Yoga for addiction treatment is definitely something to try. It’s easy to dismiss yoga practice as something for spiritual people. But this is not the case. You don’t have to be spiritual to try it. Yoga for addiction treatment has so many benefits. It can help you in your journey towards recovery. Read through this article so you will know more about yoga and how it can help you with addiction recovery.
Related article: Can Yoga Help in Addiction Recovery?
What is Yoga?
Yoga is a type of exercise that combines meditation, breathing, postures, and calming the mind. Many people do yoga as their primary exercise to improve their minds and bodies. Yoga improves the physical body without putting too much strain on your muscles. By proper breathing and relaxation, it calms your mind as well.
A Brief History of Yoga
Yoga aims to focus on the harmony of your mind and body. It consists of many methods like breathing, meditation, and calmness of mind. Yoga came from the Sanskrit root of Yuj, which means to join or unite.
As for the practice of Yoga, it leads towards the universal consciousness that makes a perfect harmony of your whole being. By becoming more mindful of your thoughts, it can help the person develop a healthier body.
Yoga has been around for about 5000 years. For a better understanding of the evolution of yoga, here are four distinct periods of this practice.
- Vedic Age – from an ancient collection in India called Rig Veda, yoga has first mentioned 5000 years ago and has its origins in India as well.
- Patanjali Age – Patanjali is the author of the yoga text where he wrote Yoga Sutras. It is a book that contains the representation of Yoga in the 2nd century. The eight-limbed Yoga and raja Yoga practice was also described in his book.
- Hatha Age – Hatha Yoga focuses on physical techniques. Hatha Yoga has two forms of practice which are the eight-limb practice by Yajñavalkya and eight mudras practice by Kapila.
- Present Age – the current Yoga technique today consists of posture and meditation. Modern Yoga developed into physical exercise with combined techniques of breathing, meditation, posture, and mindfulness.
The Eight-Limbs of Yoga
In the Hatha age, Patanjali wrote a book called Yoga Sutras, which indicates the Eight-Limb of Yoga. Let’s look at what these are.
- Niyama – it focuses on spirituality and discipline. It also means a positive observance or duty. Niyama is recommended for healthy living, a state of existence, and spiritual enlightenment.
- Yama – leads to a path of non-violence, self-control, and truth. It compliments with Niyama which represents the right of living within the ethical rules of Yoga and Hinduism.
- Asana – is more on body posture that originates in meditation while on a sitting pose. It is now used by the modern age of Yoga combining with standing, reclining, balancing, and twisting pose. It is also defined as comfortable and steady on the Yoga Sutras Book.
- Pranayama – focuses on breathing control which can connect your mind and body through breathing. You can gather energy by inhaling and exhaling properly.
- Pratyahara – The fifth element in the book of Yoga Sutras, which means the withdrawal of your senses. This fifth limb of Yoga focuses on knowing yourself. Pratyahara is used to observe the inner self and detach from oneself to the outside world. With the help of Pratyahara, it can help you succeed in Dharana the sixth element of the eight limbs of Yoga.
- Dharana – is a part of the training that lets you train your mind to focus on a single thought without getting distracted by any other object. It is a challenge to concentrate on a single object that will not affect the calmness of the mind.
- Dhyana – is a unique element among the eight-limb of Yoga where you do not focus, but the mind is aware of it. To concentrate on nothing is no easy task. When mastering the previous limbs, it can increase your stamina and strength to help you practice Dhyana.
- Samadhi – after mastering the seven elements of the eight-limb Yoga, Samadhi gives you a peace of mind and self-realization.
Related article: Sober Activities to Enjoy When Recovering from Drug Addiction
Types of Yoga
- Vinyasa Yoga – consists of movement and breathing. Vinyasa Yoga has a multiple body pose combine with a particular breathing technique.
- Ashtanga Yoga – is an energetic style and creates internal body heat which synchronizes with breathing that links with the movement of the body.
- Kundalini Yoga – It focuses on meditation which can form divine energy which is said to be located on the center spine. Kundalini Yoga can enhance your self-awareness.
- Iyengar Yoga – Uses props and a bit particular yoga practice method where your pose, as well as your breathing, must be precise. When changing the posture, you need to pay attention and must align with your breath and your movement.
- Power Yoga – is an intense and fast session of yoga practice. You need to have self-control as you need to take the poses for a few minutes before changing to another. The power yoga can improve your heart condition and take your blood pressure to a normal level.
- Bikram Yoga – it has a set of twenty-six posture method to follow with two breathing techniques in a heated room with 90 minutes duration.
- Jivamukti Yoga – it focuses on non-violence and scripture like in the asana concept. It combines a method with meditation, physical, and spiritual techniques. It can strengthen your body and increase the balance of the blood flow of your body.
- Restorative Yoga – it is a slow process which it takes a longer time to hold your pose before attempting to move in another body pose. You can feel the effects of each pose if you decide to use the restorative yoga method. It may be the best interest to a person that has anxiety or insomnia to practice the Restorative Yoga method.
