Yet one central principle in yoga is that you should never push your body to do anything that it will not. Just as yoga helps you recognize your physical limitations, it can also help you confront the limitations that you might be facing in your recovery—which is the first step to overcoming them.

Builds positive self-image

Another central principle to yoga is not comparing your body to anyone else’s. This means embracing your body for what it can do—and not looking down on your body for its limitations. In this way, yoga can help promote a stronger self image, reminding you to stay positive even when you feel limited.

Improves physical health

Yoga, of course, can also improve your physical health at a time when it’s important for your body to rebuild its strength. As you spend time doing yoga, you’ll begin to see more toned muscles, better posture, and increased flexibility. These things will work to not only to strengthen your physical health, but also to strengthen your self-image as well.

Relieves mental stress

Yoga is very much centered around meditation and mindfulness, which means that it can help you build mental stamina. Yoga will help you relieve the stress that bears you down and recognize negative thoughts as they come. Ultimately, this gives yoga the power to help you fight stress and mental fatigue, which are major triggers for relapse.

Can involve nature

Communing with nature can also carry you a long way in your recovery. In addition to reaping the benefits of fresh air and sunshine, the natural elements surrounding you will help you to gain a peaceful mind and recenter your focus in life. Yoga happens to be a form of exercise that you can enjoy outdoors just about anywhere, allowing you to enjoy the benefits of both yoga and being outdoors at the same time. So whether you’re on a beach, in an open field, or on a cliff, practicing yoga while surrounded by nature is sure to inspire you and fuel your recovery.