yoga therapy for addiction

Yoga Therapy

Guardian Intensive Outpatient Program offers several holistic therapies including breathwork, equine therapy, and yoga in order to facilitate recovery and healing of the mind, body and spirit. “Holistic” means interconnected and whole, and holistic therapy is a form of healing its consideration of the whole person, addressing underlying causes instead of merely treating symptoms.

At Guardian, we strongly believe in holistic therapy. Drug and alcohol use are just symptoms of addiction. While addressing practical aspects of addiction are important, effective treatment must address the whole person if true healing and recovery are to take place – mentally, physically and spiritually. This is why therapeutic activities such as yoga practice are so important.

What Is Yoga Practice And Why Is It Important?

woman in child's pose during yoga therapyYoga isn’t just a great way to get in shape. Yoga is a spiritual, healing art that has stood the test of time. It was developed over two thousand years ago in the far east and slowly made its way to the west.

Once seen as an “alternative” practice, yoga is widely accepted as a vital, healthy and therapeutic form of wellness, and is backed by research that shows the benefits of yoga for people of all ages and levels of fitness.

Regular yoga practice is shown to increase flexibility and strength, improve posture and relieve aches and pains. It also reduces stress levels and promotes healthy sleep patterns. It reduces stress and lowers blood pressure. Other areas of physical benefit include the digestive system and immune system. In addition to all of that, yoga just feels good.

How Does Yoga Practice Benefit Addiction Treatment?

Men and women participating in yoga therapy

In recent years, studies have shown that yoga practice benefits people who are struggling with addiction. This is attributed to a variety of factors.

First of all, the physical benefits are ideal for newly recovering addicts — Drug and alcohol use are physically taxing. Most people arrive in treatment physically depleted. But that is only part of it; addiction wreaks havoc on the mind as well. Using drugs for even a short period of time can cause cognitive impairment such as confusion, short-term memory loss, lack of focus and “brain fog.” These effects vary from person to person, and for those who used for long periods of time, it can take years for the brain to recover from the damage.

Changes in brain chemistry can result in feelings of depression, lethargy and lack of interest in everyday activities, particularly among those who have been addicted to stimulants like methamphetamines, cocaine and ecstasy. This is due to lowered dopamine production. Like other brain function, it can take months or even years to return to normal levels.

Holistic therapies such as yoga can help. Yoga increases dopamine production and increases blood and oxygen flow, healing the body and improving cognitive function.

Other benefits include the development of patience and impulse control. Yoga promotes feelings of calm, reducing stress and anxiety. For addicts in early recovery, regular yoga practice provides short-term relief and promotes long-term positive changes that will last years.

You do not have to become an expert or guru to experience the benefits of practicing yoga. Beginning with a few simple moves, novice yoga students can start reaping the benefits of increased strength and flexibility, relaxation and awareness.

man in up dog position during yoga therapyFind Out More About Guardian Recovery Network And Holistic Therapy

Guardian Intensive Outpatient Program offers individual and group therapy, family restructuring support, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and more. These therapies work together with 12 step immersion and holistic therapies like yoga to provide a comprehensive recovery experience that leads to success.

If you are struggling with addiction, or if someone you love has a problem, Guardian IOP can help. Our outpatient program can be the turning point in your life. Call today at (855) 517-1871 or schedule a confidential consultation to find out how we can help you or a loved one.