Yoga Therapy for Addiction Treatment
At The Beaches Treatment Center we believe in healing the entire individual, mind, body, and spirit. We believe in the many benefits of yoga for our clients as they are in their early stages of drug or alcohol addiction recovery. A great benefit of yoga is it can be practiced literally anywhere and does not require much set up.
Yoga is an ancient technique that has been created to bring the body and mind together. So you can see easily why we would want to integrate this into our clients treatment plan. Yoga is a union of exercise, breathing and meditation. Yoga classes are typically practiced from 45 minutes to an hour and a half. Yoga is practiced by achieving certain body positioning or poses with controlled breathing techniques. By having these poses in specific ways, the body is properly aligned, energy flows to the spine and other parts of the body. Yoga encourages extreme concentration and creates a balance between the body, spirit and mind.
Our yoga classes for addiction recovery here at The Beaches go along with our mindfulness practices when it comes to concentration and meditation. It can be practiced by all the clients anytime needed and although yoga is not a religion, many say that they have a spiritual growth through yoga when practiced consistently.
Yoga’s Effects on the Mind
When an individual is abusing drugs and alcohol for a prolonged period, the brain connections are damaged. There are many pathways that are damaged including controlling impulses, regulating emotions properly, decision making, and the pathways related to feeling pleasure. Time without the abuse and addiction to drugs or alcohol can help rebuild the damage done to the brain, and yoga can help aid in this process.
For many years, yoga has been used to alleviate stress. According to a report done by Harvard Health, there is scientific evidence that links practicing yoga to reducing stress. Yoga regulates and balances stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. Stress, anxiety, and depression are all common when experiencing the withdrawal effects of drugs and alcohol, yoga can work to improve all of those symptoms. We see many of our clients over the course of their stay with us cite fewer anxiety symptoms, less depression, and an overall increase in their mental well-being.
How Yoga Connects the Mind and Body
Yoga is a natural way to help rebalance the parts of the brain and body that have been damaged from the drug or alcohol abuse. Along with all the physical aspects of yoga, there are also a significant number of emotional benefits. When clients practice yoga, they are paying increased attention to their body in order to balance in each pose, they are regulating their breathing and are tuned in to how they are feeling and what their bodies are telling them.
As previously mentioned, just as mindfulness and meditation practices, yoga can create a self-awareness of feelings that can be experienced in a non judgemental way here in our addiction treatment program. Individuals learn how to take ownership for the feelings they are experiencing by having a large focus on turning energy inward. This is a great way to boost an individual’s self-confidence. At The Beaches Treatment Center we want to restore confidence and hope in all of our clients and we see this happen often by practicing yoga.
By an individual being more focused on their feelings and properly managing them, they can regulate triggers and cravings instead of returning to use. We see yoga as a great relapse prevention technique.
As with any type of physical exercise or activity, yoga can increase energy levels greatly. We see many clients come in after active addiction malnourished, not getting enough sleep, and overall unhealthy. Yoga while increasing energy levels can make people feel ready to gain all their physical health back. Clients feel better, eat better, and have gotten their sleep patterns regulated properly. When an individual feels better physically, they are able to handle stress and any situations throughout the day with better outcomes. Better sleep is good for all aspects of an individual’s mind, body and spirit. All physical activities can improve the appearance of an individual’s body which will improve confidence and make an individual naturally happier. Many of the programs we encourage here at The Beaches Treatment Center for addiction treatment involve spirituality concepts. Yoga can encourage all of this and help individuals reach a spiritual connection through the breathing techniques. The calm and quieting aspects of yoga can help an individual discover their inner peace and recognize the changes they will need to be making in their new journey of recovery.
Yoga in addiction treatment is so much more than just stretching movements. We see yoga beneficial in our treatment program, especially when used alongside our other therapy programs. It is a wonderful therapy to be practiced continuously not just in treatment, but in an individual’s new life. It is calming, improves mind clarity, and is a great and healthy hobby.