How Did Yoga Become Popular?
Yoga is a discipline that originally originated in India that includes spiritual, physical, and mental practice. Yoga is one of the oldest disciplines that includes body movement. You can see so many people anywhere and from all walks of life doing yoga. It is because of the good benefits it can provide to our body.
People practice yoga to fight stress and anxiety. Since people are all getting busy in their work, school, and personal life, doing Yoga can provide ways to relax the body and mind. Yoga is so gentle and subtle that it provides relaxation to the body.
Yoga is getting more popular over the years. One reason also that Yoga is becoming popular is that everyone can practice it. Here are some of the common reasons why yoga therapy is more popular today.
Yoga as a Fitness Option
Many people prefer the best option when it comes to health and fitness. Yoga has been around for many years. It has been the focus of numerous studies and it has been proven to be effective as a fitness option.
There are a lot of yoga classes you can check and enroll in. These classes can be for beginners or for those who have mastered different poses and techniques. So, whether you are just starting out or already an expert, yoga can certainly help you stay fit and healthy.
Most of the yoga sessions are done in groups. It is a good way to meet people who share the same enthusiasm for yoga. You may also have a one on one session if you want. What’s important is that you have an activity that can help you stay fit.
Yoga as a Stress Reliever
Yoga can provide a lot of benefits and one of them is being a stress reliever. We experience a lot of stress in our lives. It’s important to find an activity that can help us deal with stress. Yoga is definitely one of them. Yoga for addiction treatment is an excellent choice for those who are recovering from substance abuse.
During drug addiction recovery, it can be a highly stressful time. Yoga can help you relax while also dealing with your anxiety and other discomforts. Many rehab facilities make use of yoga to help patients who are recovering from addiction.
Yoga is not only for those who want to kick their bad habits. It is also for people who want to have a clearer mind. With yoga, you will be able to practice focus and concentration. It will be very helpful for you so you can think better and more clearly.
Yoga Provides Real Results
It has been proven by numerous studies that doing yoga aids in maintaining good health. People who are doing yoga are enjoying it because of the results that it can provide to them. The good thing about practicing yoga is that it doesn’t require too much from you especially if you’re still a beginner. You can do yoga with simple stretching and gentle movements.
Practicing yoga takes time and that is why you should be patient and motivated. Mastering the movements will also take months or even years but once you achieve it, you will feel a sense of fulfillment. You will enjoy the many benefits of yoga in the long run.
Related article: Sober Activities to Enjoy When Recovering from Drug Addiction
Yoga Provides Great Flexibility
The first thing you will notice when you are doing yoga is that you will become more flexible. During yoga sessions, the teacher will require you to stretch your body to its limits. Don’t worry though because it will be at your pace. There will be simple stretch exercises like doing backbends, touching your toes, and stretching from side to side. The stretching activities will become more challenging as you master the basic ones.
Yoga Strengthens the Muscles
Yoga can increase your muscle strength with special types of exercises. Practicing yoga will lower your risk of experiencing muscle pain, arthritis, and other similar types of health conditions. Yoga for addiction treatment is highly recommended for people who want to recover from addiction. If you’ve been doing drugs for some time, you may not have been taking care of your body. With yoga, you will have a chance to get back in shape and be healthy again.
Yoga Promotes Proper Posture
Body posture is important so that you will not have problems like neck pains and back pains. Many people are suffering from bad posture because of their bad habits. Nowadays, we work long hours at our computers without sitting properly. That is why yoga is one of the best things to do to improve posture because it teaches people to improve their posture.
Yoga Increases Blood Flow
Yoga exercises can help your body promote proper circulation of blood. Yoga also helps boost red blood cells which will provide oxygen to your body tissues. This exercise has many kinds of body poses like handstand or headstand which is a little hard to master. But it can provide proper blood flow from your legs to your heart.
The gentle movements of yoga may seem easy and simple but they can help a lot in increasing blood flow to various parts of your body. It means that your body will heal faster and your organs will get more oxygen. Overall, yoga will do wonders for your body.
Yoga Makes People Feel Happy
People are in a constant battle with life problems. It can be financial problems, work, or even family-related issues. Doing yoga will refresh your mind and make you think more clearly. The relaxing effect of yoga makes people happy. With constant practice of yoga, your serotonin level will increase which will make you feel happy and enthusiastic.
Yoga for addiction treatment will also help recovering addicts feel better. It will be a good activity for those who are trying to get rid of their bad habits. Yoga can provide a natural high which can contribute to your positive sense of well-being.
Related article: Yoga and Meditation Therapy in Toronto
Yoga became very popular because of its many benefits. Yoga is more than just an exercise for relaxation and becoming stress-free. It is also a way to free your mind from worries. It helps you to focus on the present. As someone who is recovering from addiction, practicing yoga will benefit you in so many ways. All you have to do is to take the first step and try out one session. You will surely enjoy taking part in this form of exercise.