Addiction is often defined as losing the choice whether to use a substance or not.
Good intentions, willpower, self-discipline–addiction is more powerful than any of these. Addiction creates a separation of mind and body. Those with a substance use disorder lose awareness of the mind/body connection, which leads to a lack of connection with others and with a higher power. Discontinuing substance use is the first step in overcoming addiction, but relapse is likely if a person does not take steps to restore their mind/body connection. This is where yoga can be immensely helpful.
Yoga, a spiritual practice that engages the body and mind through postures, breathing, movement of energy, and meditation, helps practitioners become intimately aware of their body and mind. Becoming aware of which muscles are tight and which are more flexible, or of when it is easier or more difficult to breath smoothly, fosters both calmness and an awareness of where we might want to loosen up physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Benefits of yoga are many, but four benefits are of particular help in addiction recovery:
- Connection of mind and body
- Relief of anxiety
- Regulation of physical processes (such as breathing), which helps regulate body processes (such as blood pressure)
- Creation of a sense of well-being
Almost all of Summit’s treatment centers now use yoga as part of their treatment plan because of its effectiveness in reorganizing the isolated and spiritually disconnected person.
We can start you on the road to recovery.
Break the Cycle: How Yoga and Meditation Can Help Heal Addiction. Retrieved April, 2017.