Why We Believe Yoga is a Powerful Tool for Addiction Recovery

Why We Believe Yoga is a Powerful Tool for Addiction Recovery

Yoga is a very powerful tool for those in addiction recovery. This is why we offer Yoga as a part of our program for our patients. It can be so useful to improve overall health and well-being.

If you have been in drug rehab or alcohol rehab before, this might be a fairly new concept for you. Many traditional substance abuse treatment programs have yet to discover and implement Yoga. We’d like to share with you how it can benefit you as you move forward in your addiction recovery.

What is Yoga?

Yoga originated as a part of ancient Indian philosophy. It is a practice that combines the use of the mind with specific bodily movements. There are different styles of Yoga. Each one is complete with various breathing techniques and physical postures. The different styles of Yoga may utilize meditation, relaxation, or a combination of both.

Yoga has grown in popularity in recent years. Today it is used for a number of different purposes. Many use it as a form of exercise. Some use it for its meditational properties. In substance abuse treatment programs, Yoga is extremely valuable for both reasons.

The Benefits of Yoga During Addiction Treatment for Recovery

There is a strong belief that a drug and alcohol addiction is a way of filling a spiritual void. Yoga helps to connect people with the spiritual sides of themselves in a powerful way.

There are so many great benefits of Yoga as a part of a drug and alcohol treatment program. It has been shown to:

  • Heal the Mind: Studies have shown that there is a direct correlation between Yoga and dopamine in the brain. Practicing Yoga can inhibit the dopamine surge addicts get when they use. It has also been shown to help with cravings for drugs and alcohol.
  • Reduce Stress Levels: Yoga places a strong emphasis on willpower and reducing stress levels. Both are needed to combat cravings for drugs and alcohol.
  • Promote a Sense of Community: Yoga promotes a strong, spiritual environment. This includes building healthy relationships with others.
  • Help with Healing the Body: Yoga has been shown to help with a number of physical ailments. These can include arthritis, sore muscles and joint pain.
  • Reduce Anxiety and Depression: Co-occurring disorders like anxiety and depression often lead people to abuse substances. Yoga has been shown to reduce these issues, which in turn, leads to addiction recovery.

How Yoga Improves Mental Health

Yoga has been extensively studied, and its effects on mental health conditions are undeniable. This includes how it affects depression, anxiety and even bipolar disorder. These are issues that are ever-present among those with addictions.

For bipolar disorder, patients reported having positive emotional changes. They were able to focus and even experience a break from racing thoughts. Anxiety has shown to be dramatically reduced. Yoga has even been considered as a possible standalone treatment for depressive disorders.

When combined with addiction treatment, Yoga offers mental health benefits that cannot be denied. Most patients can benefit from adding Yoga to their treatment plans.

Scientific Proof for Yoga as a Treatment for Drug Addiction and Alcoholism

Researchers have found that Yoga is effective at regulating cortisol and adrenaline. These are the stress hormones in the body. When these hormones are not in balance, it leads to a host of problems. These include substance abuse disorders.

According to Mary Margaret Frederick, PhD, an addiction psychotherapist in New York, Yoga is a valuable part of treating addiction. She states that, “Yoga treats the biology and the psychology of an addict. Addicts are profoundly out of control internally. They have knee-jerk panic reactions and tempers. The will and determination Yoga requires helps people regain control over their body and their mind.”

Furthermore, regular Yoga practice can give people the discipline they need to complete rehab programs.

Types of Yoga You May Experience During Substance Abuse Treatment

There are several different types of Yoga patients may experience during addiction recovery. These include:

  • Bikram Yoga (or Hot Yoga), which involves practicing Yoga in a room that has been heated. There are about 25 positions used with this type of Yoga.
  • Hatha, which is one of the most popular types of Yoga in America. It is based on simple postures and positions. It is very effective at stress management.
  • Vinyasa, which involves movements that are more like a dance. Patients learn to move and breathe together. This enhances the community aspect of Yoga.
  • Kundalini, which offers intense movements and breathing exercises. Meditation is a central part of Kundalini Yoga, as is singing and chanting.
  • Yin Yoga, which provides a way to calm the body and the senses. This type of Yoga is frequently used during addiction treatment because of its stress-reducing abilities.

Which type of Yoga sounds most appealing to you? You may have the opportunity to experience many of the above.

The Best and Most Effective Treatment Program for Addiction

At AspenRidge Recovery, we only utilize treatment methods that have been proven to be benficial. A great deal of research goes into everything we do, and we’ve found Yoga to be highly effective. Of course, every patient who walks through our doors gets personalized treatment. Your addiction is different from what someone else might be going through. We aim to provide you with the exact type of substance abuse treatment that will benefit you the most.

Yoga has so many great benefits as an exercise. At AspenRidge Recovery, we do Yoga on a weekly basis. We also go to the gym four times a week and have a field day. This allows our patients to participate in a number of sports.

As you can see, Yoga holds so many benefits for you as a part of our program. Are you interested in learning more about Yoga and other treatment methods for addiction? Please contact us right away to begin your recovery journey.


YogaJournal.com. (11, October 2012). Yoga for Addiction Recovery. Retrieved from: https://www.yogajournal.com/lifestyle/higher-ground

MedicalNewsToday.com. (29, April 2016). Yoga: What is yoga? How does it work?. Retrieved from: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/286745.php

SocialWorkToday.com. (September/October 2012). Yoga as Adjunct Therapy for Substance Use. Retrieved from: http://www.socialworktoday.com/archive/091712p8.shtml

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