One of the most difficult things about recovery is finding the opportunity to sit quietly and calmly, feeling at ease within the body and mind. Meditation is helpful in overcoming addiction but yoga has additional benefits. Learn three sequences that can be helpful for addiction recovery.
Standing Bow Pose
This pose works well for concentration and balance. It is difficult to balance at first when the mind is loudest but it helps to settle down and let the mind and body flow together. This results in a powerful sequence and movement which help bring more peace of mind.
- Start by standing with both feet together. Shift weight into left leg and bend the right leg, moving the right heel toward the butt.
- Reach the right hand around to grab the raised foot behind the back. Grab the foot with all fingers and hold from inner side of the foot around ankle height. Extend the left arm upward, pointed at the ceiling.
- Hold pose for 10 to 15 seconds until it feels stable. Slowly bend forward at the hips, keep left leg straight and try not to let go of rising leg.
- Hold the pose for as long as able, breathing deeply in and out as it is comfortable. Move into an upright position and lower the leg down to stand once again.
- Repeat exercise on other side
Modification: if pose is too challenging, use a bar, wall or chair to help with balance. Stay upright, arm extended and do not lean forward until stable. It is okay not to bend forward at first.
Camel pose is a big hip and shoulder opener which helps release past trauma from hips and shoulders. The body holds onto emotions from the past in parts of the body that need releasing including hips, which helps bring peace and healing.
- Kneel on the floor, place knees hip-distance apart. Press shins and tops of feet onto floor. Then place palms on back of pelvis, fingers pointing to floor
- Lean back, tucking chin slightly to chest. If flexible enough, take the pose deeper by reaching back with each hand to grab the heels. Palms should rest on heels with fingers pointing to toes and thumbs holding outside of each foot.
- While leaning back, keep thighs perpendicular to the floor and hips over knees. If leaning back is too much for the body, stay upright, leaning back only slightly. It helps to bring a stretching feeling.
- Turn arms outward without squeezing shoulder blades. Keep head neutral and hold pose 30 to 60 seconds.
Find stillness in this post which balances, connects with the self and helps bring inner peace.
- Stand firm on both feet. Begin to bend the right knee and shift weight into left leg. Rotate right knee outward as leg is lifted and gently rest right foot against left lower leg, ankle or shin.
- Keep left leg strong, pressing foot into floor. If balanced, try next stage. Inhale, draw arms up and interlace fingers with index fingers up. Breathe and hold pose four to eight breaths.
- Release the pose by slowly exhaling arms down and release leg if it is on the calf or thigh to go back to standing. Repeat on other side.
Yoga is a great practice to incorporate into a recovery program. Call the Villa to find out how to recover your life from addiction and seek pathways to peace and hope.