If you’ve been looking at methods to stop smoking then yoga poses and yoga breathing can be a great help. Many of us fall easily into starting smoking, but by the time we want to stop we find that quitting smoking can be more difficult. Let’s see how yoga can help.
Most of us who smoke, or who have smoked, if we could go back to that first ever cigarette would never have taken it. Perhaps we started through peer-pressure, or because we felt it made us look cool, grown-up or tough. Whatever the reason, I reckon every smoker at some point wishes to stop.
So how precisely will the yoga system help you quit smoking?
There are three main components to yoga practice (breathing, poses, and meditation), and they each have something to offer. Together they can help reduce and eliminate the cravings.
Stop smoking with Yoga Breathing (Pranayama)
Filling your lungs with cigarette smoke 20 times per day seriously reduces their capabilities. The good news is that yoga breathing helps cleanse the lungs of the accumulated toxins, and encourages them to function at their best. The good news is that it does this amazingly quickly – really quickly!
Through yoga breathing exercises the lungs are stimulated to heal themselves, the body receives a powerful supply of oxygen (something that smoking destroys), nervousness is reduced, and your mental capacities are increased.
A technique like Kapalbhati is a great way to begin. Check out the list of breathing techniques for yoga.
Stop smoking with Yoga Postures (Asana)
Feeling good feels good! Feeling healthy and with a positive direction is a great motivator. As you begin your yoga practice and start feeling the health benefits then it becomes easy to continue doing it. It’s enjoyable too!
The longer I did yoga the more the level of appreciation and respect for my body grew. As a result a number of unhealthy and self-destructive habits fell away easily. Often-times we think that a particular pattern will be hard to break, but the positivity, inner strength and self-discipline that builds through regular yoga practice helps us blast through any habit.
Follow our yoga positions for beginners routine if you are starting your yoga journey, or find a local class. Doing yoga will also help you find a healthy weight after you stop smoking.
Stop smoking with Meditation
As methods to stop smoking go, it may surprise you that meditation is one of the most powerful. But if you think about it, the craving for a cigarette normally starts in the mind, so it makes sense. Smokers tend to build up patterns of when a cigarette is smoked (after a meal, with a coffee etc.), so breaking the mental entrapment helps undermine the whole habit.
Through meditation the relationship with the mind is re-ordered. Your behaviour becomes much more conscious, and even if you do have a cigarette it’s much more likely that it is through an in-the-moment choice, rather than unconscious habit (that in itself would probably mean that fewer are smoked).
These three yoga methods to stop smoking can be used in isolation, but are much more effective if used together, and with consistency. The health and emotional benefits than come with them are enormous, as a quick look around this site will show.
Or, just enjoy it!
What? Yes, cigarettes can do a lot of damage to your body. But what makes it worse is having negative feelings, such as guilt or remorse around the activity. Negative emotions and thoughts have a devastating effect on your health. So rather than feeling bad about smoking, if you are going to continue it, then find a way to be happy about it, and enjoy it!
Methods to Stop Smoking – Recommended Book
I started smoking at the age of 16 and finally managed to quit 14 years later. This was just before I got into yoga, and the experience was hugely empowering – it felt like the most significant step in taking responsibility and living my life how I wanted it to be, and it probably opened me up to yoga and other approaches of improving my health and well-being.
I had tried many methods to stop smoking, from hypnosis to will-power, but what finally did it for me was reading the book The Easyway to Stop Smoking by Allen Carr. I give it my highest recommendation. You can get it from amazon.com