Yoga and Addiction
This article is about the benefits that yoga has on those recovering from addiction, particular those just leaving a Nashville rehab center or one of the many IOP programs Nashville offers. If you would like more information on IOP programs Nashville area has, you can contact a Nashville rehab for more information.
Brings people back into their bodies
Years of substance abuse can mean that the people who have abused drugs no longer feel fully inside their bodies.
Not only this but people who have addiction have also gone through trauma that may have left them feeling as though they were not in their own bodies before they had taken any drugs. Through yoga’s mindful movement, people can come back to their own bodies.
It is worth noting that if some recovering addicts have serious trauma then there are certain poses that are recommended to release trauma.
Indeed, there are a number of types of yoga that were designed with trauma in mind. These included "trauma-sensitive yoga", in which the people practicing it aren’t able to relearn to tolerate physical sensations and again gain a feeling of safety within their own bodies.
Yoga is great for stress relief, which is critical for those in recovery, stress being a trigger for relapse. In yoga, stress is brought down by a number of factors. Deep breathing and focusing on this deep breathing can bring stress levels down quickly. Yoga also allows different muscles to relax, and as a result of this the body is able to relax.
In particular, the psoas muscle can store tension and trauma in the body, and yoga can release this. It is easy to see when stress and trauma is being released from the psoas muscle, as our legs begin to shake a look. Do not worry if this happens, shaking is good for us.
Stay healthy or get healthy
The practice of yoga is like any type of exercise: it keeps us or gets us healthy. This is important for people in recovery as their bodies have likely been damaged through years of abusing drugs.
Yoga is great for our cardiovascular system and for our lungs too. It has the benefit of being low impact so can be done more regularly than other forms of cardiovascular exercise such as running. Yoga can also tone the muscles and improve strength in our bodies.
Pain is another trigger for relapse, and yoga can work wonders to reduce it. Consistent yoga practice can reduce inflammation in the body, lubricate our joints and keep our muscles limber. All of these work in reducing levels of pain.
The Sangha is a spiritual community that was originally a Buddhist concept, but which is now used in spiritual communities around the world. For the recovering addict, community is vital, as we can only maintain consistent growth through being around other people.
Support from a Sangha can be of particular benefit as the type of people who are usually a member of a Sangha are those who do not often drink or use drugs, and tend to have above average levels of compassion.
Some yoga sessions can be very intense, and you may feel like giving up in the middle of them.
Through pushing through the discomfort you may feel, you are rewarded with an uplifting sensation and a feeling of accomplishment at the end of the session.
Everything that we learn on the mat we can apply to everyday life. So just by getting through that difficult class you may find that your self-discipline has increased.
Learning when to let go
In some ways the opposite of the above point. We can learn in yoga to let go and when to say no. Perhaps you are in a very difficult class, and you have a tendency to push yourself to the point of injury. In yoga we can practice giving ourselves a break and not needing to obtain "perfection".
This is a common problem amongst people from all walks of life, and the ultimate ramification of living a life where you need to be “perfect” is an unhappy life and eventually being completely burnt out.
There you go. Whether you have just come out of Nashville rehab or whether you are thinking about one of the IOP programs Nashville offers, this extra information on yoga is likely to be useful in informing you about the exact benefits of yoga and addiction.