For those in addiction recovery, yoga can be an excellent relapse-prevention aid. Once you try yoga and experience what it has to offer, you may want to make it a part of your daily routine.
How does yoga help addiction recovery?
The idea behind therapeutic yoga has to do with control. Internally, addicts are out-of-control. Addiction is a real disease, but you can’t tackle its core right off the bat; that takes months of continued sobriety and counseling. You can’t tackle your root issues until you begin to isolate them in a sustained state of mindfulness, and that’s where yoga comes into play. Non-recovering people get this same benefit.
When you hear “spiritual, mindful exercise,” you probably think of meditation. It’s a helpful tool as well, but for addicts first arriving in treatment, it’s usually out of the question, as it requires an entirely relaxed state from the get-co. Yoga is actually a good stepping stone for meditation. Unlike meditation, you can actively focus on breathing, form, and relaxation while doing yoga.
What types of yoga should I practice?
Yoga asana, the Western yoga most of us have seen or even practiced in gym class, is just one of eight main types of yoga. There are hundreds more subtypes as well. Although each type of yoga has its own set of moves and postures, they all focus heavily on the same broad philosophies: dedication, ethics, empathy, faith, and being happy.
Some other options:
- Anusara Yoga
- Astanga Yoga
- Bikram Yoga
- Iyengar Yoga
- Jivamukti Yoga
- Purna Yoga
- Sivananda Yoga
- Vinyasa Yoga
How to begin a yoga practice
Yoga is tough, believe it or not, so it’s best to sign up for a course. Before doing so, check with a doctor to make sure your body alignment — ankles, knees, shoulders, and spine – are all in check. Anticipate some muscular tension, because you’ll be expected to push yourself a little bit more each and every session. To avoid ligament or tendon strains, stretch well, change positions gently, and drink plenty of water.
Very early, your instructor will introduce you to breathing and mindfulness practices. Many of these involve breathing a certain way while retaining a certain posture. Observing your own breathing is a great way to strengthen the connection between mind and body. Think about it: Breathing is life. If you can isolate breathing from your state of mind—from discomfort, from stress, from pain—that’s a sign you’re gaining deep, sustained control of yourself.
Different people heal in different ways. We’ll help you figure out what works for you. Call today to get your recovery started: 949-637-5499