Yoga Is A Practice Of Willpower, Essential To Recovery

Self-Defense in Recovery

Self-defense in recovery is something which requires a holistic approach of mind, body, and spirit. Through our treatment and therapy, we learn to defend ourselves emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually. Many people in recovery use terms like “spiritual armor” “suiting up” “showing up” and “spiritual warfare” to explain this particular phenomena of recovery. A large population of people who develop a substance abuse problem have experiences of trauma, abuse, and violence of some kind in their past. Without any kind of defenses, they resorted to what they knew, in the best way that they knew how, to survive. Recovery promises more than survival. Recovery is a promise for learning how to live and thriving in life. New therapeutic and spiritual techniques for self-defense shift the paradigm of living from fear and survival to compassion and thriving.

For Your Story, Grand Master Akshar, the founder of Akshar Yoga in India, said, “Yoga as an art helps train people in ‘will-power’.” Holding asanas in yoga, the various positions, has a special effect on the body. Our bodies are believed to harness energy and emotion, hidden within different “storage” areas of our muscles, joints, and organs. Asanas can release that energy and emotion. Your Story explains that “one of the consequences of practising asanas is that we learn to hold inspirational poses and overcome the wave of emotions that arise from them. Self-discipline and mental strength stem from such practices. And these qualities are the basis for self-defence.”

Will-Power in Recovery

Will-power is a popular, yet controversial topic in recovery. At once, those who are committed to recovery are supposed to have an unyielding willpower to carry them through each day. 12 step philosophy suggests that finding, developing a relationship with, and surrendering to a higher power is the way to have your will power sustained. It does take a certain degree of willingness to withstand the emotions that come up through the treatment and recovery process. Yoga is an integrative part of most treatment programs today because of the way it supplements a similar process occurring in individual therapy and group therapy. Empowered by the ability to withstand a pose, a sequence, and an entire class, recover addicts and alcoholics are encouraged to bring that same strength and willpower to all areas of their recovery.


Messages sent through this form are confidential. Required fields are marked with (*).

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.