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Yoga and Addiction: A Therapeutic Bond

Holistic care is a key component of Prominence Treatment’s recovery philosophy. Unlike some 12 step programs that limit rehabilitation to a long-winded counseling session, we address the physical, psychological and social aspects of recovery. The holistic approach involves a wide variety of wholesome activities, but there is one routine that stands out among its counterparts: yoga. Increasing research shows that yoga and addiction form a therapeutic bond that is worth both exploring and practicing.

Addiction often originates within the human psyche. The addict feels a void in his or her life that they attempt to fill with drugs or alcohol. This approach may appear to work for a short period, but it slowly becomes a detriment to the physical and mental health of the addict.

At a certain point, what may have begun as an isolated issue becomes a crisis of the mind, body and social life. The patient now needs a regimen to address the totality of their suffering. Enter yoga.

As Sober Nation founder Tim Stoddart pointed out in a guest post on this blog, “Psychology certainly plays a role in drug addiction, but there are several other elements that must be factored into the recovery process.” He explained that yoga empowers both the mind and body within a single regimen. Unlike jogging or counseling, which exercise the physical and mental faculties respectively, yoga has a two-pronged benefit for its participants. For this reason, yoga is often considered the single-most important activity for a recovering addict.

Addiction recovery expert Tommy Rosen goes so far to suggest that recovering addicts have no choice but to practice yoga. “I do not feel that yoga and meditation are optional for people in recovery. Life will simply be better with practice than without it. Of course, one can stay sober without yoga and meditation. It’s just that if you want to lift yourself up out of the energy of addiction and break through to a new level of strength and awareness, one will have to adopt a practice that continues the detoxification process on a much deeper level.”

Rosen makes an important point. Detoxification is only the first step to ridding the body of harmful substances. Yoga not only continues this process on a physical level, but incorporates the mind and spirit in therapy while relieving stress and improving sleep patterns all the while.

Yoga serves as a microcosm of holistic care. It demonstrates the multi-faceted nature of recovery within a single discipline. As Rosen prescribes, it allows one to, “think of recovery as a multi-tiered process in which different people need different things at different times.” This is a useful way to look at rehabilitation when evaluating the role yoga plays in a recovering addict’s life. Yoga can address a wide variety of challenges in addiction, depending on the unique experience of the addict and the stage of the recovery process they are in.

Prominence Treatment Center is proud of the yoga therapy program offered to its patients. Our instructors, Jenny Klossner and Dr. Natalie Sampson not only have years of experience within the discipline, but specifically tailor yoga sessions to the needs of recovering addicts. If you would like to learn more about our yoga program and the benefits it can provide a loved one in recovery, call one of our qualified representatives today: 877-383-2284.

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