How Can Yoga Therapy Support Recovery?

How Can Yoga Therapy Support Recovery?

Dr. Norris Von Curl, II, MD

Dr. Norris Von Curl, II, MD

The recovery process can be challenging. When clients are involved solely in clinical forms of treatment and therapy, they often feel disconnected from themselves. It can be hard to find joy or peace. However, when clients participate in non-traditional forms of therapy in addition to standard clinical methods, it can improve their physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Nontraditional therapies help clients find peace within themselves and express themselves through more creative means. What’s more, they can be used outside of recovery to maintain a peaceful balance within themselves. Some of these forms of treatment include yoga therapy, art therapy, and music therapy. At First Steps Recovery, we provide a variety of holistic options including. yoga therapy.

What Is Yoga Therapy?

Yoga therapy is a form of healing that uses traditional yoga postures to treat physical and mental health conditions. It is typically used to reduce structural, physiological, emotional, and spiritual limitations by increasing strength, flexibility, relaxation, and awareness. Yoga therapy also has other benefits as well, including:

  • A decrease in stress and anxiety
  • A reduction in chronic pain
  • Better digestion
  • Fewer feelings of depression
  • Improved sleep patterns
  • Greater quality of life
  • Greater self-confidence
  • Improved coordination and concentration
  • Improved respiratory and cardiovascular function
  • Enhanced ability to abstain from addictions

Generally, yoga is used to promote strength, flexibility, and positivity. On the emotional level, people who practice yoga experience a greater sense of calm and compassion as well as better self-control. After a long period of practice, people may experience a positive shift in life perspective, self-awareness, and energy.

Yoga therapy involves conscious breathing, meditation, lifestyle and diet changes, and visualization. These components work together to create more peace. Engaging in this practice improves the connection between the mind and body and improves mental and physical health overall by reducing stress levels.

What Is Yoga Therapy at First Steps Recovery?

Yoga therapy is a holistic therapy option offered at First Steps Recovery. This therapy helps clients address the impact of addictions on their minds, bodies, and spirits. Clients practice physical postures and controlled breathing to become more attuned to their inner state and inner resources.

For those in addiction recovery, this therapy is used to help clients improve concentration, awareness, and patience. The ability to foster those states of mind allows them to curb addiction cravings and balance out their emotions. Throughout a long period of practice, one’s withdrawal symptoms are expected to decrease as the body returns to its natural, optimal balance. Clients may experience a sense of rejuvenation as well as a more positive outlook on life.

Yoga Therapy and the 12-Step Program

In fostering a connection with one’s inner self, yoga works hand in hand with 12-Step recovery programs. These programs view recovery as something that develops in 12 stages. The stages help remind clients that healing cannot occur if one does not surrender to a higher power. Though originally conceptualized around a Christian God, this higher power does not need to be related to a concept of God or any other spiritual deity. This higher power can be one’s inner sense of power, a universal power, or even one’s recovery community.

By strengthening one’s physical and mental being, clients learn to rely on themselves and their higher power for support and encouragement. In other words, they become surrendered to a positive force of help and release their dependency on substances or alcohol.

How Does Yoga Therapy Support the Recovery Process?

A main component of yoga therapy is the mindfulness that results. The mind is an important piece of healing and recovery. By shifting one’s mindset and engaging with one’s inner being, greater self-control and a more peaceful approach to life occur. Yoga therapy is also personal as everyone has their own unique journey. By tailoring one’s practice to one’s individual recovery needs, yoga therapy becomes a resource that clients can rely on.

Yoga at First Steps Recovery incorporates breathing as a primary tool for wellness. Consistently engaging in breathing practices help clients regain control over their thoughts and emotions. As clients begin to interact with their inner selves, they learn to address their emotions and work through them. Compared to the beginning of recovery where clients often experience anger, guilt, and other difficult feelings, yoga practice helps restore positivity.

Preventing Relapse

Addressing emotions boosts the longevity of sobriety in recovery, as emotional triggers often cause relapse. Finding a calm center to turn to can be a tremendous help in maintaining a positive, substance-free lifestyle. Additionally, after spending time practicing yoga, clients find that the clinical methods of therapy feel less overwhelming to them.

Holistic approaches at First Steps Recovery are available to help clients pursue lasting recovery. Rather than only being involved in clinical treatments and therapy, clients benefit from holistic options to help them heal more fully. The coping skills and positive state of mind they acquire from these therapies ensure lasting sobriety during recovery.

Here at First Steps Recovery, we offer clients holistic approaches to therapy such as yoga therapy. Yoga therapy is encouraged at our facility because it helps clients connect to themselves on a physical, mental, and emotional level. They engage in deep breathing, meditation, and yoga postures to help connect the mind, body, and spirit. In this practice, clients learn more about their thought processes, engage with their difficult emotions, and work through any stressors they’re faced with in the recovery process. Yoga therapy helps clients gain more control over their lives rather than depending on substances. To learn more about our approach to yoga therapy, please call First Steps Recovery at (844) 489-0836.

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