Treatment for addiction includes many different therapies. Medications, behavioral counseling, and 12 step programs are just a few of the techniques used to overcome substance addictions. To improve mental wellbeing and physical fitness, recovery programs often include yoga as a part of their treatment regimens. This article will discuss the benefits of yoga and how it is used to treat addiction.
Yoga originated in ancient India, and it is believed to have been practiced before any major religions existed. Yoga eventually became one of the core spiritual philosophies of the Hindu religion. The practice of Yoga is also common in the Buddhist and Jain religions.
In more recent times, yoga as a method of relaxation and physical fitness has been brought to western countries. Yoga poses are now commonly used all over the world to help reduce stress, promote relaxation, and build physical endurance and flexibility.
As previously stated, the practice of yoga promotes a connection between the mind and the body by forcing the mind to focus on what the body is doing. Yoga empties the mind of all the stressful thoughts and helps the mind and body become aware of each other, facilitating self-awareness and improving self-esteem.
The result is an overall improvement in mood. Yoga has been shown to reduce the outward behaviors and inner neuroendocrine factors that cause stress.3 It also improves the conditions underlying depression and anxiety. Yoga offers people a healthy way to manage stress and improve mood.
Addicts often use substances to deal with uncomfortable sensations in their bodies. Some recovery programs use simple yoga poses to help patients tolerate these uncomfortable sensations in a healthy way. Recovery programs may also use meditation so patients learn to calm the mind and body with quiet breathing.
Advanced yoga practice can be quite strenuous, so if a person does not have experience with yoga, it is best to start with some easy poses. Following are a few examples of easy beginning yoga poses:1
The practice of yoga as a part of addiction recovery can help a person gain physical and mental wellbeing as they develop positive habits to stay away from substance abuse. If you know someone battling addiction, please encourage them to seek help from a recovery program as soon as possible.