Yoga Practices in Addiction Recovery :

The term Yoga originated in Northern India over 5000 years ago. It was first mentioned in the Rig Veda, one of four ancient texts written in Sanskrit. Its a major part of Buddhist meditational practices and is amongst the six schools of philosophy in Hinduism.

Its benefits include flexibility, improved muscle strength, protection of the spine, increased blood flow, and even improved happiness. But new research has shown that it can also be an effective tool in addiction recovery. It integrates the body and the mind and has proven to be a successful way to introduce those in recovery to the skills they need in order to tolerate the uncomfortable feelings and sensations that can lead to relapses.


How Yoga Helps In Addiction Recovery :

“Addiction takes a person out of their body and prevents them from connecting to who they are physically and feeling what their body is telling them. Its a great way to slowly reintroduce someone to physical sensation. It’s also very relaxing, so in terms of the anxiety, stress, and depression that arise from detox, it’s invaluable in helping people stay calm and grounded.” Jennifer Dewey, Betty Ford’s fitness manager told Yoga Journal.

There are about 19 different types of yoga and 66 basic yoga postures. A yoga routine generally consists of certain postures as the foundation of the yoga practice. But how does one go about starting a practice that they’ll stick with? Below we look at a few basics of starting a routine:

Always Start Small :

Instead of launching in and biting off more than you can chew, start with small, sustainable commitments. There are no minimum requirements for yoga practice, and even a five-minute routine is a good place to start. 

Explore Different Types Of Yoga :

  • Ashtanga 
  •  Hatha 
  • Hot (Bikram)
  •  Iyengar 
  •  Kundalini 
  • Power 
  • Restorative 
  • Vinyasa 

 Try these different types of yogas until you find the one that aligns with your goals and ethics. 

Key Elements Of Yoga :

  •  Asanas (Physical Postures) : A series of physical postures or poses designed to enhance strength, flexibility, and balance. These postures often involve synchronized breathing techniques.
  • Pranayama (Breath Control) : Conscious breath control, known as pranayama. Various breathing exercises are practiced to improve lung capacity, respiratory function, and induce relaxation.
  • Meditation : Yoga frequently includes meditation to quiet the mind, heighten awareness, and foster inner peace. Meditation can take various forms, including mindfulness meditation, mantra meditation, and guided imagery.
  • Philosophy : Traditional philosophy comprises ethical guidelines (Yamas and Niyamas), principles for healthy living, and a broader understanding of existence. This philosophical aspect aims to promote self-awareness, compassion, and a connection to higher consciousness.
  • Mindfulness : Many forms of yoga emphasize mindfulness, encouraging practitioners to be present in the moment, cultivate awareness of thoughts and actions, and gain a deeper understanding of themselves.
  • Spiritual Exploration : While yoga can be approached purely for physical and mental well-being, some traditions view it as a path to spiritual realization or enlightenment. However, interpretations of the spiritual aspects of yoga can vary, accommodating diverse perspectives.

Safety First :

For those doing yoga at home, and especially beginners, it is important to make sure that you do not hurt or strain yourself. Pay attention to your body, warm up properly and check-in with yourself as you go. If you’re doing an online class, don’t hesitate to rewind and double-check what the instructor is doing. If you experience any type of discomfort, safely exit the pose.

Below is a gentle, restorative yoga practice where the poses are held for 1-2 minutes. It ends off with a short grounding meditation-

Last but not the least, Recovery852 provides personal tailor-made treatment programs to those affected by substance misuse. These include relapse prevention, aftercare programs, recovery coaching and recovery wellness retreats. With an emphasis on mindfulness, Recovery852 goes beyond the confines of the session to bring long-lasting recovery to the many suffering from addiction and other mental health issues like anxiety and depression.