People in recovery from addiction often struggle to find balance and stability. After battling addiction, which is quite chaotic, life can feel hard to manage without using drugs or alcohol. Yoga has positive benefits for the mind and body which can help counter the effects of addiction. Learn about the positive benefits of yin yoga, a practice which focuses on sitting for longer periods in poses and pausing for deep reflection and breathing.
Road to Recovery
Drug abuse not only causes emotional and financial suffering but it is a public health crisis in the United States. Relapse rates are quite high due to the highly addictive properties in many drugs. Private rehabilitation facilities are more often offering yoga or a mind-body awareness program. Meditation is also offered to support people with addiction in learning to sit quietly and calm the body using breath rather than another substance. Substances take people out of an experience rather than lean into the experience, such as what happens in yoga. Yoga is an alternative, positive way to generate a change in consciousness which provides escape, builds endurance and flexibility and empowers people to find peace and restoration for the mind, body and spirit.
Yin yoga is a slower-paced style of yoga focused on being present in a pose for longer periods of time which targets the connective tissues of the hips, pelvis and lower spine to stretch and strengthen the body. Meanwhile, it is imperative a person breathe through each pose, supporting the body, quieting the mind and letting it all flow and stretch in a safe environment. The following practices can be done for as long or short a period of time as desired.
- Sitting Mountain. A pose where an individual kneels on the floor with knees pointed forward and feet stretched behind. Sitting back on the heels, back upright, a person may opt to use a pillow under the buttocks or knees to get comfortable. The pose opens the heart and invites stillness into the body.
- Child’s Pose. This post starts with Sitting Mountain. Focus on sitting on the feet with toes touching, heels separated and the body gently lowered with the head on the floor in front of the knees. Inhale deeply and exhale from the belly, relax the neck and shoulders. The pose focuses on release of tension and relieves mental fatigue while building feelings of safety and protection.
- Corpse Pose. Relax completely and surrender to a Higher Power. Lie on the back and gently close the eyes. Place feet and legs slightly apart with arms at the sides of the body, palms facing up. Relax, take deep breaths and close the eyes. Breathe deeply, remove all thoughts from the mind and be lulled into a quiet, peaceful (yet slightly awake) slumber. Benefits of this pose focus on resting after a yoga session which relieves the body of tension and rejuvenates the whole body.
Yoga and other alternative therapies can have many benefits to individuals who pursue them. If you or a loved one have addiction and need support, call us to find out what we can do to support your needs in recovery.