Why Yoga for Addiction Recovery? Addiction can be described as a disease – a continuous feeling of not being at one with your body, mind and spirit. Addictive behaviours disconnect us with not only with our families and the world around us but also with ourselves.
Sat Bir Singh Khalsa, Professor at Harvard Medical School said: “When people take substances, they’re seeking a certain experience, whether it’s escapist or transcendental or just wanting a different psychological state”.
As you go along the journey to addiction recovery it is important to rediscover those connections as well as developing strategies to help you cope without your previous addiction.
Khalsa describes yoga as an alternative: “Yoga is a positive way to generate a change in consciousness that, instead of providing an escape, as substances do, empowers people with the ability to access a peaceful, restorative inner state that integrates mind, body, and spirit.”
Yoga has been used for centuries as a tool to reduce negative states of mind and scientists are increasingly working to understand how it can help with recovery from alcohol and drug addiction.
How yoga can help with addiction recovery
Reducing feelings of stress and anxiety: yoga helps you learn to notice and accept your emotions and develop a relaxed state. Consequently, this can reduce your need to depend on substances to make you feel calm. Khalsa tells us that yoga is “very effective at regulating the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline”. We know that high levels of these hormones can be bad for the body. So if yoga can help reduce them, you may no longer need to seek substances to help.
Improved concentration: the slowness of yoga and the focus on movements can help you develop improved concentration
Increased happiness: yoga and associated mediation techniques can help to increase the occurrence of positive emotions and reduce negative ones.
Better general health: yoga can improve breathing techniques and help relaxation which in turn can reduce blood pressure
Yoga can help you reconnect with yourself and your family
Being addicted to alcohol and drugs can take its toll not only on you but also on those who love you such as family and friends. Often the stress of caring for someone with an addiction can cause disconnects within families and impact on everyone’s health.
Yoga is a beautiful way to begin healing with your family. Everyone can benefit from learning the techniques to help develop calm and self-compassion.
As yoga teacher Rolf Gates said: “The real payoff of a yoga practice, I came to see, is not a perfect handstand or a deeper forward bend—it is the newly born self that each day steps off the yoga mat and back into life.”
At The Connected Center, Araluen uses yoga as part of a holistic multi-disciplinary treatment programme:
I teach yoga one on one as part of our treatment programme. I also incorporate principals of yoga and mindfulness into counselling sessions.
As part of our work, I will also give you a yoga programme to follow at home. This enables you to continue to develop your practice.
Looking for a holistic multi-disciplinary treatment programme for addiction recovery?