Yoga Can Help You Quit: One Breath at a Time
Tips to Stop Smoking
By: Sally Smith, Contributing Writer
An estimated 15 out of 100 American adults smoke cigarettes according the Center for Disease Control. Even with all we know about the health risks of smoking, nearly 38 million of us continue. This is due to a simple reason: nicotine addiction is insanely hard to overcome. Can yoga help you kick the habit for good? It absolutely can.
Here are some tips:
Set an Intention
Like your practice, this journey starts with an intention. If you are ready to quit, commit to that decision fully and open your heart to the healing that is about to take place. Devote yourself entirely to this pursuit and when things become challenging, come back to your intention. Day by day, keep track of the positive changes that are happening to stay on course.
Make a Mental Shift
When you give up smoking it can feel like you are losing something, even a part of your own identity. A comforting and satisfying act will no longer be there for you and you are unsure if you can live without it. Think of it as a trade. Your yoga practice will now fill that place. You are trading a toxic and damaging act for a practice that has countless benefits to your body, mind, and soul.
Have a Mantra
When cravings kick in, and they definitely will for far longer than you’d like, have a mantra at the ready. “I can’t smoke but I CAN breathe” or “This urge will pass with every breath.” Make it something short and memorable that you can easily conjure up when needed.
Take it to Your Mat
While your body is detoxing from nicotine daily practice would be ideal. Hit the mat before beginning your day, squeeze in 30 minutes over your lunch break, or savor an evening sequence after your day is done. Daily practice will alleviate anxiety inherent to nicotine withdrawal in the short term. Within 30 days the increased frequency will more quickly bring about positive physical and emotional changes that will reinforce your decision to quit.
It’s All About the Breath
The foundation of any yoga practice is the breath. It is where we find our focus, build our strength, overcome adversity, and let go of that which doesn’t serve us. By turning to the breath, which is there for you every moment of every day, you can overcome anything, even this.
Quitting smoking is incredibly hard work. Yoga can help you do it: one breath at a time.