20 Dec 4 Ways Yoga Can Help Heal Addiction
How can yoga help with addiction recovery?
It takes courage to explore your fears. Addiction is a serious disorder and can happen to anyone. Addiction, unfortunately, is a taboo subject and a lot of stigmas attached to it.
Anyone can be addicted to social media, TV, food addictions-junk foods, aerated drinks to alcohol, our partners, money, work, fast cars, drugs, smoking etc. Whatever the addiction the person suffering cannot refrain from over thinking, overindulgence or manipulate behaviours to get what they want.
The first step to recovery is to realise and admit that you have a problem. Next is to work on yourself and your surroundings to identify the triggers that compromise your thinking and behaviours. A third step is to change the lifestyle and mindset. Yoga helps in a big way. Yoga is a way of life. It helps to simplify things and helps in stress management one of the major trigger factors that lead to addiction.
How does yoga help with addiction recovery? Some helpful tips-
Yoga helps to calm the nervous system and relaxes your mind and body. Benefits of the parasympathetic nervous system. All the Kriyas help to detox and help to cleanse the body systems like digestive, oro-naso passages, circulation system, respiratory systems etc. Pranayamas help to focus and calm the senses and the mind.
Yoga asanas help to asses’ traits of flexibility, humility, and ability to adjust. For example- The Yoga Institutes’ simplified difficult asanas are to be done with right attitudes/Bhavas; this plays a major role in changing old habits and recovering from addictions. All Asanas helps but for beginners poses recommended are as follows-
Pravatasana, Yoga Mudra, Yastikasana, Ustrasana, Matsyasana is a great stretch for the thoracic spine, upper chest region and the shoulders. Ancient texts, mention Matsyasana as the “destroyer of all diseases.” Also, Surya Namaskar is useful since it gives all round stretch to the body. All these asanas help to relieve anxiety and stress when done with proper breathing and right bhavas.
Addiction recovery all the Kriyas play a vital role to detox and cleanse the systems. Some important Kriyas that help are Jalneti, Sutraneti, KapalBhati, and Vamandhouti. Kriyas teach self-reliance and boost the immune system.
Pranayamas or breathing exercise- They help to calm the mind, stop the mind chatter and de-stress. Recommended are Yogendra Pranayama I, II, III and IV. Also, Anulom-Vilom or Nadi Sodhana Pranayama helps to detox the body systems; de-stress and calm the mind.
Yogic Relaxation techniques-
Shavasana, TYI pioneered Nishpanda Bhava, Anitya Bhavana help in attitudinal changes when practised regularly. These techniques help to de-stress and teach the method to maintain a balanced state of mind in all circumstances.
Doing meditation each day for five minutes helps to connect with your true self. It is a great technique to relax and unwind. Just before you go to bed make it a habit to meditate each it. Try Guided meditation and Mantra meditation.
Diet also plays a major role. Yogic Sattvic diet is recommended which includes fresh organic seasonal vegetables, fruits, greens, whole grains. Also, do not overeat; ideally half of the stomach should be filled with food, 1/4th with liquid and 1/4th kept empty. (Empty because it aids the digestion process). Eat only when you are hungry.