Yoga has numerous benefits for your mind, body, and spirituality. Focusing on the mind-body connection, it is an evidence-based method that can reduce stress and improve mental well-being.
If you’re living with addiction, you’ll understand how stress and other difficult emotions can push you towards substance abuse. Yoga can help you develop alternative, healthy coping mechanisms so you can face the challenges of life while staying sober.
What is yoga therapy?
Yoga uses a series of physical postures to harmonise your breathing, mind, and body. It can help you to become more self-aware, connect with your inner self, and realise your spirituality.
Yoga therapy is used in rehabs to help clients focus on their thinking, connect with their body and unwind after a heavy therapy session.
Why is yoga therapy used in addiction treatment?
For most people, addiction is a symptom of underlying causes. Often stress, anxiety, depression, and trauma drive individuals to substance abuse. However, substance use only worsens this problem, exacerbating mental health conditions and precipitating new social, health, and relationship concerns.
A crucial part of overcoming addiction and preventing relapse is developing healthy coping mechanisms for stress and difficult emotions. Yoga, meditation, mindfulness, and other holistic approaches can offer an alternative, effective, and healthy way to calm your mind and body.
How does yoga affect the mind and body?
Practising yoga can regulate your nervous system, promoting relaxation and mindfulness. Moving through the physical postures of yoga affects the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps calm the body’s fight-or-flight response and decreases stress hormones such as cortisol.
Yoga can also affect the vagus nerve, an integral nerve that transmits messages from the brain to the digestive, respiratory, and nervous systems, calming the nervous system and relieving stress. Many of the breathing exercises and physical postures of yoga activate the nerve, helping you cope with difficult emotions and challenging mental states.
Moreover, yoga can help individuals manage and recover from chronic pain. It may:
- Reduce the perception of pain by helping you to disassociate negative emotions from the feeling of pain, making the experience more manageable
- Reduce inflammation by reducing the body’s stress response
- Improve flexibility and range of motion
Yoga and the 12-steps
The 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous are among the most well-known and established methods for addiction recovery. They focus on introspection, personal growth, and spirituality, supporting individuals to accept themselves and develop meaningful, mutual bonds with one another.
Practising yoga can complement the 12-step approach, offering a powerful tool to explore and develop your spirituality. It can help you find the deeper sense of connection or experience of meaning you may have been searching for through substance use.
Yoga therapy at Linwood House
At Linwood House, we offer yoga therapy as part of a holistic treatment programme, alongside other addiction therapies, that treats your entire person. We support you in identifying and addressing the root causes of addiction, promoting long-lasting change. We can offer you the tools to rebuild your life from the ground up.
During your stay with us, you’ll participate in yoga and other treatment sessions in a residential rehab setting. You’ll stay in our modern and comfortable facilities for the duration of the programme, helping you to fully benefit from recovery sessions.
Residential rehab offers a safe and supported environment for you to begin your journey to sobriety. You’ll be away from everyday life’s triggers, stresses, and distractions so you can fully focus on your treatment, and yoga sessions allow you to keep a sense of calm in these new and supportive surroundings.
We understand how tough asking for help can be. You are not alone – Call us at Linwood House for more information on yoga at our clinic and to start the recovery journey today.