Many people practice yoga every day and swear by its healing properties, which are believed to have a positive effect on stress and overall improvements in one’s health and wellbeing. Can these great benefits translate to addiction recovery as well? If so, what are some of the best ways to break into yoga when it’s an unfamiliar concept? We’ll look into the possibility of yoga preventing relapse and helping recovering addicts stay sober ahead.
Yoga for Addiction Recovery: Does it work?
First, to understand its beneficial properties, one must understand what yoga is—a Hindu spiritual and ascetic discipline, a part of which, including breath control, simple meditation, and the adoption of specific bodily postures, is widely practiced for health and relaxation. There are eight “limbs” of yoga, the most popular one in the West being the third limb, yoga asana, or the “yoga of postures.” Traditionally, yoga includes practicing right living, ethics, and dedication to a spiritual path.
Julien Gryp, co-director and founder of an addiction recovery center in Thailand called the New Life Foundation. He believes addicts are out-of-control internally, and yoga can help create a peaceful union of body, mind, and spirit. Yoga also has the power to increase mental and physical stamina, thus making addicts less susceptible to stress, therefore able to resist urges to use again. Gryp also believes learning to focus on awareness while practicing yoga helps addicts listen to their bodies and eventually achieve true meditation.
Some popular types of yoga include Anusara, Ashtanga, Bikram, Iyengar, Jivamukti, Purna, Sivananda, and Vinyasa. Generally, it is best to practice yoga under the supervision of a teacher when first learning. This is due to the importance of the body—particularly the spine—being aligned. There are many stretches in yoga that can lead to ligament, muscle, or tendon strain if done improperly.
Yoga teachers are also helpful to teach the proper way to breath and practice mindfulness while holding a specific posture. Mindfulness means maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment. When we practice mindfulness, our thoughts tune into what we’re sensing in the present moment rather than rehashing the past or imagining the future. This can be helpful in dealing with stressful situations in life and making it through without turning to drugs or alcohol.
So, the answer is yes, yoga can help with addiction recovery, but there is more to it than simply taking up yoga to treat an addiction. For further information about addiction recovery and yoga, contact Treatment Now today at 844-438-8689