Yoga Therapy for Addiction

Tampa Yoga Therapy

Yoga exercises are utilized to promote deep abdominal breathing, relaxation, improve posture, flexibility, strength, balance and coordination. Yoga is helpful to reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol, enhance feelings of relaxation, and wellbeing. Yoga exercises are gradually put together into a natural flow that provides the benefits of aerobic exercise including increased blood flow, improved muscle development, and natural endorphin production. Throughout the process, the focus is on breathing, comfortable movement, and non-competitive community with mindful awareness. Participants are gently guided to be aware of their physical limits while moving towards greater strength, flexibility, focus, and balance in a supportive, positive, atmosphere.

Yoga and Yoga Therapy

We’re all familiar with yoga to one degree or another. In fact, you might even have had some personal experience with yoga, whether it was by taking a class at your local gym or following along to instructional yoga videos in the comfort (and privacy) of your own home. When we hear the word “yoga,” we often picture those bizarre stances so-called “yogis” take, legs in a lunging-like position with arms up and outstretched. Of course, there’s much more to yoga than meets the eye, and there’s even more to yoga therapy than you might have thought.

As physical an artform as it may seem, yoga is actually defined as a group of physical, mental, and spiritual practices. Moreover, the art of yoga can be traced back to ancient India where it served as part of several prominent yoga schools that still exist today, including ones related to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism. It’s important to remember, though, that, in spite of the deeply religious associations that yoga had from the point of its creation and even today, yoga is not exclusively a religious practice. In fact, you can be both an outspoken atheist and a yoga enthusiast. Rather than being an actual religious practice in the way that prayer is a formal practice in many religious, yoga allows you to either incorporate your own spirituality or to practice yoga only as a physical and psychological artform.

According to tradition, there’s one main goal of yoga, which is moksha, or “liberation,” but the form in which this liberation takes depends on several factors, particularly as it pertains to the religion or spiritual beliefs incorporated into the practice of yoga. Historically, yoga was used as a meditative means of uncovering dysfunctional cognition and perception while also providing a means of overcoming that dysfunction so as to release oneself from suffering as well as to achieve inner peace and salvation. While this may sound somewhat obscure, the more straightforward explanation of yoga would be to say that it’s a practice by which an individual can augment his or her physiological and psychological states.

In some ways, it’s almost ironic for a practice that would appear to be so straightforward would actually have such profound implications; however, as it’s used today, yoga is mostly a meditative tool as well as being a common form of exercise. And with regards to its therapeutic uses, yoga therapy is viewed as the use of yoga postures, breathing exercises, guided imagery, and meditation to improve an individual’s mental and physical health. As such, yoga therapy has become increasingly popular as a form of holistic treatment for a wide variety of afflictions, including asthma, cancer, schizophrenia, substance abuse problems, and countless other conditions.

A Holistic Form of Therapy

As mentioned above, yoga therapy is considered to be a holistic form of treatment, whether it’s being used to alleviate the effects of cancer or to mitigate a substance abuse problem. Much like yoga itself, there are many misconceptions about holism and holistic treatments with many people mistakenly believing that holism is synonymous with homeopathy, which essentially refers to naturalistic treatments or so-called “home remedies.” However, this association is very much incorrect.

The term holism is often used to refer to the “whole,” which is how holistic medicine has come to be seen as the treatment of body, mind, and spirit. Again, the incorporation of spirituality in holistic medicine doesn’t mean that an individual must be religious to utilize or benefit from holistic techniques; instead, it merely means that those who have spiritual or religious convictions can strengthen or otherwise incorporate them into many holistic practices. For this reason, holism is increasingly popular today because it gives people another way of individualizing and personalizing their treatment or wellness regimens.

Yoga and Substance Abuse Treatment

There are many ways that having a substance abuse problem affects an individual. In fact, we continue to uncover new effects of addiction through ongoing research and study. At this point, there’s no doubt that the effects of an alcohol or drug addiction are physical, mental, emotional, social, and, yes, even spiritual. In short, this means that there’s virtually no way that an addiction doesn’t affect a person’s life, which is why the treatments being incorporated into modern substance abuse recovery programs are increasingly diverse.

One of the key components of a successful recovery from addiction amounts to discovering the root cause of the substance abuse problem and addressing it. For many people, substance abuse is the result of mental, emotional, experiential, or social factors, which require ample time spent in counseling and psychotherapy to address them. However, yoga therapy can help in ways that are quite different — albeit complementary — to counseling and psychotherapy, providing individuals with a tool that can be used to help with things like stress, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, phobias, and a variety of other psycho-emotional distress. Individuals who use yoga therapy as part of their substance abuse recovery programs find themselves better able to achieve relaxation during times of stress, experience much more stable emotional states, and are, therefore, much less likely to succumb to the temptation to relapse once they’ve completed their treatment programs and returned home.

Yoga Therapy for Addiction in Tampa

If you or someone you love would benefit from yoga therapy for substance abuse, or to learn more about our other offerings, call Coalition Recovery today. Our team of recovery experts and rehabilitation specialists are available anytime, day or night, to schedule an assessment or consultation for you or your loved one. Take the first step in the journey of recovery by calling Coalition Recovery today.

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