Yoga Is A Great Part of Recovery
Yoga is becoming more and more commonplace at rehab facilities, intensive outpatient (IOP) facilities, and a component of therapy. Yoga studios themselves are beginning to train instructors to teach recovering addicts. The reason behind this is the proven benefit of yoga on recovery and helping people abstain from their drug of choice.
Many principles of yoga go hand in hand with the principles we try to teach the people who come into treatment centers. Mindfulness, presence of mind, awareness – just to name a few. The whole idea of yoga is that it’s a practice that begins on your yoga mat – for an hour or however long you practice – and it then slowly begins to infiltrate into other areas of your life off the mat – in how you treat your body, situations you encounter, how you think about things, and how you choose to live your life.
Yoga Principles Assist With An Addict’s Thought Process
Self-discipline is one of the biggest parts of a solid yoga practice, and an essential piece of staying sober as well. Most drug addicts and alcoholics lack discipline because of the internal turmoil that they suffer. The self-discipline and structure required to maintain a solid yoga practice can help teach them to think about things like consequences and how their behaviors can affect themselves and others. This also includes mindfulness, which is a practice of thinking through your actions.
A steady yoga practice brings you in-tune with your body. It creates more of an awareness of what is going on, how things you eat and drink and do make you feel, and how your mood and how you internalize certain situations can make you feel. A heightened awareness of these things can give you a greater sense of self-worth and self-love. Addicts often lack these qualities and think they deserve to be punching bags, or even worse, to die.
Yoga Can Help Anyone Suffering From Addiction
Yoga teaches love in all forms. Self-love, compassion for others, loving kindness, and the idea that every being in the world is interconnected and our behaviors set off a chain reaction of similar behavior. So, learning this kind of behavior helps addicts treat their bodies like an ally, not an enemy. As far as how they treat others – compassion helps them realize how their actions negatively impact friends, family, and loved ones. There is a concept in yoga called “Ahimsa”, or “non-harming”, which means to be conscious of not harming others in word, deed, or action. Practicing ahimsa consistently would lead an addict away from the selfish behaviors of full-fledged addiction.
As always, treatment for drug addiction is an extensive and comprehensive endeavor. Usually, it isn’t just one thing that will take care of the issue, but multiple factors and lifestyle changes, coupled with professional help. Yoga is a wonderful addition to addiction treatment in any phase – as prevention, treatment, and sobriety maintenance.