Practicing Yoga For Addiction Recovery

Defining Yoga & Why Yoga Is Effective In Holistic Approach?

Link Between Yoga & Addiction Recovery

Today, most alcohol and drug rehab facilities now offer a variety of holistic therapies. With mindfulness meditation, yoga is perhaps the most commonly used holistic therapy in drug and alcohol rehab. Meditation is often taught alongside yoga. It helps calm the mind. This can be achieved by focusing on the breath. This helps the individual feel at peace and centered. Performing yoga for addiction recovery is one of the best tools that an individual struggling with alcohol and drugs can use. For just thirty minutes each day, performing yoga will allow the person to relax without feeling negative emotions such as anxiety and stress.

Addiction is a progressive disorder. This means a person generally does not become addicted to substances overnight. Instead, addiction has likely developed over months or even years. Many people who develop addiction are otherwise highly productive individuals. They may appear to be performing well, both professionally privately. Their co-workers may have no idea they are battling addiction. A stressful lifestyle causes a “high functioning” addict to rely on substances. Coping with life’s demands while also juggling a drug or alcohol addiction can be a struggle.

It’s no secret that drugs and alcohol are used to escape uncomfortable feelings, thoughts, and sensations. However, an individual can better manage these negative emotions through yoga. Practicing yoga for addiction recovery aims to allow the person to build tolerance for uncomfortable emotions and feelings that can lead to relapses. This is because yoga provides a healthy outlet to cope with potential triggers and daily life stressors. Yoga is a health practice that is considered a natural form of medicine. Practicing yoga for addiction recovery is usually beneficial when used with other drug and alcohol abuse treatment methods. It also helps build a more positive outlook when it comes to physical sensations.

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Your emotions are a mirror of your thoughts, when you change your way of thinking, you will change the whole world inside of you. Yoga for addiction recovery will help you discover more of yourself.
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Five Types Of Yoga For Addiction Recovery

Yoga for addiction recovery goes way beyond just stretching. It has long been used to help relieve stress, and scientific evidence has provided a link between practicing yoga and reducing stress by modulation of the stress response. Yoga raises the levels of GABA, which has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety. GABA is a kind of natural tranquilizer produced by the brain to help manage anxiety and stress response. For centuries, worshipers of Hinduism have used yoga to relieve physical illnesses, reduce psychological distress and gain spiritual enlightenment.  Various forms of yoga include:


This is a spiritual form of yoga. Bhakti yoga centers on devoting love to a higher level through mantra meditation, which involves chanting.


The most common form of yoga in the United States, Hatha yoga involves meditation and posture exercises. This type of yoga aims to heal the mind, body, and soul through breathing techniques and poses.


Jnana yoga uses meditation to seek self-realization and wisdom. This type of yoga uses mental techniques such as conscious illumination, self-questioning, and self-reflection.


Karma yoga aims to eliminate self-centeredness and subdue ego. Forming various body movements, individuals learn to separate themselves from their actions.


Bikram yoga includes a series of 26 physically demanding postures. The goal of this activity, which takes place in a room heated to approximately 100 degrees, is to loosen tension and purify the body through sweating.

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Benefits Of Practicing Yoga For Addiction Recovery

Yoga has eight components such as to conduct within society, personal discipline, postures or poses (”asanas”), breathing, concentration, contemplation, meditation, and absorption or stillness. Yoga for addiction recovery and management of drug dependence has been an intriguing area of interest since the last decade. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), yoga is being considered as a holistic intervention inducing dopamine homeostasis leading to long-term benefits in the management of addictive behaviors termed as “Reward Deficiency Syndrome.”

The treatment of substance-use disorders must include a variety of interventions. According to the research from NCBI [1], yoga and related therapies appear to be a promising interventions tool for addiction recovery. A study with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) who consume alcohol found a significant reduction in the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) and Drug Use Disorders Identification Test (DUDIT) in the yoga group. The following are the benefits of practicing yoga:

  • Increased energy
  • Emotional healing
  • Stress relief
  • Pain relief
  • Better sleep
  • Heightened self-confidence
  • Increased physical strength
  • Increased self-awareness
  • Healthier eating habits
  • Reduce fatigue
  • Emotional healing
  • Improved balance
  • Lowered resting heart rate
  • Improved bone density
  • Increased immunity
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Yoga for addiction recovery can bring you peace of mind. Keep the faith. The most amazing things in life tend to happen right at the moment you’re about to give up hope.

Emerging evidence suggests that mindfulness training and yoga can target the neurocognitive mechanisms to produce significant therapeutic effects on SUDs and prevent relapse. It can reduce alcohol and drug dependence and craving, as well as other addiction-related symptoms such as pain, health-related quality of life depression, and anxiety, through improving mood state and emotion dysregulation. This is according to NCBI [2].

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Importance Of Yoga In Holistic Treatment

Holistic treatment sees the body as a whole entity rather than separate and unrelated body systems. All parts of the bodywork together as one. Alcohol and drug abuse causes harm and damage to the person in all aspects that is physically, emotionally, spiritually, socially, and mentally. A holistic alcohol and drug rehab treatment facility includes traditional treatments such as around-the-clock medically assisted detox, individual counseling, and group therapy, along with holistic treatment therapies, which include yoga.

The overall purpose of holistic addiction treatment therapy is to find one’s true sense of self and give the individual a purpose in the outside world. The therapies used are evidence-based and are an alternative treatment route that works well for many people who did not benefit from the traditional approach to recovery; holistic drug rehabs help you process emotions in different ways.  They also teach you healthy practices that can prevent relapse.  Attention to nutrition, exercise, sleep patterns, and stress management are all critical in recovery.  Holistic therapies support these staples of a healthy life by teaching you new coping skills. [3]

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6 Benefits Of Holistic Drug & Yoga For Addiction Treatment

1. Highly Individualized Approach

There is no singular “best” approach to treating drug and alcohol addiction. Each affected individual is unique, and the best approach must address the uniqueness of the person. The best holistic drug rehab programs create personalized treatment plans for all participants.

2. Focuses On The Mind, Body, And Spirit

Rather than just treating the physical effects of addiction, this method combines every distinct part of an individual and ensures the health of the body, mind, and spirit.

3. Caring And Compassionate Environment

A holistic approach provides a very safe, secure, and compassionate recovery environment that encourages openness and healing. The individuals working are trained professionals who believe in caring and compassionate environments towards the addicts.

4. Long-Term Recovery

The use of holistic addiction treatment can help people feel more at ease, and more responsive to their treatment, and thus help patients cope with the challenges of detox and rehab. Experts consider having a greater chance of resulting in lasting abstinence from addictive drugs through the holistic approach.

5. Wider Range Of Treatment Options

Holistic approaches provide a wide range of treatment options that can provide customized treatments based on individual needs. Treatments such as massage, chiropractic therapies, acupuncture and acupressure, yoga, and meditation, among others—in addition to more traditional methods of care.

6. Better Aftercare And Follow Up

Recovery from alcohol or drug abuse and addiction doesn’t stop when a treatment period ends. At its core, aftercare should be considered a type of continued treatment. Holistic treatment keeps this in mind and builds effective aftercare programs such as outpatient treatment, group counseling, and individual therapy, and others.

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Holistic therapy, including Yoga for addiction recovery, is a form of healing that considers the person as a whole, which treats the body, mind, emotions, and spirit of the person.

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[1] NCBI –

[2] NCBI –

[3] Yoga for Addiction RecoveryWe Level Up, Dual Diagnosis Treatment Programs – We Level Up addiction center