The Power of Yoga for Addiction Recovery
A regular yoga routine has amazing benefits for those seeking sobriety
Recovery from drugs and alcohol often includes a variety of treatment methods used together to create the best results for each person. Yoga is a type of natural treatment method that many recovery programs include along with other treatment offerings. Traditional yoga comes from the Ayurvedic health system that has been around for thousands of years, and it provides an abundance of health benefits for a variety of health conditions, plus it can improve overall health. In the same way, yoga has certain benefits that can contribute to the addiction recovery process.
The Role of Brain Chemicals
Drugs that people abuse create an increase of the brain chemical dopamine when they’re used, which over time can lead to the brain changing. The dopamine system is connected to reward and motivation, among other things. In response to the dopamine increases from drug use, people with drug abuse or addiction problems experience decreases in the brain’s natural release of dopamine, as well as the receptors for dopamine in the brain, according to a study in the journal Neuropharmacology. Amazingly, yoga can actually achieve changes on a brain level, helping balance dopamine in the brain. A study in the Brain Research journal found through PET scans that yoga meditation increased the release of dopamine in participants. This is one of the benefits of performing yoga as part of a drug treatment program, helping participants during and after treatment.
Detoxification of the Body
Yoga also provides a fantastic way to detoxify your body. Kate Hanley explains in an article for GaiamLife that like other forms of exercise, yoga helps boost the digestive, circulatory and lymph systems to cleanse the body. Yoga also puts you into positions that squeeze or turn parts of your body, encouraging waste to leave. For example, twisting poses and poses that put the body above the head can help release toxins. In a drug or alcohol treatment program, detoxifying is essential because it helps get rid of substances.
Mental, Emotional and Spiritual Benefits of Yoga
In addition to benefits for the body, yoga can also help your emotional, mental and spiritual health. It is able to improve your mood and can help you have better overall well-being. The practice can also provide spiritual benefits if the person practicing is looking for that. And it can help people deal with stress, anxiety, depression and other factors that can contribute to addiction. These benefits can help someone in a treatment program have a more successful recovery. They can also help improve life after the treatment program is over by providing positive coping strategies and creating a healthier way of living.
Kurma Yoga as Part of The Malibu Beach Recovery Center Program
At The Brentwood House and Malibu Beach Recovery Center we make yoga a large part of our recovery program. We offer Kurma Yoga classes that have a large focus on breathing. This type of yoga was specially designed for people who are dealing with addiction or some other specific health problems.
Kurma Yoga uses gentle exercises and breathing techniques to target brain damage from substances. The breathing component helps people with an addiction problem to bring more oxygen to the brain, to have more control over addiction and to combat stress, anxiety and other concerns. This yoga system is also designed so that anyone can do it, no matter their fitness level or personal needs.
Each day, our clients take a yoga class in the morning, then they engage in some other activities and attend a second yoga class before lunch. The yoga sessions are combined with a special diet and some other components, which together help balance brain chemicals and restore functioning of the brain chemical systems that were changed because of addiction.
You may have doubts at first – many do – but you’ll soon see that regular practice of yoga is an amazing help in your fight for recovery from addiction.