Yoga and Addiction Recovery

Posted By - Posted In Alcohol Rehab

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25 September, 2018

Drug or alcohol addiction is an ailment that is complex including a broad range of physical and mental factors. Therefore, it is imperative that its treatment should not only deal with the immediate issue of drug abuse but also offer long-term caring strategies to make life-long recovery possible.


What is Yoga and what is the Point of practicing it?

Yoga is a group of spiritual, physical and mental disciplines or practices with historical origins in the ancient Indian philosophy. Different styles of yoga combine breathing techniques, physical postures, and meditation.

Many times, addiction starts as a coping mechanism for dealing with stress or a method of filling a spiritual void. Thus, the addicts in treatment for their addiction must figure out how to manage their emotions and environment in healthier ways. There is a range of ways that can help the addicts in breaking their cycle of addiction and maintaining sobriety. Yoga is one of them. Not only yoga is effective in addiction recovery but is lighter on pockets as well. It also improves mental health which is a key contributing factor in the development of addiction.


How is Yoga beneficial in addiction recovery?

Untangling from the grip of addiction might seem near-to-impossible, but yoga can lift the sufferers to a higher ground. Some of the merits of yoga in the process of addiction recovery include:


  • Improved Mental Health: An Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Roy King, Ph.D., M.D., at Stanford University studied the influence of yoga on drug abuse. While studying, he observed the connection between yoga and its ability to hinder dopamine flood that the addicts get after utilizing a drug or alcohol – and at times the cravings they get just by imagining them. Moreover, he also noted that intense breathing patterns in yoga, for example, Kundalini, help in producing endorphins naturally (chemicals that cope with stress and pain) in the body. This implies that a healthy yoga habit can help replace addictive practices while restoring the dopamine to normal levels in the brain.
  • Powerful StressRelieving Effects of Yoga:Regardless of the kind of yoga, it always involves concentrating on the present time, giving careful attention to sensations of the body and the breathing. A study published in the Indian Journal of Psychiatry depicted that regular yoga can bring down the levels of cortisol significantly, which is a stress hormone, bringing the individuals relief from the effects of stress and depression. These powerful stress-relieving effects can possibly relax the mind, break the cycle of anxious and negative thoughts, sharpen focus, and enhance mood. All of these effects are particularly beneficial to those in addiction recovery, who might be battling to manage the negative thoughts and maintain a positive outlook.


Yoga and other reflective activities are an important part of addiction recovery!

All kinds of reflective activities including yoga can be an excellent supplement to conventional addiction treatment. They can act as a catalyzing agent in the process of recovery. They emphasize truth, surrendering to the higher power, meditation and help in developing self-awareness while healing the mind, body and spirit simultaneously.


Different Practices For Different People:

A lot of people believe that yoga is usually a quick-paced and vigorous practice that can only be done if you are flexible and physically fit. However, the truth is, yoga can be as vigorous or relaxed as the person would like it to be. There is a wide range of yoga practices for all individuals having different ability levels and goals.

Some of the most popular kinds of yoga include:

  • Hatha Yoga:Hatha yoga is in the one that teaches physical postures. It’s all about the basics of yoga and people participating get a gentle introduction to the most fundamental yoga postures. It is considered the best for beginners.
  • Ashtanga Yoga:It is based on the ancient teachings of yoga and is a rigorous form of yoga that consists of a series of particularly sequenced poses to be followed in the exact same sequence. Each pose links every moment to a breath. This is a fast-paced and physically demanding form.
  • Vinyasa Yoga:Vinyasa yoga is popular for its fluid, movement-intense practices. It sequences smooth transitions from pose to pose with linking movement to breath, often along with music to keep the session lively. The intensity of practice is similar to that of Ashtanga, but it does not require to linger long on each pose and the pace can be fast. This is suitable for people who hate routine but love to test their limits.
  • Restorative Yoga:This type of yoga is an exemplary method to soothe and relax the frayed nerves. Also known as Yin Yoga, in this type the poses are held for several minutes at a time passively with the help of props instead of actively engaging muscles. Participants are taught to relax in each posture and stretch deeply with each breath.
  • Hot Yoga:It is an intensive form of yoga that is performed in a heated room. The heat combined with vigorous practices makes this form perfect for individuals who like to push themselves physically.



Yoga Has Many Other Potential Benefits Including:

  • It improves cardiac and circulatory health
  • It improves deranged lipid levels
  • It maintains sugar and blood pressure levels
  • It maintains a balanced metabolism
  • It improves flexibility, muscle strength and tone
  • It helps in reducing weight
  • It improves energy and vitality
  • It betters the bone, cartilage and joint health
  • It promotes sleep quality


Yoga Poses That Support Addiction Recovery:

  1. Fish Pose: Fish pose involves stretching the thoracic spine, the shoulders and the chest, and is also a heart opener. In ancient words, Fish pose or Matsyasana was called “destroyer of all diseases” and aids in relieving stress and anxiety.
  2. Yogi Bicycles:Yogi bicycles follows poses that focus on the lengthening of the muscles and is also believed to be a great way to fire up the solar plexus chakra, which boosts confidence levels.
  3. Savasana (Corpse Pose):This is a basic pose of relaxation usually done at the end of each hatha session or as a routine. It aids in relieving the body of tension and relaxes, replenishes and rejuvenates the body and the mind. 
  4. Balasana (Child’s Pose):Nothing can be more peaceful like returning to the state of being a child. This pose stretches the whole body and eliminates the stress of adult life from the body.
  5. Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend):This pose stretches the hamstrings and lower back. It also helps in fostering the feeling of letting go while stretching the spine gently.


If you are a victim of addiction and want to get rid of it, it’s never too late to reach out for help. There are a number of Indianapolis drug rehab centers that claim to treat drug and alcohol addiction. However, it is crucial to find the one that suits your needs. At Addiction Rehab Centers and its sister detox center, Indy Drug Rehab/Indy Alcohol Rehab, we understand the importance of yoga and other reflective activities in the process of addiction recovery, therefore, have made them an integral part of our treatment programs. We are named among the top-grade alcohol rehabs in Indianapolis.

By joining Indy drug rehab today, give yourself a chance to break free of your drug or alcohol addiction and enjoy the pleasure of a bright, addiction-free world.

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