When we think of drug and alcohol treatment, we don’t tend to think of healing modalities such as yoga and meditation. We don’t tend to think of a soothing healing sanctuary to relax the body and mind. Instead, it’s common to imagine a place that’s anything but holistic.
However, more and more drug and alcohol treatment centers are integrating yoga and other forms of alternative treatment methods into their array of services.
And there are significant reasons for this. For example, yoga in drug addiction treatment recognizes that most addicts tend to harm their bodies through drugs and alcohol because they don’t feel comfortable in their skin.
They have feelings buried deeply inward that the use of drug keeps in place.
Benefits of Yoga
Yet, yoga connects the body and mind. It’s an opportunity to change the need to bury feelings by harming the body. At the very least, deep breathing and a constant return to the present moment helps create an opportunity to pause before making destructive choices.
Essentially, yoga is a practice, a form of exercise, which invites an integrated experience of body and mind. Its healing effects can be experienced immediately as well as over time.
The Rise of Alternative Treatments
In fact, alternative forms of treatment are becoming more and more popular because of their abilities to prevent illness and treat the entire body. Typically, drug treatment will focus on the mind. Certainly, drug addiction treatment will include a drug detox and tend to the body in that way.
However, yoga continues to bring healing effects long after detox is complete. Yoga is an excellent form of drug treatment aftercare. Once your drug treatment is done, yoga is a practice that can keep you in a healthy frame of mind.
Most importantly, yoga can help release the grip of addiction, and perhaps it’s the trick mentioned earlier. Yoga helps create space between a thought and your reaction to that thought. For instance, if you have the thought, “I’m no good,” it’s likely you’re not going to like yourself and you might end up drinking that night.
However, slowly, a yoga practice can help your mind slow down. You can create a bit of space between the thought and the way that you respond to that thought. Instead of believing in the thought which might cause you to drink or use drugs, you might get curious about the thought. Why is it showing up now? What is this thought saying about what I’m doing right now?
Yoga classes that have a recovery focus are showing up around the country. These types of classes combine yoga with a 12-step recovery process. It’s a class that continues to invite practitioners to look in the mirror to facilitate loosening the grip of addiction.
Along these lines, there are many forms of alternative therapies that have healing capabilities. Some of these include therapies that use expressive arts, drama, music, dance, poetry, meditation, acupuncture, and neurofeedback.
For instance, meditation is a practice of staying focused on one point and returning to it again and again as a way to improve concentration. Although meditation might be difficult at first, the challenge at the beginning is worth the many rewards.
Finally, deep breathing can be an essential tool, particularly right in those intense moments that might otherwise lead to relapse. While craving for a drink or drug use again, you might breathe, let it pass, and move on with your life. In fact, developing the habit of breathing instead of cutting can be the practice that eliminates addiction altogether.
Although you might not think of yoga as part of your drug treatment, you might want to reconsider. It’s healing benefits are great.
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