Colin Farrell, a 36-year old actor, recently went public about his love for yoga and how it has helped him to recover from drug and alcohol addiction.
Farrell is not the only person who has turned to yoga as a means to recovery. In fact, some addiction treatment programs use the practice of yoga as a tool to aid in recovery.
The good news is that those who are in bondage to addictions have the ability to recover if they have the desire to do so. This article will focus on how the use of yoga can aid in the journey to recovery.
History of yoga for addiction treatment
Even though yoga has been used to improve mental and physical health for over 5,000 years, it has only made its way into drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs in the last 10-years.
Five ways yoga helps those in recovery
Yoga promotes impulse control, attentiveness and concentration. This is important because many people who use drugs and alcohol feel a compulsion to follow through with their cravings to use. In addition, they are more likely than others to allow their thoughts and emotions rule them and how they react to life.
Coping skills are needed for those seeking recovery, and yoga helps by teaching deep breathing that is a useful tool.
The practice of yoga offers both a mind and body experience at the same time unlike regular cardiovascular exercise or talk therapy which only offer one or the other. Yoga poses (asanas) mixed with deep breathing can bring about inner harmony.
-Cleansing of the body
Many yoga poses can aid in detoxifying and cleansing the body of toxins that have built up due to drug and alcohol use. For example, half lord of the fishes pose stimulates the liver and kidneys. The supported headstand stimulates the pituitary and pineal glands, which aids in helping the body rid itself of toxins more effectively.
-Connection with a higher power
Yoga incorporates meditation which can help one connect with their higher power, such as God. Prayer and meditation both help one to feel closer to their higher power. During mediation, you can softly close your eyes and create your own place of safety and tranquility. It can be the beach, mountains or wherever you feel most at ease. Conversation with your higher power and giving your worries over to the God of your understanding are both powerful tools that can be incorporated into your chosen place.
More from Rebecca Bardelli:
Use Yoga and Artwork to Exercise the Body and Mind
Negative Effects of Drinking Alcohol on Physical Fitness
Hatha Yoga Can Decrease the Desire to Smoke
Top Five Yoga Poses to Halt Headaches
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