Yoga to Combat Smoking Cessation

Written by Dr. Minakshi Welukar.

'Yoga is beneficial for those planning to quit smoking'... it's not a buzz but a scientifically proven reality. Yoga is a good complementary therapy for smoking cessation, according to results of a study published in the Journal of Women's Health.

smoking cessation

Addiction to nicotine is the leading preventable cause of death worldwide. Numbers of smoking cessation programs are actively involved in dealing with smoking problems. Yoga has shown a promising effect in smoking cessation because it deals with emotional stress and reduces nicotine withdrawal symptoms that frequently arise after quitting smoking.

Nearly 6 million people are dying yearly due to smoking, both from direct tobacco use and exposure to second-hand smoke. Smoking is associated with a number of adverse medical conditions like lung cancer, chronic bronchitis, heart disease and stroke. Besides health consequences, nicotine craving contributes untoward effects on social and psychological well-being.

Smoking Cessation: Full of Hassles

Current strategies for smoking cessation are effective but quitting can be tough. Appearance of nicotine withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, anxiety, depression, headache and insomnia are difficult to handle. Hence, most smokers meet failure and are not able to quit smoking successfully. Quitting smoking is not one day work but result of good planning, focus approach and controlled mind. Yoga can help you overcome the hurdles you are likely to face during a smoking cessation plan.

According to American Public Health Association, yoga based intervention with emphasis on meditation with the help of a practitioner can manage emotional stress and cope with withdrawal symptoms that arise after quitting smoking. Quitting smoking is emotionally and physically challenging but yoga has a power to address both these issues.

Yoga to Cope with Nicotine Craving

As a regular smoker, your body is habituated to receive doses of nicotine multiple times a day that lead to nicotine dependency. As you stop smoking, your body notices some sort of reactions from the absence of nicotine what's known as 'nicotine craving'. Dealing with tobacco craving is the biggest challenge when you are trying to quit smoking. Yoga calms the mind, control frequent mood swing, promote patience, increase an ability to listen to your body and creates a greater sense of control. If strong tobacco craving strike, deep breathing exercises and yoga help to deal with stress and urge to smoke.

Yoga to Combat Emotional Stress

You may have a harder time in quitting smoking. Frequent nicotine carving associated with smoking cessation may lead to anxiety and stress. Yoga, a complementary stress-reduction practice, helps to combat emotional stress. A pilot study states that yoga practice reduces perceived stress, negative impact, and anxiety among women smokers who want to quit. Yoga practice involving regular breathing, and focused attention improve mood and promote inner peace.

Restore Lung Health

Smoking has a harmful impact on your lungs and it's functioning. However, regular practice of yoga takes care of your lungs health. Yoga opens the lungs and improves their functioning capacity. Restoration of lung health ultimately helps to improve cessation outcomes.

Yoga Asanas Recommended for Smoking Cessation

Be sure to include yoga as a part of your smoking cessation plan and enjoy a journey of happy and healthy life.

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