How Yoga Brings Balance to Recovering Addicts

How Yoga Brings Balance to Recovering Addicts

In some of the best drug and alcohol addiction treatment facilities in the Austin area today, lasting treatment entails more than medically supervised therapies, one-on-one and group counseling, and healthful nutrition. It can also mean spending time on a yoga mat at Rock Springs Hospital.

Since the early 1970s, studies have demonstrated the overall health benefits of yoga1. Some of these include reducing stress and anxiety, which can further extend to helping individuals refrain from addictive tendencies. When yoga is integrated into addiction treatment and presented in a mindful, therapeutic manner, it can positively affect the patients’ physical, mental, and emotional condition and help treat the disorder holistically. Most addiction specialists agree that yoga can complement traditional therapeutic approaches, and that yoga is a powerful way to learn to stop mistreating the physical body and to deepen spiritual aspects of recovery.

Yoga Teaches New Coping Mechanisms

At the core of addiction is a person’s inability to cope with difficult thoughts, emotions, or life changes. In drug and alcohol addiction treatment programs at Rock Springs, counseling efforts focus on helping patients recognize this and teaching them new ways to cope with stressful situations.

Yoga supports this process with basic tools such as the use of controlled breathing as a means of gaining control of thoughts and emotions. Meditation, which is integral to the yoga practice, changes how an individual’s brain processes self-awareness, introspection, anxiety, and stress. By meditating regularly as part of their yoga practice, individuals seeking addiction treatment can reasonably evaluate everyday situations, and react to them more appropriately – without the help of drugs or alcohol. The positive effect of yoga and meditation on stress and anxiety is especially important because both are frequent triggers for relapse.

Yoga Helps Individuals Achieve Balance

People struggling with addiction are frequently burdened with emotions such as resentment, guilt, and anger. Some of them may have initially reached out to drugs or alcohol to find an escape from difficult situations. Integral aspects of yoga such as deep breathing facilitate physical control, encouraging the individual to combine inner and outer peace in a way that restores balance and an overall sense of wellness.

The breathing exercises in yoga at Rock Springs not only help to get more oxygen into the body to promote healing, they help people to feel more centered and balanced, while calming both body and mind and supporting the detox process.

Yoga Emphasizes the Importance of a Spiritual Connection

Another core component in most recovery programs is admitting that problems are too big for you to handle alone. The best addiction treatment programs encourage participants to reach out and ask for help at every stage, assuring them that they will receive support and nurturing. In the same vein, yoga at Rock Springs cultivates body and mind awareness in a kind, nurturing way. It allows individuals to start connecting with the body and breath and learn to sit and look within. Compassion for oneself arises and builds a new ability to deal with stressful situations, leading to positive change and forgiveness.

For example, practicing a series of yoga poses such as a sun salutation can help someone coping with addiction feel more connected with their lives, and enable them to begin and end each day with a sense of purpose and connectedness with themselves and their bodies. Having this sense of ritual and positive connection can encourage better self-care and help addicts resist the temptation to abuse their bodies with drugs. Yoga also reinforces a spiritual connection through regular meditation and prayer.

Yoga Helps Individuals Deal with Stress

According to a research finding published by the National Institute of Drug Abuse, stress is one of the most common reasons that drive individuals to addiction in the first place, and too much stress may be a relapse trigger. When people feel stressed out, they are more likely to relapse into detrimental habits. By performing restorative poses in yoga, individuals can relax stress-induced tensions and experience an enhanced sense of wellbeing. A regular yoga practice has been shown to lower blood pressure and promote the release of endorphins, the body’s natural pain killer, which can help ease aches, pains and even depression.

Your new life awaits at Rock Springs. Call today to begin your road to sobriety.

1International Journal of Preventive Medicine, 2012, Pallav Sengupta, Health Impacts of Yoga and Pranayama: A State-of-the-Art Review