The Benefits of Yoga in Addiction Treatment
Aug 4, 2017, 10:57

This article originally appeared on Sober College's website

By: Brittany David
Insurance Specialist and Counselor
Sober College

The benefits of yoga are far reaching, and because of this, it has become an increasingly strong presence in the world of addiction treatment.

Yoga is commonly considered a natural form of medicine that can accompany a traditional treatment program. More and more treatment programs are expanding on their approach to addiction treatment by not just focusing on treating the addiction itself, but by using a more holistic approach that treats the person as a whole. Yoga in addiction treatment helps people develop the skills to overcome addiction and support sobriety in life after treatment.

Benefits of Yoga
Yoga has taken the world by storm, and millions of people now take part in the practice every day. There are numerous types of yoga, and depending on a person’s interest or desired intensity, it can range from a peaceful, meditative session to an intense, heart-pounding workout. All forms can be beneficial yoga in addiction treatment.

Yoga is an activity that can be done virtually anytime, anywhere, and at little to no cost. Many have found that through the practice, their physical and mental health has improved tremendously, and some have cited spiritual growth as well.

Yoga can provide a variety of different outcomes and benefits. Some of these include:
  • Stress relief
  • Pain relief
  • Increased energy levels
  • Emotional healing
  • Reduced fatigue
  • Improved sleep
  • Increased stamina and strength
  • Improved confidence and self-image

How Yoga in Addiction Treatment Can Help Heal Addiction
The most commonly practiced form of yoga today focuses on posture and breathing techniques. This form of yoga is commonly used in addiction treatment because of its ability to help people relax, focus on their breathing, and let go of outside influences. Addiction often negatively impacts connections in the brain that regulate emotions, control impulses, and help make good decisions. Once drugs and alcohol are removed from the picture, the brain can begin to reform those connections to improve those areas of functioning. Yoga in addiction treatment can often assist with this process by helping to regulate stress levels and reduce anxiety.

For many, addiction is often a way to fill a void or cope with stress. Yoga and other forms of therapy must help those in recovery find new, healthier ways of coping with stress and other negative experiences. The process of recovery is stressful on its own, and without their usual means of coping, a patient can easily become overwhelmed. Doing yoga helps people develop ways to regain control of their bodies through practicing mindfulness and self-awareness. By regularly setting aside time to practice yoga, many find they develop new ways to relieve stress and strengthen themselves physically, mentally, and emotionally. This also helps many fill the time previously spent acquiring and using drugs with healthier activities.

About The Author:Britney David completed the alcohol and drug counseling studies program at Intercoast College in Burbank, California. For her practicum hours she interned at Able Family Support in Panorama City, then transitioned to Action Family Counseling’s Studio City Intensive Outpatient Program where she completed her hours. She then moved on to Action Family Counseling’s corporate office where she worked for three years in the Admissions, Intake, and assisting the billing department. While at Action she also participated in weekly group counseling providing services to at risk youth. After Action, Britney found her niche and began working for a recovery call center where she quickly moved up and began managing her fellow employees.

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