Yoga and Addiction Recovery

When in drug and alcohol treatment, addicts begin a multifaceted recovery that includes physical, psychological, social and spiritual healing. Abstaining from drugs and alcohol and eating a balanced diet along with exercise helps addicts ten fold with physical recovery. Psychological recovery also begins with abstinence from substances along with individual therapy, group therapy and therapeutic assignments that heal. Social and spiritual recovery are rooted in 12 Step programs and are reinforced in group therapy, individual therapy, therapeutic assignments, meditation and daily life. Each facet of recovery requires several components and there are few “cure all” single activities. However, reputable addiction treatment centers incorporate yoga into their programs and activities because it helps with all four facets of recovery:

Physically yoga elongates muscles while strengthening them to help foster lean muscle tone, which improves posture, circulation and metabolism. Sequences that incorporate flow and inversions helps revitalize the body at a cellular level and can rejuvenate vital organs.

Psychologically yoga allows the mind to rest. While moving through a sequences linked to one’s breath and focusing attention on the breath, psychological well-being improves through creating “pause” for the mind – which can improve psychological clarity, intuition and decision making.

Socially yoga encourages one to get out of their comfort zone and isolation and into a group. Most classes unite the energies in the room by beginning the class with the universal sound of “Om” – the simple act of chanting and breathing in unison and flowing with others is social at its core.

Spiritually is at the root of yoga, as the term yoga comes from the Sanskrit word for “union.” A union is synonymous with equality and ignites the spiritual qualities of humility and connectedness. Also, the meditative breathing of yoga allows the mind to rest which has been called the route to “listening” to what one’s higher power has to say to them.

It is because of these healing qualities of yoga that actor and comedian Russell Brand is reportedly opening his own yoga studio aimed at helping addicts. In his books like My Bookie Wook and in several public appearances, Brand has been vocal about his struggles with drug addiction, sex addiction and alcoholism and credits his 10 years of sobriety to the positive impact that yoga, among other things, has had on his life. After going through yoga teacher training, Brand reportedly plans on opening a studio in Los Angeles free to the public and with a focus on those struggling with substance abuse.

Synergy Group Services offers individualized addiction treatment in South Florida. Yoga is a component of our holistic drug rehab program. If you or a loved one is facing an addiction to substance abuse or alcohol, please contact us today. 

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