Current treatments for addiction do not necessarily look like the traditional, yet effective, 12-step programs many people have heard of in the past. Addiction affects a person in every way – physically, mentally and spiritually – and the treatment plan needs to reflect this. That is why addiction treatment centers today often include an individualized, holistic program that addresses all of these categories.1
Yoga is an integral part of a holistic plan, which can include several alternative therapies, and can be used to enhance traditional treatment plans. Addiction affects the whole person and should be treated with that in mind.
Of all of the possible holistic treatment options, you may be wondering why yoga is so effective. While it is not a stand-alone treatment for addiction, it is often chosen as an additional therapy because so many people can benefit from it.
- You can be a beginner and still get great benefits
- You don’t have to have a certain body type
- You don’t need a specific fitness level to get started
The physical practice of yoga is extremely useful for those getting through addiction recovery because it will release dopamine and endorphins that are vital for the body to replace after substance abuse. Yoga helps create a natural high that is crucial in reducing cravings and preventing future relapses.
Benefits of Yoga During Treatment
Yoga, in general, provides a healthy outlet that helps anyone cope with triggers and stressors of life. When added to a recovery program, it has specific benefits for those suffering from addiction.
- Physical Benefits – You will feel stronger and more flexible after each yoga session. Plus, the aches and pain of withdraw will decrease as you feel better and stronger.
- Emotional Benefits – Yoga provides a greater peace of mind. Having healthier coping mechanisms allows you to turn to those instead of drugs or alcohol.
- Stress Reduction – The breathing and meditation benefits of yoga can reduce cravings, calm nerves and help ease any lingering trauma you are suffering from.
- Spiritual Benefits – Yoga can enhance your inner peace and strengthen your religious beliefs.
- Increase Energy – Yoga will leave you feeling energized and recharged after a long day.
- Improved Mood – This can have a positive effect on your mind as the increased oxygen to your brain will boost your mood.
- Self-Discovery – The challenge of yoga can give you the discipline to stay clean.
- Healthy Body Chemistry – This exercise can lower cholesterol, triglycerides, sodium and blood glucose levels.
- Improved Circulation – Yoga can lower your blood pressure and also lower your risk of heart disease.
- Enhanced Brain Function – As yoga becomes part of your regular routine, you will experience increased cognitive function, memory and focus.
- Offers Distraction – An idle mind can lead to relapse so practicing yoga can be a mental distraction from old habits.
Find a Holistic Treatment Program
If you are ready to take the first step of finding a treatment center, look for one with a holistic program that includes activities like yoga. At Footprints, we put a strong emphasis on holistic practices to supplement and strength other traditional addiction therapies. Yoga at Footprints even uses certain sequences that are specific to helping those in addiction recovery. When you are ready to learn more about an individual program tailored to your needs, contact us to get started.
1. Yoga for Addiction Recovery. www.yogajournal.com. (Accessed Oct 14, 2018).