In the United States, an estimated 21 million people have an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. Substance abuse finds its way into the lives of as many as one in every twelve Americans. With drug addiction so prevalent, rehab centers and detox clinics are learning how to use a variety of different methods to help treat substance abuse.
A lot of these treatments involve holistic, traditional, or even alternative methods to help people overcome their addiction. One of these is yoga. Yoga is a health practice that has been around for quite a long time. While yoga is effective in helping to treat substance abuse and addiction, it is most beneficial when used in conjunction with other treatment methods.
Yoga is a tool that allows a person to connect better with the mind and body. The person gets to gain a new level of self-awareness and focus the attention on himself/herself. The number of people who practice yoga in the United States has doubled to around 21 million. It goes to show just how much this practice helps people improve their lives.
Benefits of Yoga in Addiction Recovery
In order to understand how yoga can benefit a person with an addiction, they must first understand how addiction begins in the first place. Most addictions begin as a coping mechanism to help a person overcome stressful or traumatic situations. When things turn sour in their life, drugs and/or alcohol helps them feel better, temporarily.
The reality is, their choice of using drugs and alcohol as a means of coping or filling a void, only does more harm than good. It often puts them in a cycle of deteriorating mental and physical health. In most cases, addiction ruins relationships, jobs, and even families. The only way out is either finding an alternative for coping or taking addiction to the point of death.
Using yoga and mindfulness, breathing exercises, and meditation, a person will learn how to deal with circumstances and healthily cope with their environment. Using yoga along with detox is a great way to heal from chemical dependency. It is about developing a new self-awareness while healing the mind, body, and spirit.
Science has also found that yoga helps treat drug addiction mentally as well. Roy King, Ph.D., M.D., is a Stanford University Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science. He excels in studying the biological impact of yoga on drug abuse and the human mind. He found that yoga can actually suppress addictive behaviors and restore the brain’s normal function.
Stress is also a trigger for addictive behavior. For someone who lives in a stressful environment and feels the need to turn to drugs and alcohol, yoga is excellent at reducing stress and increasing a person’s willpower over their cravings. Yoga allows a person to arm themselves to better fight against temptation, stress, and ultimately regain control over their life.
Mindfulness for Relapse Prevention
Yoga and meditation are both used together to create what’s called a mindfulness-based relapse prevention program. This treatment program helps addicts overcome their addiction by teaching methods of overcoming cravings for the substances they are addicted to. Combined with other forms of treatment, this program decreases the need for drugs and alcohol.
This mindfulness-based relapse prevention program was once a method used to help people who suffered from chronic pain but is useful for overcoming relapse as well. It works by rewiring how the brain works, so the person does not run back to drugs and alcohol. Instead, they have a healthier means of coping with the stress in their lives.
Yoga Poses for Addiction Recovery
Here is a list of yoga poses that have been known to help with substance abuse recovery:
- Spinal Twist
- Mountain Pose
- Triangle Pose
- Leg Wall Pose
- Corpse Pose
The practice of yoga and these poses can help a person feel amazing and pain-free. Any stress you start with will melt away as your mind and body relax. Combined with detox, counseling, physical therapy, and other types of therapy, yoga is an excellent long-term recovery tool that can change your life forever.
Serenity Acres believes in a holistic approach mixed with counseling to heal the mind and body from addiction. Contact us today if you or a loved one battles addiction and needs help to long-term recover.