More and more people are realizing the benefits of yoga therapy for the treatment of drug or alcohol addiction. As treatment centers make use of a holistic approach to recovery, programs that incorporate whole body, mind, and spirit healing are becoming more common.
Yoga helps with addiction recovery in a number of ways. First of all, it helps the person relax, breathe, and focus on healing. Yoga participants are taught to let their mind and body work together in a positive way, and to release anxious thoughts, stress, and toxins.
One participant who spoke to CTV Atlantic News stated, “Yoga made me feel empowered. It made me feel that I was doing something good for myself…self-love and honoring my body and doing things to contribute to my health, mind, body and spirit.”
The man, who had been addicted to drugs for over a decade, said he felt welcome in the yoga community.
“The unconditional love and compassion, and the understanding and the empathy and all those things that come with this are, you know, it’s what I’ve been looking for my whole life, and I just thought I had found it through drugs.”
There are yoga programs that are designed specifically for recovery. Many treatment centers now offer yoga therapy, conducted by licensed therapists, to help individuals in recovery develop relaxation and stress reduction techniques. In addition to the physical benefits of yoga therapy, participants experience encouragement from and a connection to others in the program.
Yoga therapy is the most effective when combined with other addiction treatment methods. As a person learns the relaxation that yoga provides, it is also important for them to address past conflict, to rebuild relationships, and to develop tools to manage triggers. A holistic treatment plan ensures that a person will recover not only physically, but mentally and emotionally as well, in order to prevent relapse.